BGA: Dynamic display from backs fuels solid offensive performance

This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

BGA is back…and this time it’s preseasonal (again)!

Coming up, part one of your breakdown of last night’s loss to the Giants with detailed analysis of the offensive performance.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle.

This week, we’re splitting the BGA into two. We’ll cover the offense here and defense and special teams in part two later today. However, for this week only, we’re also doing a Preseason BGA Extra, so let me know if there’s anything from this game (or the previous two) that you’d like me to investigate in more detail. Let’s get going…

Quarterbacks

All the hype leading into this game was meaningless. What you ideally wanted to see from a Jets perspective was for their starters to outperform those of the Giants and for Geno Smith in particular to play well. That’s what they got from Smith in the first half, with two scoring drives and some impressive throws and decision making. Something else we needed to see from Smith was for him to throw a red zone touchdown (or, indeed, any kind of touchdown pass) and he did that with a short play-action flip to Jace Amaro.

The first scoring drive could also have ended up with a red zone touchdown after two well placed throws fell incomplete, one because Eric Decker just couldn’t quite hang on with the defender draped all over him and the other because Zach Sudfeld turned to looked for a ball a bit early and was backpedaling and off balance when he probably could have just run through the ball and caught it over the shoulder.

Something else the Jets can also be encouraged by is the fact that Smith was under pressure a few times but didn’t take unnecessary risks with the football. He also supplemented his passing yardage with 17 on the ground.

Michael Vick replaced Smith at half time and immediately put the Jets in a hole when he bobbled a low snap and then fumbled a hand-off. However, he responded with a touchdown drive, hitting Decker at the back of the end zone. His one incompletion came on a quick slant thrown slightly behind Stephen Hill. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it did seem possible that maybe Vick took something off that pass due to a lack of faith in Hill to catch it. While Smith benefited from a few penalties on his touchdown drive, Vick got plenty of help from the running game.

Matt Simms came in to play mop-up and did lead one scoring drive, hitting Greg Salas on a touchdown pass down the middle. Simms began 8-of-9 but only completed one of his last five, although it was difficult to blame him for any of these misses as Jacoby Ford came down just out of bounds with one and then let another go through his hands, Alex Green dropped a pass in the flat and Clyde Gates looked to have been interfered with on 4th down.

Tajh Boyd did not get any reps. I assume they’ll keep him aboard just long enough to play the sacrificial lamb role on Thursday night. As for Simms, under the new rules, he qualifies for practice squad eligibility, whereas before he didn’t. That might influence the Jets’ thinking on him.

Offensive Line

There were one or two errors, but I don’t have any real concerns about the starting offensive line after this performance (and, yes, I guess I’m assuming Brian Winters will get the left guard job).

The Jets picked up some good yardage off the edge again, rushing for 88 yards altogether in the first half. Smith was sacked once, but that was negated by a defensive penalty. On the play, it was Breno Giacomini’s man who finished him off, but really that was on D’Brickashaw Ferguson as he got beaten, forcing Smith to try and scramble. Other than that, the tackles weren’t really troubled in pass protection, although Ferguson did get beaten inside one other time with Smith stepping up to make the completion.

Ferguson didn’t quite do as good of a job in terms of setting the edge this week, but the Jets still saw success there. On one of these plays, Greg Buttle praised the job he did, although really he’d have been graded down on that play because the runner had to break through his man’s tackle. On one play, the Jets went unbalanced line with Winters and Amaro on the left and Ferguson as an extra tight end on the right side, but again, Ferguson’s man got off his block to force the runner wide.

Giacomini had a couple of minor negatives in the running game, but made one good block at the point of attack to spring a big run and executed a good block on the edge on a short yardage conversion.

Willie Colon, usually so reliable in pass protection, did get beaten a couple of times here, once by a spin move. However, the line usually afforded Smith plenty of time. Colon did have one key block to spring a big gain, as he initially doubled with Nick Mangold and then peeled off to make a cut block at the second level. He also had a couple of punishing pulling blocks in the second half.

