BGA Extra: Chargers at Jets

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 also review 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. After the jump, I respond to your questions about Sunday’s game against the Chargers. If you would like your questions answered in future, remember to read my BGA game breakdowns every Monday and leave your question in the comments section.

Would you break down McElroys’ throws of less then ten yards and more then ten yards? Compare his accuracy on both.

He was 3-for-8 for 40 yards on throws beyond ten yards and threw one away, which means he was 11-for-15 on shorter passes. That included 5-for-5 over the middle and 3-for-4 on screen passes.

He really didn’t throw downfield until late in the first half, missing a wide open Edwards, who failed to make a diving catch. Prior to that he had misfired on two shorter passes – an overthrown out pattern to Edwards and a quick slant thrown high and inside to Kerley.

In the third quarter, he overthrew another quick out to Reuland and the ball that Hilliard dropped could have been delivered a bit higher. His last throw of the third quarter was a bad overthrow that was picked off. In the fourth, the timing was off on a wide throw, but his only really bad pass was his last throw where he didn’t see a linebacker coming across and almost got picked off.

On the throws that he did complete, he generally hit guys in stride and his ball placement was pretty solid.

Why were there no more screens after the one that was so successful? McElroy at least seemed to have some touch on the short throws that Sanchez lacks. Blitzing/aggressive pass rush is high-risk, high reward, but Jets never seem to make it risky for other teams. Surely, they knew SD was coming after the QB. Why not make them pay?

The simple answer is that they were keeping a lot of people close to the line of scrimmage and daring McElroy to beat them downfield. Later on, the defense backed off and kept everything in front of them, so they may have been able to pick up some chunks of yardage, although there would have been plenty of people behind the ball to limit this. They did actually throw four screen passes, netting 56 yards – the one to Greene, the throwback to Smith, a ten-yarder to Powell and the dump off into the flat that Hilliard dropped. He did look better than Sanchez throwing those passes.

With regards to Hayden Smith, do you think his blocking was good enough to warrant more playing time (if there was a enough of a sample size to determine from this game)? I was encouraged to see both his catch and the box out that you illustrated, and am just curious as to how the other half of his role as a tight-end is developing.

He was only in on three plays, running a route on all of them! However, I’ll refer you back to what I said about him a few weeks ago in BGA: “Hayden Smith saw his first meaningful action, getting in on 10 snaps. He didn’t really do anything wrong, although I still sensed a slight hesitancy at times. However, once he locked onto a block, he seemed capable of holding his ground. If he can continue to get more comfortable, there’s signs that he could harness the leverage techniques that will come naturally to him as a rugby player and turn himself into a competent blocker.”

Honest opinion, how many of the sacks do you think were due to McElroy:
A) Not knowing where the pressure was and being surprised by it?
B) Not reading the field properly and missing wide open receivers?
C) Playing it safe trying to be the anti-Sanchez when it came to turnovers?

And how many were just typical OL breakdowns that any QB would have been sacked?

Basically, do you think an average QB with experience gets sacked 11 times yesterday? 5? Somewhere in the middle?

Great, so you’re making me watch these yet again? Note: Unfortunately has not yet made the coaches film available, so I’m limited in terms of what I can see here.

1. Can’t really fault McElroy here, as it was third and nine and Powell was driven back into him with nowhere to escape to before any of the receivers had got to the marker or started to make their breaks.

2. He could have dumped this one off over the middle, but Moore was driven into him almost immediately. It looked like he could have got this throw away, but was reluctant due to pressure that was headed his way. This didn’t happen until the middle of the 2nd quarter, so McElroy actually took 10 sacks in two and a half quarters. (B/C)

3. A blitzer came free up the middle almost immediately and he actually did well to avoid that and almost get back to the line of scrimmage.

4. Here was a play where he stared down his primary read and missed an open receiver on the left. You can’t see it on the screen but Schilens’ man was backpedalling and would have been at the 35 yard line, so that should have been a simple 7-8 yard gain at worst. One safety was blitzing off the left edge, so the other safety would have been in the middle of the field and that’s obviously why Schilens’ man was playing off him. Also, if McElroy anticipated the pressure better, he could have escaped the rush by rolling left. (A/B)

5. On this one, McElroy was looking to throw the ball down the right seam and initially stepped up in the pocket, but then ran out of time. Again, he could have made yardage if he’d taken off to his left. I’d also be interested to see on the coaches film whether Edwards got any separation down the left sideline because McElroy never looked that way. As you can see, he was limited in terms of short options, but could have tried to zip it in to Kerley or Schilens or easily thrown it at their feet or over Powell’s head. (A/C)

