The New York Jets played a good mix of zone and man coverage against the Miami Dolphins, but to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, the Jets will have to put their defensive backs on islands and ramp up the pressure on Blake Bortles.
According to Pro Football Focus, even though it’s mostly “garbage time” scoring, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles plays better against the zone than he does against man coverage. When teams play zone, they typically blitz at a much lower frequency than in man coverage. So, the New York Jets must play man-to-man to beat this team.
Based on that notion, Bortles is picking teams apart when they give him time to sit back and find the holes in the zone coverage. The Jets will have to be very disciplined in that scheme, but they have the players to do it.
Part of the reason rookie safety Jamal Adams was high on a lot of draft boards was his ability to cover tight ends man-to-man. Well, if the Jets want to be successful in this game, they will have to test that against Marcedes Lewis.
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The other rookie safety, Marcus Maye, was also drafted for his man abilities. He’s a very smart and savvy player, and he was credited with pass breakups and interceptions on 21 percent of his targets at the University of Florida.
The corners are going to have to be more aggressive as well. They won’t have the luxury of playing off the line in this game.
They’re going to need to press at the line early and often to disrupt the pass patterns and give the blitz time to get to Bortles.
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The Jets can’t allow the Jaguars defense to gain any momentum. The best way to do that is to keep the Jaguars offense off the field, and the best way to do that is to keep the pressure on Bortles.