BGA Extra: Dolphins at Jets

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend’s game by responding to your questions from Bent’s Game Analysis during the week. After the jump, I respond to your questions about the loss to the Dolphins. 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.

GhostofBrowningNagle •
On what % of plays, if any, did we press at least one Dolphins receiver at the line?

This is very difficult to define. PFF tracks “press coverage” but only in terms of whether the cornerback is a yard off the receiver at the snap and without regard to whether or not the cornerback makes contact with the receiver, which I assume is what you’re mostly interested in.

Let’s limit this to the cornerbacks, although two safeties (Landry and Jarrett) both pressed at the line on fourth and goal from the one. Obviously you can’t play off in that situation.

While the Jets did line up in press coverage quite a lot, they often backed off just before the snap and usually did not make any attempt to make contact at the snap. Ellis Lankster was literally the only cornerback to proactively jam a receiver at the line. Kyle Wilson didn’t jam his man at the line but did make contact within five yards to slow them down on a couple of occasions. Darrin Walls was only in for a couple of plays and just turned and ran with the receiver each time. Dee Milliner tried to slow the runner at the line on a couple of plays, one of which was the fourth down pass where he didn’t get a clean jam and the receiver got behind him, but he tracked the ball and recovered to break it up. Antonio Cromartie stopped Mike Wallace at the sticks on a third and three play but otherwise only made contact at the snap on a couple of occasions, both of them off the line.

GhostofBrowningNagle •
What percentage of fumbles have we recovered so far this season (either ours or the other teams)? I feel like I’m constantly griping about teams getting fortunate bounces that the Jets never get.

Your frustration is justified. They are dead last in takeaway recovery percentage at 13% with the next lowest being 36%. They’re in the middle of the pack (18th) for giveaway percentage, but that’s still enough to place them dead last overall.

In addition, they had a perfectly good fumble recovery overturned by a premature whistle in this week’s game. They had another perfectly good fumble recovery chalked off because of a bad call when they’d used up all their challenges in the first Bills game and then you had the Edelman and Hill incidents in the first Pats game which were identical but somehow both went against the Jets.

MaynardFan •
Does David Nelson score on the pass he dropped? And who’s fault was the Bilal Powell fumble? Matt’s comments after the game seem to eliminate the chance that it was a read option, so shouldn’t the runner secure the ball? Seems to me both are examples of balls placed right into the gut of each player…what else can Simms do? Matt’s results sure would look better, if both players had held the ball.

As noted in the original BGA, I lean towards the fumble being Powell’s fault, although their unfamiliarity with one another no doubt contributed. Nelson wouldn’t have scored on that one, unless the safety whiffed on a tackle at about the seven yard line, but he might have scored on an earlier catch if he cut back the other way.

1/12/69-OrangeBowl •
It seems that if you look at the numbers, Geno’s downward spiral started after the Saints game (and even his stats in the Saints win was pretty bad…but no picks)…..8 of 19, 8 of 23, 9 of 22, 4 of 10 (first half). It’s easy to just say he sucks, stinks, or is a bust. The question is why? How did he go from such promise in the beginning to barely serviceable NFL QB? What do you see in the BGAs that account for the sudden drop?

If it were that easy to pinpoint, the team would have fixed it by now. I think the team lost a couple of games because he threw some late game interceptions and then tried to engineer a situation where the offense could still operate while still preventing that from happening again. Unfortunately, things slowly eroded to the point where Smith lost confidence in himself and his receivers, his receivers and coaches lost faith in him and the offensive gameplan just ended up being one dimensional and predictable.

The last vestiges of hope are that Jeremy Kerley’s return will make a big difference. Smith has missed him, but I fear that’s merely contributed to his overall loss of confidence which may be irredeemable in the short term.

McGeorge •
On Gang Green Nation one of their writers offered a comment – with the Jets taking Sheldon Richardson, he said that sort of displaced Coples, and caused Coples to lose value. Whats your opinion?

I can see why that might be a consideration, but I can confirm that the Jets had already decided to move Coples to rush linebacker BEFORE the draft. In fact, they’d already decided that before they re-signed Calvin Pace a couple of weeks before the draft. So, no, that’s not what happened.