Mangold was his usual solid self, holding his own in pass protection and making some good run blocks at the point of attack and a couple of key blocks downfield on screen passes. He did allow his man to get penetration on one play, but reacted well to drive them out of the hole. There were a couple of less-than-perfect shotgun snaps though.

Winters continues to limit the negatives much better than he did last season. Yes, it was frustrating to see his holding penalty negate a big play by Jeremy Kerley, but other than that and one play where he got beaten inside in the running game, he generally held up well. He did allow a couple of pressures once Vick entered the game and had one series at right guard with the second unit.

The second unit was credited with one sack allowed on a play where Vick rolled out and then just stepped out of bounds. Simms was sacked twice, once when a stunting end came unblocked up the middle and the other when rookie Brent Qvale went to double team on the edge, turning his back on a delayed blitz up the middle.

Oday Aboushi started off at right tackle before moving to right guard. He did have one play where he let his man beat him outside. Dakota Dozier played left guard and was beaten three times in pass protection this week, although one of these came as an edge rusher made an inside move on left tackle Ben Ijalana so they both could have been at fault there.

At center, Dalton Freeman was less impressive than last week and was late picking up a rusher on one play. He remains firmly ahead of Caleb Schlauderaff though.

Running Backs

The Jets backfield put together a dynamic first half performance accounting for 107 yards on 15 touches. Chris Johnson looked pretty sharp from the get-go this week, picking up a big gain on a screen and then cutting back superbly on a first down run. You can already get a sense of the change-of-pace dynamic that Chris Ivory looks set to bring this year. He picked up a nice gain on a rare reception, following his blockers down the sideline and almost tightroping his way into the end zone. He also ran for a couple of first downs, including one where he broke a tackle on the edge.

In the second half, the dynamic play continued as Johnson made 19 on a screen pass and then broke a tackle on a 12 yard run. Ivory followed that up with a 17 yard burst, hurdling a defender in the open field. All in all, the two of them racked up 150 yards from scrimmage on 18 touches.

Bilal Powell didn’t play much in the first half, but did pick up a first down on a short yardage direct snap play in the second half.

Tommy Bohanon’s preseason so far has been the opposite of last year. In 2013, he had quite a few negative plays that went unnoticed. This year, he seems to have made some steady improvements to his game that have gone largely unheralded. Here he made a good screen block downfield on Johnson’s reception and led the way on a short yardage conversion off the edge.

Chad Young had a catch well short of a first down on fourth and long and one good blitz pick-up. He’s shown some promise this offseason, but there’s no way he’s ahead of Bohanon in the pecking order.

Aside from his bad drop, Green had two short catches and one carry, totalling 12 yards. Daryl Richardson gained 18 yards on five unremarkable touches.

Receivers

Smith did a good job of spreading the ball around in the first half, hitting seven different receivers. The only player with more than one catch was Amaro, who looked solid with three first half catches, including a first down on a drag route and the short touchdown where he was wide open on a leak-out. Amaro’s blocking has been better than advertised so far this preseason and he had another good downfield block here. However, there are still signs of rawness at times. On one play, he was stood up by his man. Another saw him engage his man too early on a screen pass and get called for offensive pass interference. Finally, he tried to make a seal block on the edge, but let his man elude him and then was lucky not to be called for a hold. In the second half, Amaro made another first down catch over the middle.

Of the three top guys, Decker did fail to come up with a couple of targets but had one nice downfield catch. He did draw two penalties though and then added another short catch and the touchdown once Vick entered in the second half. Kerley just had one short catch in the first half, but did have a bigger gain called back for a hold. Nelson had a meaningless 25-yard gain on the last play of the half. He too drew a flag on one play.

Hill again didn’t show much in the first half. He had one 12 yard catch on a crossing route against zone coverage underneath but couldn’t get any real separation against man coverage with the defender able to disrupt each of his other three targets. He was unable to come up with a deep ball and allowed his defender to recover and break up a quick slant by running what appeared to be a sloppy route. In the second half, his one target – another quick slant – was thrown slightly behind him.

