Time to go to the film room, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to the NFL this year, we get a chance to take a look at the All-22 Coaches Film, to see what the players and coaches get a chance to look at inside team headquarters. It gives us a unique look at the games, to see what is going right, and what is going wrong. Today, we are going to take a look at the Jets defense, and some specific elements. First:
THE PASS RUSH
Or maybe it should say, the lack of pass rush. We all have heard chapter and verse about how the Jets are going to be able to get to the quarterback, how they are “one step faster”. Well, for the most part, the pass rush doesn’t look one step faster. Frankly, it looks like every other Jets pass rush, non-existence. The Jets front seven is not getting to the quarterback with enough consistency to make an impact on anything. In taking a look at last week’s game film, there are some reasons for that.
First of all, there really hasn’t been much creativity in the play calling. Remember all of those overload blitzes that Rex used to call? The ones that would dominate one side of the opponent’s offensive line? Well, those seem to be a thing of the past. At least last week they were. I counted maybe two blitzes during the game, and certainly no overload blitzes. Two times I counted, did they get a free rusher at the quarterback, and in those situations, Ryan Tannehill got the ball out far too quickly for the Jets to get there. Let’s look at a couple of examples. First of the lack of blitzing:
Take a look at a third and five with Tannenhill in the shotgun:
Here is a situation when a blitz would be just what the doctor ordered from Rex. Third and five, near midfield. Ryan Tannenhill is in the gun. There are four down linemen (in the box). If you take a look at the linebacker (in the circle), they seem to be creeping up towards the line, as if they are blitzing. As we go forward, you see, however, that the Jets stick with a four man rush. Take a look.
It turns out that it’s just a four man rush after all. The linebackers are going to the flats on either side, as shown by the diagonal arrows. The only guys trying to make their way up field to the quarterback are the four down linemen, illustrated with the straight arrows. The offensive line picks them all up, and the result is a gaine of 23 yards downfield to Davonne Bess. Ryan wants to get to the QB more with just a four man rush, but if it isn’t working, he and Pettine need to go back to dialing up blitzes, and they aren’t.
In the few instances where the Jets dialed it up, and got a free rusher, Ryan Tannenhill was ready for it. Turn the page and see.