Has Coples lost value? Not if he continues to produce like he has over the last four games. He has 18 total pressures over four games. That extrapolates to 72 over a full season. The list of players with more than 72 total pressures last season? Von Miller, JJ Watt, Cameron Wake, Charles Johnson, Chris Long, Jared Allen. That’s the list. Edge rushers tend to have more value than interior linemen too and Coples has also been solid against the run.

juunit •
They really seemed to target Cromartie with those screens. Do you think that’s accurate? Also, they really pushed the envelope with their blocking on those passes. Do you think there was more than just the one play that deserved an offensive pass interference call?

Yes, that was an obvious facet of their early gameplan and something to which the Jets didn’t really adjust until after that first drive. The play before the one which got overturned (a six yard gain) was BLATANT offensive pass interference when you consider the rulebook specifically forbids “Blocking downfield by an offensive player prior to the ball being touched” as you can see below.

It sticks in the craw that the Jets ran one and it picked up a first down but Colon was called for a block in the back which was unfortunate.

MrM •
Is there a logical reason why we are not jamming receivers on the line and letting them slant under us for a 3-5 yard gain every down?

Yes. The guys currently getting reps aren’t very good at it.

MrM •
Also, What was Tannehill’s release time on his passes. I feel like everyone we play just fires out the ball as soon as they get it to ignore our rush.

I mentioned this in the article, but Tannehill is already among the leader leaders for shortest time to throw and reduced this by 0.2 seconds to a league lowest 2.17 seconds this week. He threw it within 2.5 seconds 70% of the time.

a57se •
How frustrating is it to watch Winters every week lying in the dirt? How frustrating is it that none of the imbecile beat writers ask about why Winters is still playing?

Pretty frustrating. I can’t lie. The beat writers seem to be catching on at last.

Jeff •
I remember thinking that it couldn’t be any worse than Adrien Clarke playing inside. Though here comes Brian Winters. He is like a black hole of ineptitude. His awfulness brings down two All-Pros beside him. Its unbelievable how bad he is faring. There is no way the Ducasse would be playing this bad. At least Ducasse was able to win his individual matchups. Sure he might have had a penalty or two, a game. I still think he would be holding his own in the crossfire.

In my opinion, Idzik might be trying to save-face by having all his picks either starting or on the active roster. It’s the only way to explain Campbell and Oboushi still on the roster, or Winter, Milliner, Smith starting.

I hope Winters shows something for me to instill hope, though its few and far between. I am surprised they are not bringing him along slowly a la Ducasse/Slauson instead of trial by fire for the detriment of everybody.

Would like to know your opinion on him starting vs playing a jumbo/reserve role that we have done with all our other project linemen.

The difference from the Slauson/Ducasse situations is that they don’t feel as comfortable with the other starter options so presumably they figure it’s not enough of an upgrade and they might as well just let the new guy take his lumps. Another issue is that it’s hard to find jumbo package reps for a young lineman when Mornhinweg (who doesn’t use the jumbo package other than in short yardage situations) is your coordinator.

Why they never even considered a rotational time-share after using one all of last year is beyond me.

‘NYCPE’inGermany •
Is [the confounding series of personnel decisions] the coaches though or does this seem to be some kind of decree from above? I don’t have any evidence that it comes from Idzik or elsewhere, but find it hard to believe that the entire offensive coaching staff doesn’t see what winters is when we all do. Would Idzik care that much about starting his 3rd round pick? Could he really think it’s so helpful for the future to be letting Winters flounder, that he essentially throws this season away?

If it is Idzik (and I don’t know if it is or isn’t), then I don’t think Winters playing badly makes his draft look better. In fact, if Winters was sitting on the bench and maybe getting some jumbo reps or a series here and there in garbage time, people would probably be saying he should be getting more run.

By-Tor •
Is it possible for one guy to torpedo the whole line and the offense? Surely other teams have a guy or two that are equally terrible. How do other teams adjust for such suckitude?

The whole line? Yes. The whole offense? No…unless your quarterback can’t cope with the added pressure and the less-effective running game. Other teams adjust for this with better quarterback play. Having said that, of the six teams with a guard who grades out worse than Brian Winters, the Jets have a better record than all of them apart from Arizona.

