Florham Park, N.J.– For those of you who have never heard of the All-22 tape, or those that have heard of it but still aren’t sure exactly what it is, allow me explain and briefly shill for the NFL game rewind subscription. The All-22 tape, also known as the coaches tape, is basically like watching from the press box except you get two different angles and you can pause, rewind, skip plays and if you have an iPad and the Game Rewind app you can even draw with a telestrator just like they do on the broadcasts or you often see as plays get broken down on any number of ESPN shows. If you enjoy watching entire plays develop and being able to focus on any one player, I’d strongly consider purchasing a subscription which you can do here.
If however this doesn’t interest you, have no fear I have purchased the subscription and every week we will be providing a breakdown of the All-22 tape. We’ll shoot for Tuesday or Wednesday to post these articles, but truthfully I simply had too much fun playing with this new toy, it took me over three and a half hours to watch the first half of the game, simply because I was having too much fun rewatching plays and playing with the telestrator. The telestrator allows you to save images which can be tweeted or used in articles, I’m still getting a feel for it so I will skip posting pictures this time around, but you can expect to see the pictures in future articles.
The regular television feed is limited in what you can see, not the All-22. You can see each and every player on the field and this helps identify where things went right or where they went wrong. There’s still a lot that we can’t know from watching the tape such as, assignments, coverages, which designed routes were called, but aside from sitting in the film room with coaches and players this is as close as we’ll get.
Let’s start with the offensive play calling. Watching the game live I thought it was obvious to everyone that Tony Sparano called an excellent game, but watching the All-22 tape shows that the play calling was even better than I first thought. The plays were beautifully designed to draw defenders away from the area the Jets wanted to attack and it worked. There were no wasted routes, as each route served a purpose and Sparano did a nice job of balancing running receivers off each other and getting them into open space.
Now to focus on a few specific plays, starting with the first touchdown pass to Kerley. On second and 10 from the 12 yard line, Kerley lined up in the slot of the right side of the field with Santonio Holmes on the outside. Holmes ran an in-route while Kerley fades to the outside, Sanchez drops back, calmly threw out a pump fake then released the ball with the corner still having tight coverage on Kerley. Sanchez anticipated the spot that Kerley would run to and placed a gorgeous pass that dropped right over the corner’s head where only Kerley could catch it.
The anticipation of Sanchez is what stood out the most, on not just this play but throughout the whole game. Sanchez was quick and decisive, got into a perfect rhythm and threw to a spot on the field trusting his receivers to get open and make a play on the ball. This is something Sanchez has struggled with in the past, it’s also something the top quarterbacks do with relative ease. We need to see more of this from Sanchez in the future, but on Sunday Sanchez did this routinely.
The second play we’ll look at is the first touchdown pass to Stephen Hill. The Jets lined up in I-formation, with a receiver on each side and a tight end on the left side with the Bills in a 4-3 with soft coverage. As Sanchez dropped back and delivered another pump fake, the tight end ran up the seam taking the inside linebacker and the safety with him in coverage leaving Hill matched up one-on-one with Gilmore on the outside, as Hill put a double move on the rookie corner, Gilmore bit on the fake leaving Hill wide open for Sanchez to lob an easy touchdown pass as Gilmore can’t make up enough ground in time to stop the touchdown.
Also worth noting, on the second pass on the game Gilmore attempted to play press coverage on Hill but Hill just lowered his shoulder and ran right through Gilmore knocking him off balance and creating separation for an easy seven yard completion. Gilmore didn’t fully commit to press coverage on Hill again after that play.
Kerley and Hill were able to get separation and make plays with relative ease all game. Kerley got open with his speed and excellent route running, Hill used his physicality when called for but it was mostly his size, speed and route running that got the job done on Sunday. As great as the touchdowns were, as it showed defenses have to respect him or risk getting their top taken off (get your 84 jerseys out), it was equally impressive to watch him run simple underneath routes. With his tall frame, long arms and electric speed he has shown he can be a weapon for Sanchez both down the field and underneath steadily picking up first downs to keep drives alive.
