Inside Jets vs. 49ers Film Room: Offense
By Alan Schechter
Sep 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) walks towards Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano on the bench late in the 4th quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
Beginning today, and continuing every Wednesday for the rest of the season, we are going to break down the game film from the previous week. I will take on the offensive game tape, and JETSerious will take you through the defensive film. So, we bring you the offensive breakdown. And let me tell you, it was pretty offensive:
This offensive line doesn’t block for the run. It just doesn’t. As bad as Shonn Greene has been in getting through the holes, and I am ready to admit that he has been bad, there have not been many holes for him to run through. There is a reason why the longest run from scrimmage all day long for the Jets was a whopping five yards. There just weren’t the holes to run through, period. Too often, the point of attack looked like this:
See the point of attack, in the circle? Nowhere to run. Neither Shonn Greene or anybody else is going to make a big gain out of that. You might say, “Why doesn’t he cut back?” There is a hole there as I showed with the arrows. But that isn’t the type of back that Shonn Greene is. There is a reason why they don’t run a lot of mis-direction types of plays, and that is because he is not a cut back runner. His game is to run throwgh the hole at the point of attack. Without blocking at the point of attack, Shonn Greene will not be successful, as shown here, where he wound up with a 3 yard gain.
One thing that stood out was the play of Nick Mangold, and not in a good way. Specifically, he had the worst game that I can remember him having as member of the New York Jets. He spent more time on his rear end, or letting guys go by him, than I have ever seen. Here is a perfect example, on a sack Mangold gave up. Although it was called back due to penalty, it illustrates the point. Take a look:
It’s clearly a passing down, as Mark Sanchez is in the shotgun, and the 49ers have only five guys in the box. With that small amount of guys up front, the line should be able to protect Mark Sanchez and give him a chance to throw. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. I have circled Nick Mangold’s matchup against tackle Ray McDonald. McDonald is going to shoot the gap between Mangold and Ducasse, as shown by the arrow, and McDonald’s first step is huge, and Mangold is far too slow to react.
The matchup remains in the circle. McDonald takes his first step with his right foot, ducking his left shoulder away from Mangold. Mangold is too slow coming out of his stance to meet him in the gap, instead getting only his arm out there. McDonald has the speed and the leverage in his favor:
You can see, again in the circle, that McDonald has easy leverage on Mangold, and goes right to Sanchez. Mark tries to step up in the pocket(the right arrow), but McDonald is there far too quickly.
And down goes Sanchez. This poor blocking was commonplace for Mangold all game, as he was made to look pretty silly all day. By far his worst game as a pro. In both the running game, and the passing game, Mangold looked bad.
We basically covered this before but we will rehash just a bit.
Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell are not runners that are going to make something happen out of nothing. They are not Adrian Petersen or Maurice Jones-Drew. These guys don’t run around making plays when there is no opening, and they have to hit the hole at the point of attack. Shonn Greene looks painfully slow, no doubt. Bilal looked a bit faster, but nothing to write home about.
The offensive line is not opening holes at the point of attack. These guys need to fire off the line, hit somebody, and open holes. That did not happen Sunday, and thus, the longest run of the day was for five yards.
In a word, pathetic.
The Jets clearly don’t trust Tim Tebow to throw the ball, at least not yet, and the opponents know it. How do I know? Look at the formation above, because it was similar every time Tebow took the snap. See how there are 7 guys in the box? Every single time. Not only that, look at the guys in the red circles. See how they are cheating towards the line of scrimmage? They know that it is unlikely that the Jets are going to throw it. This has to change fast, otherwise the Wildcat will be nothing more than a trained housecat.
MARK SANCHEZ AND THE PASSING GAME
Other than a few plays, the offensive line gave Mark Sanchez time to throw the football. He was quickly sacked on a couple of occasions, but for the most part, Mark had time to throw.
What was the problem? Wide receivers getting open, and Mark Sanchez’s decision making. First a look at the wide receivers’ inability to get open:
Here’s the setup: Sanchez is in the shotgun, one receiver to his left, and two are lined up to the right. Let’s see what happens as the play develops:
Sanchez is stepping up in the pocket, looking to make a play. But where can he go with the football? Look at the circles, nobody is open. Defenders are around Mark’s every option. The result?
Down goes Sanchez. Could he have thrown the ball at the feet of Santonio Holmes, avoiding the sack? You could make that argument, he probably could have. But, he didn’t. You can talk all you want about Mark Sanchez, but his wide receivers have to help him out too. It’s not easy for ANY quarterback when his weapons are not helping.
We will talk more about Mark Sanchez on the next page.
Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) runs off the field after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. 49ers won 34-0. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Let’s talk about Mark Sanchez for a few minutes here. Everybody’s favorite guy to criticize on the New York Jets, with much of it being valid. Whether you are a fan of Mark’s or not, you have to scratch your head when you watch this guy play, because he is so frustratingly inconsistent. For every great throw he makes, he will make just as many bad ones.
After watching the tape, it’s even more than that. Mark Sanchez almost goes through a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde faze, depening upon the play that is called. I’ll explain. When the play is a quick hitting play, where Mark takes just a quick three step drop and throws, for the most part, Mark is decisive and makes a good throw. Whether it was a bubble screen to Santonio Holmes, a quick out to Jeff Cumberland, or a slant to any receiver, generally, Mark would take the drop, step up, and make a solid throw.
But, it’s a different story when Mark has to take a five to seven step drop. In these situations, he generally looks nervous in the pocket, his feet don’t get set, and he either makes a bad decision or a bad throw. This is where we all get crazy when we watch Mark Sanchez, because he makes a lot of good throws. But in almost every game, he comes up with some throws, that are just difficult to understand, and that is what we are going to take a look at.
We aren’t even going to waste time on the interception on a screen pass. Mark has to make sure he gets the ball over the rusher’s head, period. Terrible throw. Fundamental of a screen pass is to allow the rush, and then loft the pass over their heads. Bad play. We are going to take a look at a bad incompletion from the second half.
Here is your pre-snap formation. The matchup that comes into question is highlighted with the circles. Jeff Cumberland is the green circle, and the defender, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, is in the red. Let’s move forward.
Mark is stepping up into a pretty good pocket, and surveying the field. The only receiver open, however, is in the green circle. He is right in Mark’s line of vision, you think this is where he would go with the ball. Not a big gain, but positive yardage. But again, he is focused on the matchup down the field, Cumberland vs. Bowman.
Out comes the head-scratching decision. Mark forces the ball downfield, where clearly Cumberland isn’t open. Bowman looks like the receiver, and it is all Cumberland can do to force the incompletion. These types of decisions are what drive everyone nuts about Mark Sanchez.
Bottom line, there is a lot to work on here. The Jets have to get better, and fast, and not just a little bit better. A lot better.
Stay tuned this afternoon for JETSerious and his trip inside the film room to look at the defense.