Greggreen •
Can I still dream of the team resigning Ducasse to replace Colon next season? Colon gives up his fair share of penalties so the transition should be easy. I can see Winters getting better with a full offseason but Colon is just gonna get older. with Ducasse as the RG and a improved Winters we would have a young core of guards for the next 5 years at least. That’s the plan right?….. right? [Goes into the corner and cries]

That sounds like more of a nightmare than a dream. Colon’s play this year has been somewhat under-appreciated for my money. Yes, he has 11 penalties, but he’s always had high penalty numbers in the past and still performed well. He actually grades out as the NFL’s 5th best guard in pass protection this year, which is impressive when you consider that Nick Mangold has to help Winters a lot.

I assume the organization has already decided to move on from Ducasse.

a57se •
Would you classify those two balls that went off of Powell’s hands as drops?

No, that’s why I referred to them as passes that went off his hands rather than drops.

Brendan •
Does anyone have any earthly idea why Powell continues to start and get more snaps than Ivory? Is Ivory that hurt? Because he runs like there’s a brick wall in front of him and he won’t be allowed to eat until he smashes his way through it. Powell slithers his way to 3-4 yards a pop, Ivory leaves devastation in his wake.

It’s presumably because his primary role is to run the football and when they fall behind (which keeps happening), they have to pass more.

a57se •
How many drops does David Nelson have?

Two in 37 targets, although he’s had one each of the last two weeks.

Lam Jones •
On one of Geno’s throws to Nelson on a 3rd down towards the end of the second quarter, he threw an out while Nelson cut in; will we ever know which one was correct?

Nope.

Lam Jones •
Other commenters have said it better than I have, but where is the creativity? Marty and Rex (and David Lee) have all the experience and knowledge anyone could expect from a coaching staff, yet they can’t get the ball to anyone consistently. How many bad QBs have been involved in Josh Gordon’s 47 targets and 29 catches over the last three games? I bet they all were perfect passes with long and precise patterns that required perfect timing (sarcasm).

The creativity was pretty good earlier in the year. Maybe they just had to simplify things. Who knows, maybe some of the passes that fell incomplete would have been elaborate hook-and-ladder type plays and some of the immediate sacks would have been revolutionary late-developing complex route patterns.

DarrolRayFanClub •
How much of the playing time decision is MM and if it is typically their call, how often do most HCs overrule their coordinators?

No idea. I’d assume he gets directives from “way above him” like the offensive line coach was complaining about last year. To answer your question, it varies from team to team. I bet someone like Andy Reid calls all the shots, but whether Marty has more or less autonomy now is tough to assess.

a57se •
I wonder if you can tell how many holding calls should have been called on the Dolphins. I saw at least three watching the broadcast.

I didn’t think it was that egregious compared to some of the other games. Yes, Richardson was held in a chinlock on one play and Wilkerson was blatantly held on the play that set up the first touchdown, but I didn’t see too many other obvious ones. There were some costly calls though. Had they called the blatant block in the back on Geno’s first interception, then Miami probably ends up 3-0 ahead instead of 6-0 at half time. The missed hold on Wilkerson came one play after the Simms/Powell fumble and one play before the first touchdown so that was big. Let’s not forget that they missed an obvious defensive hold on Cumberland in the end zone too. Not saying that these overturn the result, but they could be considered as the difference between a blowout and a competitive game.

Richardson91 •
Now that playoff dreams are dashed the rest of the season will be about building for the future. One item that wont be addressed on the field under Rex is a potential switch to a true 4-3 base with a new staff. Obviously I am a huge fan of Richardson but his pick becomes redundant. In a 4-3 how do our two best defenders, Richardson and Wilkerson, line up?

Wherever the hell they want to! The Jets already play plenty of 4-3 and each of them have lined up at any of the four positions and been equally effective against the run and pass wherever they played.

a57se •
Did the Dolphins expose a weakness in the Jets run Defense as a lot of their best runs were using speed to get to the edge?

No. The Jets are very good at setting the edge and they proved it in this game. Miami did turn the corner for a 17-yard gain, but only because Wilkerson was held. Other than that, they gained 12 yards on eight outside runs.