Santonio Holmes however, didn’t have nearly as good of a day. Sure his stat line wasn’t bad and the screen pass they threw him was beautifully executed, but he consistently got jammed at the line. Early in the second quarter it looked like Holmes and Sanchez either had a miscommunication or Sanchez badly overthrew Holmes, but really it was a simple timing route and Holmes got jammed and couldn’t shake the defender in time and Sanchez’s pass feel innocently into a wide open spot on the field. Holmes was impressive with his run blocking down the field and he started to get open later in the game, considering many people thought the Jets had no weapons I’d say it was a pretty good sign that Holmes was the third best receiver on the day.
As great as Sanchez, receivers and the play calling was, none of this would have been possible without phenomenal protection from the offensive line. The line gave Sanchez all the time he needed and then some, holding the Bills vaunted defensive line without a sack and really limited the pressure from getting to Sanchez. Sanchez’s one pick came on one of the few times the Bills actually got some pressure as they flushed him out of the pocket and he tried to force a play instead of simply taking the loss and moving on. If the line can continue giving Sanchez this much time, then we should expect to see similar results, maybe not 48 points but more than enough for people to respect this offense. As good as the pass protection was, the run blocking left a lot to be desired. Shonn Greene hit the holes that were there for him, but there weren’t many and the worst offender was Jeff Cumberland who simply didn’t finish his block on a couple of occasions that could have opened up a big run. Cumberland was a receiver in college so it’s hard to fault him, it’s just not good that the Jets are asking him to do something he isn’t presently capable of. Matt Slauson also struggled in the running game, getting pushed around by Kyle Williams a bunch, but Williams isn’t exactly a bum.
The best news on the line was obviously the play of Austin Howard, with D’Brickashaw Ferguson coming in a close second as his poor play last year had to have the people who noticed it a little worried. Howard was the big question mark going into the game and he stepped up to the challenge of having to block Mario Williams and block him he did. Howard got help throughout the game, but more often than not he didn’t need it and when he was matched up one-on-one he more than held his own. Williams complained that Howard punched him in the face all game long, I however only counted two instances of this happening, one of them was on the first touchdown pass to Hill. Still this is no excuse, it’s not like Howard grabbed the face mask and swung him around, Howard accidently clipped his face mask twice and continued blocking him legally.
Shonn Greene looked better to me than I’m sure many of you think. When he had open holes, he hit them. He just didn’t have many holes to work with. There were a few times he hit what looked like an open hole but the blocker couldn’t finish the block or allowed a guy on the ground to sweep Greene’s feet from under him. Greene is literally a ground-and-pound back, get him holes and he will hit them. He doesn’t have top end speed and will never be a playmaker like LeSean McCoy or Arian Foster, but the more he gets the ball the better he gets. The fumbles however were a problem and something he has to fix. The first one is hard to blame him for as a Bills defender put his helmet right on the ball to punch it out, sometimes that happens. Luckily for the Jets they didn’t lose those fumbles, but we know that won’t always be how the ball bounces.
The run defense was really stout, with two obvious exceptions as Spiller caused eight missed tackles. The first big run had multiple breakdowns by the defense. DeVito was lined up inside with Coples on the right end and both get sealed by their blockers as Spiller split the hole between them (Coples does stretch his arm across Spiller which spun the running back half around before he regained his balance, showing Coples’ strength), David Harris was in position to make a play but guessed Spiller would cut inside and Harris couldn’t get around the pile to grab Spiller when he bounced outside and romped for another 20 yards before he split between Bart Scott and LaRon Landry as they smacked into each other after missing the tackle. 36 yards later and the Bills had their first touchdown of the game.
The second big run by Spiller went for 49 yards. Kenrick Ellis got great push into the backfield but couldn’t complete the wrap up of Spiller as he slipped away and bounced outside, which was wide open because Garrett McIntyre lowered his head and dove into Chandler, Fitzpatrick ran downfield and put a block on Yeremiah Bell shielding Bell from getting a hand on Spiller. Spiller continued to scamper as both Harris and Landry whiffed on desparation dives and finally of all people Cormartie brings Spiller down, but too little too late as the ball ended up at the two yard line.
