BGA Extra: Jets at Rams

Bent , TheJetsBlog.com

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. After the jump, I respond to your questions about Sunday’s game against the Rams. 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.

DMike
Question regarding Sanchez’s accuracy on his “good” throws, it seems to me that he rarely hits receivers in stride. This game was thought of as one of Sanchez’s better, yet I thought he still looked rough. On tv, the TD throw to Schilens looked horrible, but Chaz made a heck of a play. Similarly, there was a nice catch to a wide open Kerley, who if hit in stride probably runs for another 10 yards. In my unlearned opinion, it appears that Sanchez is often off the mark (no pun intended), thoughts?

I completely agree, although I may have shied away from saying as much when I wrote BGA because I’ve been jumped all over for making similar comments in the past. The Schilens throw reminded me of that long pass he threw to Antonio Cromartie in the Texans game. Again the receiver had a couple of steps on the field and was running down the seam and still could have made the catch easily even if the pass was thrown too far to the inside. However, he again threw it too close to the sideline. Luckily, Schilens made a good catch, but I’m not sure someone who wasn’t a seasoned receiver (Cromartie for example) would have made it look so easy. Still the throw was good enough, perfectly timed and came off a well executed fake, so I don’t want to criticize too much. I thought each of the three throws he made to Kerley were actually pretty accurate and of course there was the throw to McKnight which may be one of the best passes he’s thrown all year.

SackDance99
I haven’t looked at the replays, yet. But, it looked like the sack that Greene “gave up” was on a 3-step drop where Sanchez held the ball for too long. If it was a 3-step drop, Greene was supposed to cut block, rather than engage. I still think that Sanchez brings a lot of the pressure upon himself by not delivering the ball quickly on 3-step drops and poor pocket awareness when pressured.

You are correct, but Greene still gets a negative grade on that play because although he was supposed to cut Chris Long, he didn’t execute the cut block well enough and allowed Long to clamber over him rather than taking him off his feet. There was another issue with this play though. Clyde Gates and Dustin Keller lined up on opposite sides and just ran straight into each other, colliding over the middle. If either was the primary option, Sanchez was right to eat the ball. His only other option would have been Konrad Reuland in the flat on a pass that could have ended up in a pick six if he underthrew it, or if Long was able to tip it. Blitz recognition and getting rid of the ball is an issue for Sanchez, but I’ll give him a pass on that one.

Shonn Frank
You don’t agree that THIS supporting cast is bad? It is historically bad. None of these guys should be on the roster. Gates? Schilens? Hill simply can not catch-to the point where he is pretending not to even see the ball. Did you see that perfect back shoulder pass that he “lost” in the dome lighting?

Schilens is a guy who always played well when healthy with the Raiders over the last few years and was a starter level player for them. He’s actually played well for the Jets too over the last few weeks if you haven’t noticed. Gates was a guy who was a big part of Miami’s plans last year but doesn’t fit into a West Coast Offense. His skillset is much better suited to the Jets’ system and he’s showed over the last few weeks that he has some potential. Jason Hill was starting for the Jaguars last year and leading them in receiving but he couldn’t earn any playing time ahead of these guys. None of those are good teams, but they are players that were in a similar position on the depth chart on other NFL teams to where they are now with the Jets. Toss in Kerley, who is having a great season and the wide receiver corps really isn’t that bad. Especially when you account for the fact that they also have above average pass receiving skills from the tight end position and that Santonio Holmes would have been available if he didn’t suffer a season-ending injury.

As for losing the ball in the lights, the exact same thing happened to Braylon Edwards once. Remember?

damion
When was the last time Sanchez had back to back good games?

Statistically, the Colts and Pats games just four weeks ago were both pretty good, although he did only pass for 82 yards in the Colts game. That pair of games was the first time he completed over 60% of his passes in consecutive weeks since Week 3 of 2011. He’s been extremely inconsistent since that point – which of course was where the line started to fall apart without Mangold, perhaps damaging his confidence and pocket presence irreparably.

‘NYCPE’inGermany
Imagine if our ST coach didn’t have Westy’s history? He’d have been run out of town by now. I wonder if this irks Westhoff to stay for one more year and not go out on a sour note?

Funnily enough, Bassett has been driving the “Players are tanking so he’ll come back” bandwagon for some time. I attribute it to the fact the Jets have had so many injuries, a lot of the players they are using don’t have the requisite level of preparation.

