BGA Extra – Bumper Bye Week Extravaganza

Bent ,

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. For the purposes of BGA Extra (but not BGA, since that is too early in the week), I have also reviewed the coaches film, which was available for every play (whereas last year, it was only available for big plays). Statistics from PFF which are not available to subscribers were used in the completion of this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access to these.

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend’s game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn’t able to complete the BGA Extra over the last three weeks, but we’re making up for that now as I respond to your comments from the BGA for each of the last three games.

Jets baby

How much money is Sanchez guaranteed next year? That’s the thing that kills me. I don’t see them replacing him when he makes so much damn money.

He’s guaranteed $8m and that is the ONLY guaranteed money remaining on his deal. Unfortunately, as the Jets become more and more certain he’s not their guy, it becomes less and less likely that another team will trade for him. At the same time, if he plays well enough over the second half that some teams would be interested, then this will also make it difficult for the Jets to feel comfortable with giving up on him. It’s not a totally untradeable contract and there are ways around trading players without all of the guaranteed money passing to the other team, so I don’t think the Jets are totally locked in. The reason he’s still playing? They’re hoping the light bulb will come on and he’ll become a more consistently reliable performer. While that’s looking less and less likely, it’s the outcome they’re hoping for…all because of the money they’ve already invested.


I was wondering if you could discuss Jets performances after playing the Pats under Rex. It seems like we always lay an egg the game following the Pats like the team wears itself out preparing for them and sets itself up for a let down.

I think that’s definitely been a factor in some of their poor performances, but it hasn’t happened every time. Here’s the post-Pats game performances in the Rex era:

2009 – 24-17 win over Tennessee and 17-6 win over Carolina
2010 – 31-23 win in Miami, 10-6 loss to Miami, 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh
2011 – 24-6 win over Miami, 17-13 loss in Denver
2012 – 30-9 loss to Miami

While they’re 4-4, some of those wins were disappointingly flat wins over poor teams. Having said that, flat starts have been going on throughout the Rex Ryan regime and weren’t just restricted to those games following the Pats week.

Some good news: They’re 5-1 in the game AFTER the game after the Pats game, including five wins in a row.


Can you discuss if you saw on the Thomas touchdown did Yeremiah Bell just fly over Thomas without trying to stop him, essentially allowing him to score? Was this a matter of ex-teammates/friends? This does this happen a lot? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this.

No, it may have looked that way, but Bell just overpursued and had to reach back to make the tackle as Thomas did a good job of staying low and turning upfield. This was all about leverage. Put a heavy box down in front of you and you can easily bend down and pick it up. Now try moving it a couple of feet to the side and lifting it without moving your feet. Harder than it looks…especially when the box is moving! I don’t have any concerns about Bell’s commitment and dedication to the team, but I will of course mention it if I start to see any signs indicating otherwise.


What is your take on David Harris this year? He seems invisible to me most of the time. Is he still an above average linebacker?

I think Harris is suffering this year because he’s having to deal with blockers a lot more often. Part of that has been due to the injuries to Sione Po’uha and Bart Scott (and to a lesser extent Kenrick Ellis), who when healthy have done a good job of enabling him to play in space. Harris has been very productive (68 tackles at the halfway point, compared with 84 all year in 2011), but at the same time he has already missed more tackles than he did all of last year. When looking at his $9m per year contract, you need to factor in that this accounts for the fact he only earned $550K in the uncapped year, when it was impossible to extend him due to the 30% and reallocation rules, so really it’s more of a backloaded $7.5m per year deal. Is he underperforming that contract? Yes…but it’s not as bad as it looks and he could still finish the season strong if Scott and Po’uha are healthy over the second half (or if Ellis and Davis step up in a big way).

Roger A. Fortune

I hate how many other sports writers say that Sanchez missed the read on Kerley (the one that he slipped on). Thank you for being one of the first to point it out, although Sanchez should have thrown it away promptly to avoid putting Folk in a bad position

Just to point out that throwing the ball away would have been a disaster because it would have left more time on the clock for the Pats to potentially win the game with a late touchdown. They executed poorly on one of their favorite plays – the rollout to Keller – because the Pats saw it coming and doubled down on the tight end.

F 16

Considering that Brady has kicked our teeth down our throat every time we go into “prevent” defense for the last ten years, why do you think we went into Prevent “D” in regulation? Also, considering that Brady just kicked our teeth in during regulation in order to tie it up with a field goal, why do you think we went into prevent “D” in overtime? Did we not get our teeth kicked in hard enough during regulation for us to make the same mistake all over again? Also why do you think NE was playing so aggressively by blitzing in overtime… I mean what the hell were they trying to do, win the game or something???

