Aug 3, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (left) talks with head coach Rex Ryan during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets Blueprint For Success Has Been Uncovered


Each team has its own blueprint for success. The formula that they need to follow on a week-to-week basis to win games. You may tweak the gameplan for individual opponents to take advantage of match ups and minimizes weaknesses but your formula stays the same. On Sunday against the Buffalo Bills the Jets showed their blueprint and it’s a pretty good one. On both sides of the ball the Jets are built to win the line of scrimmage battles and everything else feeds off of that.

Offensively the Jets are going to run in order for them to be successful, but they way they accomplish it is different from what we are used to seeing. With offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, a teacher of the West Coast Offense (a predominantly passing offense), the Jets are going to pass to set up the run. Most teams are going to stack the box with 8 defenders, daring them to throw the football in an attempt to take away the running game. That is pretty standard especially when game planning against a rookie quarterback. The Jets will come out throwing most weeks and take deep shots down the field when they see one on one match ups on the outside. Once they have established that they can strike with a big play at any time teams will adjust and play their safeties deeper which will open up the running game. The Jets only had 58 of their 182 rushing yards in the 1st half but then were able to dominate the line of scrimmage in the second half, controlling the clock and extending drives. In all three of their games so far the Jets have won the time of possession battle having the ball for 32 minutes or more each game. Run the ball, protect the quarterback and allow the creativity of the offensive coordinator to shine through all by winning the line of scrimmage on offense.

Defensively the Jets are built to stop the run first and foremost. This year they have completely shut down three excellent running backs in Doug Martin, Stevan Ridley and CJ Spiller. Martin and Spiller are both the kind of backs that would have given the Jets problems last year because of their ability to make people miss in space and to be a dual threat catching the ball in the flat. This year’s team has no problem setting the edge and attacking the line of scrimmage. Damon Harrison’s emergence as not just a serviceable backup but a top-rated defense tackle in the league has helped stopped the run. Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, Ellis, Wilkerson, and Douzable’s work in the middle has opened up huge lanes for linebackers David Harris and Demario Davis to make plays. Stopping the run makes the opposition one-dimensional. Once teams realize this they will have to throw and the biggest difference between this year’s team and years past is that the Jets have a very good pass rush. Instead of having to get their pressure from exotic blitzes drawn up by Rex Ryan (they still do) they can get conventional pressure from their defensive line. Against Buffalo the team recorded 8 sacks but more importantly the sacks came from 7 different players. The blueprint is to stop the run, get teams to 3rd and long then attack the quarterback looking to force mistakes.

As the year goes on the youth on the roster will develop and the team will improve on both sides of the ball. There will be bumps along the way but don’t lose hope because they are built to win where it matters most, in the trenches. If they stay committed to their blueprint they will give themselves a chance to win each week and that is all you can ask for in this league.

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  • matr dontelli iii

    of the eight sacks, seven came from four-man rushes! the jets are so versatile that they can send people like coples and richardson out in coverage leaving blockers looking for someone to block. yo, they’re already in the backfield! this team is probably the youngest in the league. they have four draft picks playing significant minutes (that doesn’t include last year’s udfa harrison who played scant few minutes last year) and seven new starters on defense alone. the team is winning the vast majority of the statistical battles week in and week out, albeit just three weeks so far, yards, first downs, time of possession, third down efficiency etc. the majority of the damage the other teams have done has been on big mistakes, the n.e. touchdown, the 59 yard run sunday and the td drive for tampa bay which started on the five-yard line. as this team gains experience the mistakes will lessen and as the mistakes lessen those statistical edges will become greater as will the point differentials. this team is gonna make a lot of real fans really happy this year. as far as the coach goes, all coaches have strong points and weak points. rex makes his mistakes. his team loves playing for him and they have a propensity for overcoming mistakes. no other coach could have this defense doing what they are doing. no one!

    • Frank Antonelli

      Exactly. Rex just doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He has accomplished more then Belacheat or Coughlin could have if they were stuck with Sanchez. If Geno is legit the sky is the limit with Rex as coach.

      • Bennny K

        Agreed, we also forgot that Rex is a young coach. It takes time to learn how to be a good coach but I think Rex is on his way.

      • Craig Hoffman

        If the Jets handle this tough stretch of games well and continue to improve I would definitely extend Rex and the coaching staff during the bye week. Take the pressure off and see if this team can go on a run like 2009.

    • Craig Hoffman

      The defense has played spectacularly and will only get better. Right now the team is vulnerable to teams like New Orleans and Atlanta (when they are healthy) that have a lot of different weapons and a quarterback that can get them the ball quickly. I think they will rely on the “Brady” game plan of confusion and hope the interior pass rush gets home quickly. The key is the development of Milliner if he can get himself healthy and grow as the year goes on then the team will have the depth and flexibility to handle any team if not the safeties will be exposed in coverage.

  • matr dontelli iii

    i just noticed, the circus jets with no offensive weapons are third in the league in time of possession. how can that be? we must be playing all teams that are worse than 32nd in the league in the espn power ratings! we’ll see how long it takes espn to realize where we are in time of possession. imagine when we stop making so many mistakes?!? it’s been a while, how do you spell domination?

    • Frank Antonelli

      The Jets defense is ranked 4th and the offense is ranked 10th. Those are numbers that will translate to a playoff appearance and a long playoff run.

      • Craig Hoffman

        Barring injuries both sides of the ball should show gradual improvement as the year goes on and that is scary defensively.

    • Craig Hoffman

      It is nice that they are controlling the ball in both the traditional way of running the football and the short passing game that is the hallmark of the West Coast Offense.

  • Paul Newbold

    The Jets are beginning to turn it up a notch, both lines have improved, and if Geno matures as the year goes, it’ll be interesting. The offense has taken a huge step forward under Marty and the addition of Geno Smith’s arm! D line can be dominant with the addition of Richardson, the development of “Snacks” and Coples. Nice article Craig. You didn’t touch on the secondary however, it could get better as Millner hopefully develops, but its time to pull the plug on Wilson! We heard a lot about CB depth being a strength of this team, I think its time to start someone besides “penalty boy”! Safeties are adequate I guess but I had hoped Jarret and Allen stepped up a notch, both hard hitters, but the coverage skills are wanting. Tough stretch ahead, I’m hoping they can keep it up! Go Jets!!

    • Craig Hoffman

      Thanks Paul I appreciate that. I didn’t want to get too specific as I just wanted to get into what they want to do on paper and how that translates to the field. The biggest difference over last year is the fact that the front 7 has to cover up the secondary’s deficiencies instead of the other way around. Wilson can’t play outside, there is no viable safety opposite Landry (both Allen & Jarrett are great 3rd safeties who blitz or support the run) and Milliner is going to take his bumps this year.