With Hill once again failing to distinguish himself, it was up to the backups to try and make their case, with mixed results. Greg Salas seemed to fare the best with a couple of nice catches – one for a score. Ford struggled with one pass off his hands and another where he came down out of bounds. He was also called for offensive pass interference while blocking for a screen pass although this was an awful call because the defensive player initiated contact. Somewhere in between was Clyde Gates who made a 32-yard catch on a back shoulder throw where he may have got away with a push-off and one shorter catch. He also juggled a catch he could have made on the sideline and failed to come up with a fourth down pass in tight coverage.

Sudfeld was targeted a couple of times in the end zone but couldn’t come down with the ball. He finally made a downfield catch in the second half. Third stringer Chris Pantale drew one penalty in the first half.

Part two will look at the defense and special teams. We’ll be posting this later today.




44 comments
bharper42
bharper42

I don't think ford has it any more.  really not doing much in the return game and isn't doing anything in the receiving game.


Salas, amaro stood out.  salas has to make the team imo.  Sudfeld is a good #3 and project te and I can see him making some plays during the season.


Hill and Wilson are just lost causes.  Wilson doesn't back peddle or use his hips.  he has no technique or fundamentals even and was chasing WR all over the field.  His lack of field awareness because he's in la la land i guess cost him the only play he would make in the interception.


Hill is just bad. can't separate, can't catch, didn't shield the ball on that slant i guess because his route was bad or he just doesn't have the awareness to sense when he should protect the ball or not.  CFL player at best.


salim hakim is a keeper even if it is just for ST.  he's all over the field and like bent said almost broke one.


They looked good, and when was the last time you were having fun watching the jets offense play?  It feels good to say that and that alone imo speaks volumes.


Go jets

__fense
__fense

So what was up with Mangold's snaps? It seemed like he had a hard time with them once Vick was in the game. Did he have issues with it in previous games? Is because Vick is left handed? 

soprano
soprano

I was impressed by Matt Simms. He played well last night. Hope they don't try to stash him on the practice squad in favor of Boyd.


Kyle Wilson is my new most hated jet. Used to be Eric Smith. Wilson is terrible and should be cut.


Still holding out hope for Hill. i don't think Jacoby Ford makes this team, nor do i think he should.


Geno looks good. Better decision making. Offensive line is starting to gel. And how about jace amaro? i'm starting to really like that kid.







Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

Pretty happy with the starting offense last night. A more confident, smarter geno, CJ, Decker, Amaro...good stuff.

Bradysucks, I'll finally concede on Hill. I don't think he should make the team. But that's a lesser concern to me.

bob
bob

You know what I also took away from last nights game there wasnt as many penaltys. I got thinking didnt take long to fix that.

bradysucks
bradysucks

I'd like to see the Jets use Amaro in the slot with Decker and Kerley on the outside. I think that is the best way to utilize the talent they have. Cumby can be the starting TE

bob
bob

The differance is Deckers in the line up makes everybody better. Geno  from what i'm seeing., from the get go, seems to me he allways was very good at taking care of the football.

We have really good running backs now which compisate's for a fair to good offensive line and put the offense in balance a liitle more  This offensive line is good enough however I dont think they can take over a game like the o-line did back in 2009 and 2010.

Chris Johnson owns the edges  he gets around the defense near the sidelines and thats  a different dynamic on the offense this year.

I was thinking that Mangold and D-brick have been all ways  been on the feild we are very lucky great players.

WW85
WW85

Did Enunwa see any action?

hazard2012
hazard2012

Great run down.   The backfield is stacked, and should be poised to break some big one's, especially as D's wear down in the second halves, this season.   Geno looks much more comfortable, and so is his decision-making.   OL seems solid, unspectacular, but up to the job at hand.  


Amaro looks like he's beginning to figure it out, but also that he can have an immediate impact while learning on-the-job.    Jury still out for me re Sudfield...too often he's the TE equivalent of Hill.