6. He probably could have dumped this off to Greene, but the pressure came up on him at the crucial moment, just before Greene’s head was turned back for the ball. This was an example of where he took off and ran right into another defender, but on this occasion, it did look like his best escape route, so he can’t take too much blame for that. (B/C)

7. This was 3rd and 16 and again McElroy was waiting for the receivers to get beyond the marker and ran out of time. On this occasion he was looking left and could have escaped the rush if he slid to the right. (A)

8. McElroy was looking left and the ball was stripped out of his hand just as he was about to get rid of the ball. For what it’s worth, I think it might have been a risky throw because there was a safety in the area. He could have easily dumped the ball off into the flat for a short gain, but by that stage they were trying to go downfield. (A)

9. He had plenty of time here and could have scrambled for maybe 10 yards, but didn’t sense the pressure in time and tried to take off too late. The playcalling wasn’t exactly helping by having routes that take a while to develop rather than some easy underneath stuff. (A)

10. Although it was third and 13, it was four down territory at that stage and the obvious play was a checkdown to Powell for an easy 8-10 yards to give yourselves a manageable fourth down. McElroy should have stepped up sooner and got this pass away, but took a beat too long and the right end got a hand on him, flushing him from the pocket so he was chased down from behind. (B)

11. On fourth and 19, the Jets again ran everyone deep so they needed time for the routes to develop. McElroy stepped up to avoid the initial pressure, but had plenty of room to slide to his right and keep the play alive a little longer. (A)

I think a quarterback with better pocket presence would have only been sacked three or four times. A Roethlisberger, Manning or Brady maybe even just twice. Even with someone like Sanchez, the sack total would have been a lot lower, but he probably would have had a couple more turnovers based on his recent play.

In order of importance, what are the top 3 things you do if you are running this club?

Now that’s a tough question. Only three? In the past, the team has often got rid of players and coaches sooner than I would have liked, but these decisions have often turned out to be correct. Still, I do value continuity so that would factor into my thinking in terms of the coaching staff and offensive line. The main other things that must happen this offseason are to clear out the dead wood (including doing everything you can to trade Sanchez and Tebow – for cap reasons, not value) and to NOT go crazy spending a lot of money or pushing too many cap commitments into future years. Is that three? If not, I’d get the Revis extension done without allowing the negotiations to be carried on within the media. Order of importance is irrelevant, because these are all things which must happen.

Miami Jet Fan
How hard has it been to write these BGA’s as this season has progressed? I enjoyed reading them but always wondered how you keep doing it the more we circled the drain.

I’m always of the mindset that I’m going to do my job to the best of my ability no matter how bleak things look. I’d like to think everyone on the team feels the same. When they’re struggling, it’s always a challenge, but at the same time I learn new things so that makes it more interesting.

I noticed Coples got pretty limited snaps again. Do you think we’re going to keep Devito? I think it’s unlikely we do and I feel he’s hindering Coples’ progress against the running game. We’re out of the playoffs. Isn’t it trial by fire time?

It’s a thought. Clearly the Jets value DeVito’s run-stopping more than Coples’ at the moment, but may be more inclined to experiment a bit this week. I really hope DeVito returns, because he’s still a very good player. If the Jets aren’t happy with Po’uha’s back, I wonder if they’d even consider letting Po’uha go and using the money saved to pay DeVito.

Is it possible to get Brian Xanders in as a GM? If so do you think he’d keep Rex? Who might he bring in if not? Also, I’ve read reports were giving Tebow to Jacksonville. What’s not defined is are we releasing him or trading him? I thought he was under contract through 2013 season?

Xanders is available, but the reason he left the Broncos was reportedly because he wanted to be making all the decisions, not sharing responsibility with Elway. He’s well-respected and experienced, but I’m not sure he fits the profile of someone who will want this job if the reports are true that Ryan and Tannenbaum will remain with the organization. No idea who he’d want to bring aboard if he wanted his own guys in.

Tebow is indeed under contract for next year and the Jets would definitely rather trade him because that will get them off the hook for an additional $1.5m as opposed to cutting him – unless the Jags picked him up via waivers.

Walls looked interesting. Who was playing in the slot?

Walls only played one snap in the slot. With Lankster out, Wilson reverted to his old slot role when the Jets had three cornerbacks in the game (20 snaps). Bell, Landry and Cromartie each had a handful of snaps in the slot too.

I’ll be back on Sunday with the BGA Preview for the Bills game. Seasons Greetings to all TJB readers!