Inside the Jets vs. Patriots Film Room: Defense


JETSerious will bring you inside the defensive film room and dissect plays from the beginning to end…. each and every week.  We’ll look at what the Jets defense did right and wrong for each play.

The Jets faced the Patriots on Sunday, at Gillette Stadium, and had a decent defensive outing against Tom Brady. How did they get after Brady? JETSerious will analyze the tape, and show you what’s good!


The first play we’re going to look at occurred in the 4th quarter. With less than 7 minutes left, Tom Brady was backed up in his own territory. This was after a Brandon Lloyd offensive pass interference penalty. With that being said, Antonio Cromartie was matched up with TE Rob Gronkowski. This is a favorable matchup for the Jets, in my opinion. Cromartie has the size and speed to compete with the massive tight end.

Gronkowski is going to run a corner route (red). Cromartie is going to lock into man coverage (white), and run with Gronkowski.

Tom Brady is going to get the snap in the picture below, and drop back to pass. As he plants his back foot, he begins to feel the pressure coming from his left.

Once Brady feels the pressure, he is forced to roll out to the right. At this point, Quinton Coples is able to ditch his bull-rush responsibility. This way, he can attack Brady downhill and force him to throw off of his back foot. This will affect a QB’s accuracy tremendously. Below, Brady is on the run with two Jets defenders chasing him down. Therefore, he has very little room to throw. Even better, he’s pressured and has to throw off-balance.

Antonio Cromartie is continuing his man-to-man coverage with Rob Gronkowski (black box).

With great coverage ability, Cromartie is able to run with Gronkowski AND find the ball simultaneously.

You can see here that Cro is running step for step with the Patriots tight end. This will ultimately give him great body position when the ball arrives.

Antonio tracks the ball well, without losing a step. Right now– he’s in excellent position. An interception would be HUGE.

Unfortunately, when the ball arrives (pictured right), Cromartie is unable to make the catch. This was devastating because although Cro gets the deflection, this would’ve gave the Jets great momentum late in the 4th quarter. It’s also disappointing that an offensive pass interference penalty wasn’t called. Rob Gronkowski was all over Cromartie.

Still, Cromartie could’ve held onto the ball.

The fact that Brady was pressured and had to throw off of his back foot gave the Jets a shot at a turnover. Cromartie just has to make sure he comes down with it next time, because the ball landed right in his bread basket.

These types of opportunities don’t come around too often, when facing Tom Brady… so the Jets have to do a better job of executing when the opportunity arrives.

Please turn the page and join us as we break down a David Harris sack from this past Sunday’s matchup…

With the Patriots up-tempo offense, it’s very difficult to get a sack on Tom Brady. He gets the ball out of his hands very quickly, allowing the defense limited time to rush.

The Jets were able to get a sack on Brady, so let’s take a look at what they did to get the job done.

With Demario Davis and Calvin Pace lined up a outside linebackers, Brady makes a line-check, so that his offensive line knows to pick them up on the blitz. You can see in the picture below, that Brady is communicating with his right tackle. They both are assuming that Davis is blitzing off the right (our left) side.

However, that’s not the case. Davis and Pace are both going to drop into coverage. This is just one of the many examples of a Rex Ryan disguised pre-snap defense… brilliant, if you ask me. If you look at the picture below, you will see the assignments for each player.

Once the offensive tackles figure out that the outside linebackers aren’t blitzing, they create a double team on their side of the pocket.

This leaves the running back Ridley with the responsibility of picking up David Harris on a blitz. That’s a tough task for a running back.

Wisely, Ridley attacks Harris low, knowing that he’d get blown up if he tries to block Harris with his pads high.

Somehow, Coples is able to beat the double-team to the inside. There’s not much help from the inside… if you remember, Brady audibled so that his line would focus on the outside (where Davis and Pace we’re thought to be blitzing from).

You can really see how big the hole is in the inside of the pocket. This gives Coples a big lane to run downhill at Brady. Ridley is no longer a factor because he fell to the ground trying to stop Harris.

Tom Brady is looking to his left (red arrow), where Pace will be shifting near. Also, Coples is able to get a hand in the air and attempt to bat the ball down on a quick pass. This is what you like to see from the first round pick.

Right now, Harris is able to get up and trap Brady as he tries to escape from Coples. Brady has absolutely nowhere to go. He’ll be pressured to either force a throw into coverage, or take the sack.

Brady takes the sack.

Coples and Harris are able to get Brady to the ground, as his offensive linemen are forced to watch.

This is what you like to see as a Jets fan… your first round pick getting pressure, and your middle linebacker cleaning it up.

There is not much more you can ask for, when the Jets are visiting Gillette Stadium, other than to disrupt the rhythm of Tom Brady.

The defense did that fairly well, and kept the Jets in the game.

Keep in mind, the Jets are without Darrelle Revis, so the fact that the defense caused this many problems for Tom Brady and company is encouraging.

If the defense can cause this many problems at Gillette Stadium, just wait for the home game on Thanksgiving.

I might be really optimistic here, but you have to consider the 12th man factor. If the defense can frustrate Tom Brady like they did in the picture below, then good things are coming… good things.

That’s going to be all for this week’s defensive film session.

Be sure to check back next week, where JETSerious will bring you inside the Jets vs. Dolphins defensive film room.

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