Inside the Jets vs. Patriots Film Room: Offense


Oct 14, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano on the sidelines against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets won 35-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Wednesday is film day at the J-E-T Press, so as always, we go look at the film, and break down plays on both sides of the football. The offense in the morning, and the defense with JETSerious this afternoon. But first, we look at the very unfortunate offensive game film. And “offensive”, it really was.

This week, we could call this one “The Ballad of Tony and Vince”, which is why we have Tony Sparano in the picture to the right. Specifically, we take a look at Sparano’s play calling, and his insistence at running directly at Vince Wilfork. It starts with a fumble that we all want to forget, that Vince played a major part it, and then, despite Wilfork’s play, Tony’s need to go right back to running at Wilfork. Why? I don’t think we will ever know.

First we are going to take a look at the “Butt Fumble”, and Vince Wilfork’s role in said fumble. Scroll down a bit for the formation and setup.

Mark Sanchez is under center, with 2 backs, Hilliard and Shonn Greene straight back behind him. Greene is signified by the green circle. Vince Wilfork is in the red circle. Whatever the reason, the play breaks down. Mark is going to drop back to give Greene a handoff, shown with the light green circle. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the play call, as Shonn Greene is following his green line out into the flat, as if he is a secondary option for a pass play. Wilfork is going to push forward against Brandon Moore and Nick Mangold. Let’s move the play forward.

If you look close, you can actually see Mark Sanchez, in the dark green circle, turning to hand the ball off to Greene who has already moved towards the flat. No matter who is wrong, obviously this is a broken play, as we all saw. Keep an eye on Wilfork in the red circle. This is where Mark makes his really bad decision. Instead of falling on the football and waiting for the next down, Mark decides to try and make something out of the play and runs towards Brandon Moore’s side of the line. Here is where Wilfork makes his mark. Watch what he does:

Vince Wilfork basically takes Brandon Moore up and shoves him out of the way. It looked to me like he would have gone three or four yards had Mark Sanchez’s head not been in the way. But, it was. Vince Wilfork, the house that he is, trashed Moore like a bag of garbage, and blew it up all by himself. I don’t go ahead any further because it made me sick to watch again, and we know what happened.

You would think that Sparano might figure out that Vince is on his game, and maybe run away from him. Not our Tony. Turn the page.

We move ahead to the third quarter. The game is pretty much out of reach at 35-3, but the Jets still do mount a drive that takes them down to the Patriots’ one yard line, for a fourth and goal from the one. If the Jets score here, no, it probably doesn’t change the result, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. Let’s take a look.

The Jets are set up in their jumbo package, with Jason Smith in the game as a tackle eligible. Hilliard and Greene are set up behind Mark Sanchez in an off-set I formation. Dustin Keller is going to come in motion from left to right. What do the Jets call? For some reason, a run up the middle, right into Vince Wilfork country. Wilfork is going to come between the guard and tackle, following his red line, and Brandon Spikes is going to come up the middle, Spikes and Wilfork both in red circles. Let’s move forward.

The left circle is our friend, Vince Wilfork. Again, he has blown up the play. See how he has totally beaten Brandon Moore off the ball? Brandon Moore is on the ground. In the circle is Jason Smith, who has pulled from his tackle eligible position to make a block. He has to chip on Wilfork, which barely has any effect, and that leaves the center of the line completely open for Brandon Spikes, in the right circle, to roam. Greene takes the handoff, sees that he can’t cut right, as Wilfork has beaten two guys to close that hole. Therefore, he has to cut back left, right into the waiting arms of Brandon Spikes. The result?

Greene is stuffed, and the Jets turn the ball over on downs.

Wilfork was clearly on his game that fateful night. He was moving quickly, and blowing guys off the football regularly. Yet, Tony Sparano kept calling plays to go in his direction.

And that is why Tony Sparano leaves a lot to be desired when calling plays. Thank you for reading “The Ballad of Tony and Vince”. Stay tuned this afternoon for JETSerious and his defensive film breakdown.