Receivers --- beyond Decker and Kerley --- aren't impressing anyone, but some combination of Nelson, Hill, Salas, Gates, Ford etc. etc. might bring enough to the party to be at least sporadic contributors.    Looks like none of the receivers drafted this year will have even a marginal impact this year...very disappointing.    Considering the talent in the draft the Jets passed on that could loom large moving forward.

Jeffrey Richman
Jeffrey Richman

Once again, very disappointed with Stephen Hill. Not to beat a dead horse--but he seems to play like one. That slant pattern that Bent mentions above was a disgrace--he gave up on the route when he saw the safety sitting in the hole. Stephen, you are 6'4"--go fight for the ball for a change! Run the slant and punish the safety. Route problems, desire problems, catching problems. Not seeing the strides forward that you would hope for, and expect, and that Marty has been touting, in year 3 for a guy who has both size and speed. A sad waste of both.

WW85
WW85

Sounds to me like we are a touchdown better than last year at least. Will be a real battle for the 5 & 6 WR spots.

Thanks for the awesome BGA Bent!

Rudibager
Rudibager

I am very very satisfied with what I've seen from Geno so far.  The combo of our running backs is getting me really giddy as well.  I screamed at the TV when Brian Winters was called for the holding, but I guess it's  bit unreasonable to expect perfection.  But man, whenever he does something wrong, it really gets me going.


I noticed a lot of beat writers on twitter shifting VERY quickly from the "Vick NEEDS to start or Rex will be fired" mindset to the "Geno has been so poised and solid this preseason!".


Bunch of phonies.  But whatever.  I'm pumped for the season to start!

WW85
WW85

@bradysucks Pretty cool idea to put Kerley outside & then Amaro as the slot. 

bob
bob

@bradysucks 

I was thinking Kerley is just getting better and better. He maybe a s good as Decker.

hazard2012
hazard2012

@bob


We saw last night how the involvement of the RB's and TE's in the short passing game could be the single-biggest improvement this O will make this year, opening up all other facets of the offense.   It was non-existent last year.  

levi
levi

@bob Im interested to see what Marty does with two TE's when Cumby get healthy. There will be match up problems.

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

I'll be VERY disappointed if Hill makes this team. He is still nowhere close to being a legit NFL WR.

Between the lack of progress in improving technique & lack of explosive/dynamic plays over his career, his ceiling currently appears to be a tall possession receiver with suspect hands that runs poor routes, basically a "poor man's" David Nelson.

bradysucks
bradysucks

The guy seems to have problems running routes and making cuts. He does appear to be making an effort to catch with his hands instead of his body which is good. My feeling is the Jets should cut him but they won't. It appears the front office simply won't admit that Alshon Jeffrey was there for the taking but they are clueless. They took Hill instead despite his invisible production in college. The offensive scouts working for the Jets are challenged intellectually in my opinion when it comes to locating WR talent

bharper42
bharper42

@Rudibager Yeah they're all stupid.  glad i don't twitter it'll just get me upset.  Very happy for geno, and the jets.  I want geno to succeed because i think he really can be a top 10 qb.  he's starting to make the right protections, check downs and progressions, and has that laser arm.  and his run decisions are good as well.


go geno


go jets

__fense
__fense

@Disgruntled Jets Fan It was like someone flipped a switch at halftime. First half, the Refs were great. A few penalties for each side, but ever time the replay showed the refs were right. Then in the second half, every call seemed to go against the Jets, and a lot of them seemed terrible wrong. 

hazard2012
hazard2012

@bob @bradysucks


Kerley's always been good, and reliable.  What he hasn't been is durable. That's one of the reasons I don't like seeing him on ST returning kicks, etc....he's too valuable as a receiver, but Saunders is hurt, who knows with what, and Ford's shown absolutely nothing in any capacity to date.   

bob
bob

@hazard2012 @bob 

Yep its a good feeling to know that the offense is comming together.  The defense wont all ways have to be out on the feild. rest is good.

bob
bob

@levi @bob 

That a very good point Levi.  Amaro did well last night I'm sure thats gonna boost a little confidense in him which is good. and when Cumby comes back thats a huge factor wow we just may be better than advertised.