Nice rant! However, I wouldn’t necessarily term this as a prevent defense. They merely had their dime personnel in the game to match up with New England’s spread formations on the last drive, which was pretty much consistent with what they did all day. In overtime, they were mostly in nickel. While you make a good point and perhaps a more aggressive defensive series might have yielded different results (they didn’t blitz at all), you have to bear in mind that in each situation a touchdown would have ended the game, so I’m sure that factored into their reluctance to take risks. Also, in their famous playoff win over the Pats, the Jets dropped into coverage all day long and were able to contain Brady, so I don’t think it’s the case that he has ripped apart their prevent every time. On those two drives, Brady completed five passes against rookies who have barely played. Had their personnel been at full strength, maybe this strategy would have been successful.


The guys on Jets post game live said that Sanchez did not, at all, look off any defenders and throughout the entire game locked on one receiver from the get go. Obviously that was not the case on the pick as he pumped left and came back right but was that statement accurate otherwise?

I tend to find that the guys on these postgame shows often make generalizations all the time which are proven not to be true once you go back and watch the footage in detail. Maybe that’s something he didn’t do enough of and there are certainly clear examples of him locking onto his guy, but to say he never went to his second read would be a major oversimplification.


Could you provide a little more detail on the 3rd and 1 Chaz Schilens incompletion in the red zone that led to a field goal? Not sure if the throw should have been better (ie higher, lower, more in front, more behind, too hard, too soft), if Schilens dropped it, if the defender got a piece or a combo of some and/or all of these things? In retrospect everyone (including myself) is saying they should have run or used Tebow but I thought that connection should have been made.

Schilens definitely was open with the defender on his back, but Sanchez’s throw was half a beat late and thrown out in front of the receiver rather than right at his numbers. Schilens may have expected the pass to come right to him because of the separation he got at the line and had to try to reach for the ball with the defender draped all over him rather than being able to “box out” the defender. This could easily have been called pass interference, but should have been completed anyway. I’d have liked to see a run too, especially since they were running well on that drive, but it’s worth noting that it was actually closer to 3rd and two than 3rd and one.


Can you tell me what’s up with Ricky Sapp?

Sapp is reportedly healthy and has been doing a good job with the Scout Team. He might have been activated earlier in the year, but DE/OLB is the one position where the Jets have been relatively healthy and they’ve constantly needed active roster spots for their reserves to fill in for temporarily inactive players. With Bilal Powell and Kenrick Ellis set to return to the lineup, there may at last be room for him but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to earn any playing time ahead of the disappointing Aaron Maybin and Garrett McIntyre.


Would you please break down the times the Jets blitzed Brady and how effective they were?

According to PFF, the Jets blitzed Brady seven times and he was 4-for-7 for 52 yards and a touchdown. That was the Gronkowski play where he was hit as he threw and lofted the ball to the back of the end zone.


Simms kept mentioning the Jets inability to run a successful screen (as opposed to the Pats). The success of this type of play seems to be the result of practice, repetitions and recognition of the defense you are playing. When it works, it seems like a very simple pass; perfect for Sanchez. Any theory on why they suck at this fundamental but good to move the chains play?

Sanchez was actually becoming pretty good at the screen pass based on my most recent analysis but now seems to be a good time to revisit their numbers on screen passes so far this year. Sanchez is 10-for-18 with 92 yards and a pick, much worse than last year. The reasons are the same reasons he was struggling in the past: Defenses are anticipating it because they’re calling it at the wrong times or failing to disguise it well enough and the execution has been poor, whether that be one missed block downfield, Austin Howard letting his man get to Sanchez too quickly so he’s off-balance when he throws the pass (which has happened a handful of times) or Sanchez’s ball placement letting him down. Sanchez has shown he can be successful with this play though, so it’s not all on him.


Can you comment on how Q. Coples did as compared to Chandler Jones?

Give credit to D’Brickashaw Ferguson, because Jones was held to just two pressures on 49 pass rush attempts, easily the least productive pass rushing performance of his career so far. Coples, in 72 snaps (easily a career high), had four pressures. They both had minimal impact against the run, with two solo tackles each. Jones has been by far the more productive player of the two, although he has played more as a 4-3 DE which means it’s not really fair to make a direct comparison. On this day, however, Coples was the more disruptive of the two.


On Gronk’s first TD, It looked to me like there was a little juggling going on and the ball clearly touched the ground when he landed? Clearly they ruled he already had possession. Thoughts?

Remembering that it’s okay for the ball to hit the ground as long as the receiver has established control, I don’t think there was much chance of that getting overturned. I think LaRon Landry could have knocked it down if he had tried to bat it with his right hand instead of his left though.