Brendan •
Do you think the fact that they’re using Coples on the interior a handful of plays the past few weeks is indicative of Coples’ mastering the defense? Or is it just a little wrinkle they’re doing to mix things up?

My working theory is simply that this is what they always intended to do with him, but they kept him out of the trenches for a few weeks because they didn’t want him in there until his ankle was 100%.

1/12/69-OrangeBowl •
After watching the Broncos/Chiefs game as well as some other games;and what playmakers are actually accomplishing…I need to ask myself: Is our team still in the NFL?

Just about, although it’s lucky there’s no relegation in the NFL.

stanleybostitch •
For BGA Extra, would like your opinion on just how far away this team is…does an adequate QB solve all problems, or is it the entire offense, including skill players & coordinator? Can our secondary be saved, or is a reboot required? Though maybe this type of analysis is best left for the off season…though in some ways our off season begins now.

How far away from what though? From making the postseason? I’d say mild competence from the quarterback position and a healthy Cromartie would have comfortably been enough to get them there. I do feel they are further away from being a Super Bowl contender than they were a couple of years ago and, although those teams had flaws, I think they had enough of a nucleus in place to contend for a few years. Now, they need to upgrade several positions, but they will have a bunch of draft picks and plenty of cap room with which to do that.

Tk •
You mention blowing up the team and the same thought crossed my mind yesterday. As far as movable pieces, the only ones I could think of on offense w/ any value would be Brick and Mangold. Could you see the Jets moving them? If so, what could we realistically expect in return?

I don’t see either being moved and don’t really like the idea, but for an alternative opinion, here’s Jason from NYJetsCap’s thoughts. I reckon you’re looking at a high pick for either of them but maybe not a first rounder when you take into account their age and salary.

NYCPE’inGermany •
“It seems like the organization thinks it has bigger fish to fry…” pun intended I assume?

Always.

a57se •
Isn’t one of the tenets of playing a Cover Two that your CB’s PRESS at the LOS? They have to disrupt routes immediately or they will get nickel and dimed to death like Tannehill was doing in the first half yesterday. As I noted in another thread, Rex said that players weren’t doing what the coaches told them to do in reference to the defense and I think he may be referring to his corners not pressing at the line and giving too big of a cushion, any thoughts on this?

Cover two does afford you the opportunity to do that, but it varies from team to team. As I noted, some of the Jets personnel are perhaps not comfortable with jamming at the line and I’ve mentioned before my concern that there could be a disconnect between the DB coaches and Rex/DT so suggestions like this just fuel that paranoia.

a57se •
Did Quigley out kick his coverage because he kicked a bomb or because the coverage unit sucks?

I lean towards the latter. His gross average was only 45.1. What’s striking is the gap between the gunners and the second wave. Either the gunners are getting down there extra-ordinarily fast or the second wave is too slow to get down there as a group. Again, I lean towards the latter.

a57se •
I watch other teams play and they have quite a number of starters on their special teams yet the Jets don’t seem to have too many on ST’s, is this something I’m just not seeing clearly? Doesn’t Idzik have to bear the brunt for some of the ST woes as the bottom of the roster is being held hostage by his draft picks?

Again, this is something that varies from team to team. I’d say that most teams only have a couple of starters, if any, on their coverage units.

Your perspective may become skewed as we enter December because that’s when you’ll see more starters on special teams, for three reasons. One is that teams will try and bolster those units with more athletic and talented players when they have a crucial game. Another is that they’re prepared to take the risk of losing them to injury because the season is over anyway if they lose. Finally, injuries pile up and teams have their inactive list filled up with players who can’t contribute. The Jets have avoided that so far, because they’ve never had more than a couple of ongoing injuries at a time (most of the rest being season-enders). So, “wasting” three inactive spots hasn’t hurt them so far, but at the same time, Idzik could be criticized for the standard of the personnel. Typically, the coaching staff make those decisions at the bottom end of the roster, but I’ve heard it suggested that Ben Kotwica has less pull than Mike Westhoff did.

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That’s it for this week. Thank you for your great questions and comments. I’ll be back to preview the Dolphins game on Sunday morning.

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