Disgruntled Jets Fan
I wish the Jets were more aggressive. Rams went for it on fourth and scored. Would the Jets have done the same?

Probably not. Tony Sparano is known for settling for field goals. However, the Jets are six of nine on fourth down this year and I’d argue that a Tebow shotgun sneak is a high percentage play that they should risk if they end up with a key fourth down and short. Surprisingly, the Rams have been VERY aggressive on fourth down under Schotty. 17 attempts leads the league (with 10 successes).

orjetsfan
Some teams are grinders that just try to stay close for the last drive (Steelers). Others are built to score points, keep possession for the offense and keep the suspect defense off the field (Pats). Still others rely on game management on offense and a good defense (49ers, Texans). Seems like we have a little bit of all these styles, especially when we do not have turnovers – your thoughts?

You’ve hit upon a key flaw with this Jets regime. They don’t really have an identity and often some of the things they seem to be trying to achieve are at odds. Over the first few years of the Ryan regime, the Jets leaned on their defense and although the defense (largely due to injuries) is not as good this year, it’s still the strength of the team. It’s the offense that drives the team though. Last season, the Jets scored 24 points twice and went 1-1. They scored more than 24 seven times and won all seven…and less than 24 seven times, losing all seven. This year, a similar pattern is emerging, although they did have a 23-20 win and a 26-29 loss. Both were in overtime and could have gone either way, though.

‘NYCPE’inGermany
You’ve talked a lot about Sanchez’s indecisiveness a lot and there have been some glaring examples of this in past weeks. It does seem though that with this WR corps he’s usually being asked to place the ball in perfect spots because they don’t get much separation and Sanchez just isn’t that accurate. He must know that with a better supporting cast he’d have bigger throwing windows and this must be affecting his confidence and decisiveness (i,e, possibly not trusting Hill even though he seemed open yesterday when he found Reuland), would you agree?

Yes, I do think that Sanchez often hesitates to make throws other quarterbacks would be able to make. I don’t think the problem is necessarily with the supporting cast, since those are throws that other quarterbacks can make and don’t hesitate to throw. You’re asking a lot of any supporting cast to get wide open on every play – sometimes quarterbacks have to complete balls in tight windows. When a defense knows that the quarterback can’t do that, he becomes very easy to defend. Sanchez has made those kind of throws in the past, but his recent play has been inconsistent.

‘NYCPE’inGermany
Bent wrote “As it begins to look increasingly likely he’ll be starting at guard next year, Ducasse is managing to hold his own and it’s encouraging to see them producing with him in the game” … But he’s still a bust, right? I mean, he has to be, because he was drafted in the 2nd round and didn’t produce right away. We all know a Tanny led FO can’t draft to save their lives. Like that bum Wilkerson, what a waste.

This week’s winner of the comment that needs no further comment from me award…

‘NYCPE’inGermany
So who is this #6 guy they signed at the last minute to quarterback the game? What a relief to finally see a touch pass thrown that hits the receiver perfectly in stride and a well placed, well timed and easily catchable screen pass.

Whoever he is, I hope he plays again this week.

JBk
Question with our salary cap going into next season, do you think we can afford to resign Landry at 4 million, Keller, Finley or Davis at about 3 or 4 million, R Bush at 3 or 4 million, A Spencer at 5 million and D Goldson at 4 million? That’s about 21 million on resigning and signing key free agents then pick between Moore or Slauson. Does anybody think this is possible ….remember big money gets free up by cutting Pace, Scott plus Smith and Smith with BT and maybe Po’uha’s money also coming off the books.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s no way the Jets will have that kind of money next season. You’re correct about all those amounts coming off the cap, but the Jets have too many other cap commitments to go on that kind of spending spree in 2013, unless they clear some more space with a major trade or two. This Summer, the media will write about how the Jets are in cap hell and well over the cap and going to have to gut their team. However, the moves you’ve identified, together with some minor restructures and pay cuts will mean that they are below the cap with a little flexibility – but not much – once free agency begins.

You’ve certainly identified some good options. However, the Jets are unlikely to be in the running for more than a couple of the players on this list, so they’ll have to prioritize.

juunit
The team definitely seems to have lost some confidence in Hill. Gates was out there for the first snap of the game wasn’t he? I do wonder if that’s been just another of the things that’s held Sanchez back this year… if Hill is actually getting open, but Sanchez just refuses to throw it to him because he sees it as a lost down. It’s really tough to blame Sanchez for not playing well this season when his only legitimate receiver has been Kerley. Honestly, where the hell has Keller been? And, why does Schilens seem to always be wide open on double moves, but doesn’t get more snaps?