Ghost On

I read somewhere that the Patriots got help from the home clock on that fumble recovery. Play stopped at 2:01, should it have stopped under two minutes? While blown/missed calls from refs suck, it’s part of the game. Gifting the Pats an extra timeout is truly egregious, however, so I hope that isn’t true…

The league admitted that there was a mistake, although they cleared the Patriots of any deliberate intervention. In real time it probably would have been difficult for a scoreboard operator to have the foresight to realize he could gain an advantage for the home team anyway. Again, though, it could have been avoided if one of the Jets coaches had noticed at the time.


My question is something that Bill Barnwell noted over at Grantland, where he said that on the game ending sack/fumble, one of the Pats linemen should have been flagged for a “Brady Rule” violation, for tripping Sanchez while on the ground. Did you see this too, and is it another bad call that we should feel rotten about?

Note that it’s called the Brady Rule, not the Sanchez rule. I can’t see the Jets benefiting from that call in New England. Obviously Barnwell has a point.


How bad really was the officiating? It seemed like a ghost PI call, the clock stoppage and the “Brady rule” non call all seemed suspect. Oh, and the Allen facemask (ruled to be before the kick). Also, can Trufant be the answer to those shifty slot receivers that usually kill us?

Sure, a few calls hurt them, but they should have won in spite of these (other than the one which ended the game). For what it’s worth, the Allen/Woodhead penalty (erroneously called on Bellore) was definitely after the kick. Again, I’d imagine that’s reviewable. It did cost the Jets 27 yards ultimately, but they were still able to drive for a late field goal. As for Trufant, we’ll see. He got some playing time against Miami and seemed to do okay – they have to be wary of him ending up on someone bigger though, because teams will exploit that.


I was wondering…how many offensive plays did the Patriots get yesterday? And the Jets?

The Jets lined up 84 times and New England 80. Obviously that includes some plays that were negated due to penalties. It does not include special teams plays.


Do you think that the Jets moving Vlad into rotation is the precursor to them letting Slauson go at the end of the season?

Not necessarily. Maybe Ducasse and Slauson will be the starters next year. Slauson could be better suited to right guard which is usually a less demanding position in terms of pass protection (although with Howard on the right and Ferguson on the left, maybe that’s not the case).


Did you notice the O-line play more zone this week (against the Colts)? If they did that’ll be great news. It would mean the team can run behind that scheme.

They were pretty much running the same plays they’ve been running all season. That’s even better news because it means the system is starting to work. Having to change the scheme to get it working would have been a backwards step, even if it was initially successful.


Coples playing inside vs. outside… thoughts? I think he’s much more effective over guards and the center.

First off, let’s break down his snaps so far:

4-3 DE – 116
4-3 DT – 29
3-4 DE – 142
3-4 NT – 17

So, the analysis would really depend on whether you consider 3-4 DE to be an inside position. However, I can split out who he was matched up against when he made a positive or negative play. This is an inexact science because obviously he would sometimes stunt so he might line up outside and end up being blocked by someone on the inside or vice versa. He has one sack, one hit and three pressures against interior linemen, two hits and four pressures (but no sacks) against tackles and one sack and three pressures when unblocked or due to coverage. He does grade out slightly better against interior linemen.

Kevin T

Has Aaron Berry seen the field thus far? Do you see him being worked into the rotation in the near future? Also, what have the jets been doing differently without Revis in there? Or are they just making Cromartie the new Revis, Wilson the new Cro etc…

Berry has only seen action on special teams. It’s difficult to generalize about the Jets’ coverages because they mix them up so much anyway when Revis is in there. However, it does seem like they are leaning on zone coverages quite a lot, including sometimes with Cromartie playing zone. They did the same with Revis at times too, though.


I’m curious about Maybin’s penalty on Cro’s interception. you wrote that it was for a block in the back, but in his presser Rex indicated that it was for giving him the business, which I took to mean that he was celebrating right in Luck’s face. Did you see any of this? To me it didn’t look like a penalty at all. I thought that Maybin hit him clean. What do you think?

For once the totally overrated (IMO) all-22 footage provides us with a clear answer here. Maybin nailed Luck with a totally unnecessary pancake block as Luck had no chance of making the tackle AND then landed on him and appeared to talk trash to him while he was on the floor. The block itself was clean, but quarterbacks are, by rule, considered defenseless players on turnovers, so the unnecessary roughness call was technically (and probably morally) correct.


Hopefully things should return to normal for the second half of the season, so I’ll be back on Monday with BGA from the Seattle game and Wednesday with the BGA Extra. Thanks for your patience and support.