McIntyre was asked to take some reps at DE and OLB to spell starters and after watching the tape it’s clear why the Jets plan on activating Ricky Sapp as McIntyre just isn’t built for that role.
The secondary had a field day with Fitzpatrick tossing the ball around, coming away with three picks. On the first one, the Bills came out in a stacked formation with Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson on the left side, Kyle Wilson had slot coverage up on the line with Revis backed off. Wilson showed quick coverage to Johnson but then slid off to cover Jones and turn Johnson free for Revis to cover from the top. Revis remained calm and stayed with off coverage and remaining inside to give Johnson and Fitzpatrick the illusion that they had the sideline to work with. As Fitzgeraled made the pass Revis read the quarterback and quickly broke underneath Johnson to easily pick off the soft toss from Fitzpatrick and somehow he managed to tap both his feet in bounds to complete the pick. Watching it live there was no way I thought Revis got both feet in, it just didn’t seem physically possible with the combination of his speed and the angle he took, but of course this is Darrelle Revis.
The second pick came with 2:30 left in the first quarter and the Bills in third and six. The Jets came out with six DBs, four DL and one LB against the Bills five-wide set. Wilson had off coverage and ran up to met his guy as the receiver went to make his cut, Wilson turned with him to begin to try and take underneath coverage away when Fitzpatrick threw one of the few strong passes he threw on the day but the ball was thrown low and behind the receiver and Wilson made an outstanding read and break on the ball as he dove for the interception. It was a fairly easy play for Wilson, but only because he had textbook coverage.
On the third pick the Bills lined up trips left with Cromartie playing press coverage, Wilson playing off coverage on David Nelson and the safety with coverage over the top. Cromartie turned his receiver loose for the safety and slid to play underneath Nelson, Wilson had the over the top coverage and David Harris picked up the slot receiver. Fitzpatrick looked to his left, where he should’ve clearly seen Cromartie slipping in front of Nelson, but for some reason he threw it anyway. Another soft toss from Fitzpatrick and too far outside, if he zips it to the receivers’ inside shoulder it might’ve had a chance, but instead it goes right into Cromartie’s hands as he gleefully skipped toward the end zone and somersaults in for six.
After the game I heard some complaints that the Jets didn’t get pressure, I thought it was silly when I heard it and it’s down right ridiculous after watching the All-22. The Jets got their fair share of pressure, but the Bills run plays designed to get rid of the ball quickly. They might not have had any sacks, but the pressure definitely contributed to Fitzpatrick’s disaster of a game.
It was a bit of a mixed bag when looking at the safeties. Landry was a step slow in coverage all game, really impressive in run game and still managed to deliver a few devastating hits as receivers came across the middle. So yeah this game was exactly what I expected out of Landry when the Jets signed him. His coverage should improve as he and Bell get more comfortable in this defense, but it’s something worth keeping an eye with both these safeties as the need to stop big receiving tight ends has not gone away.
On injury the to Fred Jackson, Landry lined up 10 yards off the line, then backed up another five yards before the ball was snapped before breaking on the ball once it was handed off. Jackson turned to the right as Pace shot too far into the backfield and DeVito was doubled teamed on the inside, Bart Scott was too slow in filling the hole and Jackson hit it before Landry took him out for only a seven yard gain that could’ve been a much bigger play. Nothing about this play looked dirty, but it did showcase how valuable Landry is as a run defender.
As good as the Jets looked I have to mention, Fitpatrick was worse than I originally thought, he missed a lot of open receivers. One play (early second quarter) he had four receivers run routes, three of them were open underneath when he decided to throw deep to the one guy that was blanketed and Cromartie almost and should’ve come up with the pick.
That’s it for this week’s All-22 breakdown, I apologize if this was too long for some of your liking next week’s breakdown should be more concise when I don’t attack the article in such a stereotypically A.D.D. fashion.
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