Gates did indeed start and got twice as many reps as Hill. I think anyone would agree that both Gates and Schilens deserve the bump in playing time ahead of him. They should try and get Hill some easy touches this week. Maybe an end around or bubble screen. Anything to get him a little momentum and something to build on. I don’t actually see it as that hard to get open on double moves, since those are things which you pull out just once or twice a game. It’s harder to get open on more basic routes, although Schilens does do that well too and I’ve always liked him, so I wouldn’t have an issue with him getting more reps. Maybe Keller isn’t 100% yet. He has been up and down since his return.

Chris r
Where do our linebackers rank? Seems like they are the weak link. Also, is it Stephen Hill’s hands or he just doesn’t pick up the ball until the last second? I recall another pass in end zone vs the Texans where he didn’t make a play on it was an underthrown ball though.

Per PFF, all the linebackers are grading out really poorly. Calvin Pace is second to last among 3-4 linebackers and David Harris is third to last among inside linebackers. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas also have negative grades. A big part of the negative grades for the inside backers has been missed tackles and that has improved in recent weeks. They combined for 16 in the first four games, but only have five between them since. Among bench players Demario Davis actually has a positive grade, but Garrett McIntyre is the only 3-4 OLB in the league with negative grades for run defense, pass rush AND coverage.

Hill’s technique isn’t exactly perfect, but mostly I think he’s just pressing right now. Still, Sanjay Lal helped turn a couple of guys with high drop rates (Darius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy) into productive big-play threats, so hopefully he is up to the challenge.

westcoastjet
Do you think Bilal would have had more success than Greene if he was the starter? Or did he just benefit from the “softer” defense? I kind of want to see him start. I like his burst and effort.

While I think he definitely benefited from that, there’s only one way to find out and that’s to give him more reps earlier in the game. I like him better than Greene in pass protection, although he had a few missteps this week. That could help the offense be a little more unpredictable when he’s in there. Wanting to see Bilal getting more early reps isn’t necessarily a knock on Greene, either. Maybe he’ll respond better than Bilal did in that closer role.

BleedsGreen&White
Sparano and Sanchez both seemed to get into a groove where they got more confidence off of each other. There were two plays where they rolled Sanchez out and one when they rolled the pocket which impressed me since I haven’t see that in seems like forever. From what you can see on the TV film how did the roll out plays effect the defense and should we expect to see more of this? Also did the previous plays dictate that because while I was watching the game I thought they were perfect calls based on the previous plays.

You can roll out and move the pocket too much because it can lead to your quarterback being under a lot of pressure. It happened in the Raiders game last year, one of the best statistical games of Mark’s career, but one that ended in a loss, partly because he was sacked five times in the second half. On Sunday, they didn’t do this at all until a key third and three in the third quarter where Sanchez rolled out and threw a good pass to Kerley on the outside, and then Sanchez rolled out and gained eight yards off a play-action bootleg. Those plays were probably successful precisely because they didn’t do any of that in the first half. They did also have a couple of rollout plays that the defense were all over (one each for Tebow and Sanchez) though.

a57se
Ricky Sapp looks promising so far, generating pressure even with the QB getting rid of the ball quickly. One thing I noticed, the Jets used their LB’s to rush the passer a lot with Coples and Wilkerson, could you break down the pass rushers by groups, i.e., was there any combo that seemed most effective, least effective, etc.?

Ricky Sapp was used in the dime formation (six DBs) and the Jets generated four pressures while he was in there. Wilkerson and Coples were on the inside with this group and Calvin Pace was on the other edge. They also got two pressures from the base defense and three from the nickel package with Pace and Thomas on the outside and Wilkerson inside with Po’uha, DeVito and Coples (one each). Garrett McIntyre had 17 of his 23 snaps in the fourth quarter and that’s when the Jets starting blitzing a bit more. Six of the seven pressures the Jets had in the fourth quarter were with McIntyre in the game. Initially he was spelling Pace in the nickel package, then the Jets ran some prevent defenses with six and seven defensive backs. Pace and Thomas were across from him in those packages with either Wilkerson or Coples in the middle.