bradysucks
bradysucks

I think Hill makes the team because there are people in the Jets organization (and among the fan base) who don't live in reality. These folks have an over active imagination. These people don't look at stats or production. Instead they look at combine nonsense such as height and speed. Playing Wide receiver in the NFL isn't as simple as being tall and fast.

bharper42
bharper42

@hazard2012 @bob @bradysucks I agree here and was told to "chill dude" when i was screaming at the screen when I saw Kerley fielding punts.  I mean cmon coaches if he or decker go down there isn't much else behind them.  use your head.  throw ford, gates, hakim, wilson out there.  more or less all expendable.  well wilson is needed if for no other reason because he's a body with experience, and hakim is a budding ST all star.

bob
bob

@hazard2012 @bob @bradysucks 

True maybe this year. Salas to me has gotten bigger and stronger compared to last year. Looks like he put on some muscle.

WW85
WW85

@bradysucks It seems like Gates has outplayed Hill slightly in camp. But it's not like any of the guys fighting for the 6 spot are clearly superior to Hill. I'd still take Gates. I don't think Hill is a "football player"

lamjones
lamjones

@bradysucks  to be fair, it also is as simple as being healthy and having competent QB play.  The "bust or not" argument is the real dead horse, he will be on the team this year and all we can do is hope they get some production out of it.

hazard2012
hazard2012

@bob @hazard2012 @bradysucks


What I like about the O is much the same I like about the D, lots of interchangeable pieces parts, capable of being seamlessly rotated in a Rubic's Cube assortment of morphing schemes and formations.   Should be fun to watch this develop.  

lamjones
lamjones

@WW85 @bradysucks  I won't argue their camp performance, but Gates sure doesn't look like he has NFL hands.  Your point is well made though, is it going to sink the season if we keep Hill over Gates or Ford etc.?

bradysucks
bradysucks

I agree. Hill will be on the team. The Jets are desperate to get a return on their 2nd round pick. It's like a stock that goes down in value and the Jets are praying that stock will go back up. The investment fundamentals aren't there and never were.

bradysucks
bradysucks

Sanjay Lal is the Jets biggest problem. He likes fast receivers and he thinks he can make them good football players. The Jets would be better off with more receivers who are fundamentally sound in their route running like a Decker and Kerley. Neither of those guys are elite in speed but they are fast enough

hazard2012
hazard2012

@lamjones @WW85 @bradysucks


I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter who the last three or four receivers on the depth chart ultimately are.  They're all mediocre, period, with not a breakout talent in the bunch.   This was what I alluded to in my comment above re the Jets apparently having whiffed in their draft of WR's.    

WW85
WW85

@lamjones @WW85 @bradysucks Ford will make the team: Decker Kerley Nelson Ford Salas.  Then Hill, Gates, Hakim, Enunwa, Saqunders battling for the 6 spot. I can't see them going 7, but you never know. Ford is having a good camp & is our best KR right now.

lamjones
lamjones

@bradysucks  Amazon and Facebook figured out how to make money, and the 3rd year switch has come on for other players too.  but I am not buying!

lamjones
lamjones

@WW85 @lamjones @bradysucks  Only thing I'd say is if Saunders is healthy Ford is a little redundant. I think Ford's chances really depend on who Idzik thinks will make it through waivers to the PS.

hazard2012
hazard2012

@WW85 @hazard2012 @lamjones @bradysucks


Four warm bodies with legs and hands would have been an improvement over the receiving corps of last year...but not sure this group is dramatically better.  Decker and Amaro will likely be the difference makers, not the other receivers who've shown us next to nothing thus far.

WW85
WW85

@lamjones @WW85 I dont think Ford is PS allowed. He has outplayed Saunders in camp & with Saunders issues, no way Ford gets cut IMO

lamjones
lamjones

@WW85 @lamjones  No I don't think he is, but if they don't think they can stash Saunders on the PS then Ford might have a problem.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@lamjones @WW85 They won't have to stash Saunders on the P.S, all they would have to do is put him on injured reserve..lol