We are officially halfway through the preseason with only two more games to go before the games start to count. The Jets got their first win of the Adam Gase era, beating the Falcons 22-10, and you fans got to see a lot of what us reporters have been seeing all throughout training camp.
1) Robby’s extended route-tree – Sam Darnold finished the game 5-7 for 46 yards, he had a strong first drive but the first-team offense petered-out after the opening touchdown. With so much of the starting offensive line not playing, and Darnold’s two incompletions both coming on drops, there’s nothing to be concerned about here. What we really need to talk about is that beautiful back-shoulder pass to Robby Anderson.
Since Gase was named the head coach he has talked about extending Anderson’s route-tree. We all know he can run a go-route, but Gase wisely believed Anderson could do much more than just run deep. Throughout training camp we have seen Anderson run routes he never ran with Todd Bowles as the head coach and against the Falcons the fans got to see it as well. As Darnold dropped back to pass, Anderson took off as if he was running deep but then you see him plant his foot, turn back towards his quarterback and catch the ball that’s waiting for him. Darnold delivered a perfectly placed ball with equally perfect timing. Darnold threw the ball a couple of seconds before Anderson turned around, he simply trusted Anderson would turn back to him and his receiver rewarded his trust.
Later in the drive Anderson would catch a a simple five-yard slant from Darnold to put the Jets on the Falcons one-yard-line, nothing complex but yet another expansion of Anderson’s game. People have knocked Anderson for being a one-trick pony, but a pony can’t ever do more than one trick when his coaches refuse to see if he’s capable of doing more. Gase was determined to change that and that back-shoulder throw shows why. Defenders have to cover Anderson carefully, hoping not to get beat deep, and when they do that it makes it easier for Anderson to get open by doing anything other than continuing to run deep. And the more Anderson expands his route-tree, the more defenders have to worry about covering the entire field which of course will lead to him taking the top right off the defense.
2) Gregg Williams is as aggressive as ever – Gregg Williams scoffs at your claim that defenses shouldn’t blitz in preseason. Williams brought pressure, and a ton of of it, right out of the gate. Delayed blitz after delayed blitz, constantly bringing more pressure than the Falcons had blockers to the tune of five sacks. On the second drive Jamal Adams executed a perfect delayed blitz that was a work of art. This is a Gregg Williams staple and preseason or not, he’s going to bring pressure. Live by the sword, die by the sword except replace the word sword with blitz.
3) Bronson Kaufusi dominated the backups – Kaufusi was a one-man wrecking crew against the Falcons backups. Poor Matt Simms is going to be seeing Kaufusi in his nightmares for weeks to come. Kaufusi got a sack and almost came away with an interception, but whoever lined up in front of him got thrown around. Kaufusi has been doing this throughout camp as well, he’s not quite good enough to dominate consistently against top-end starters, but as depth in this deep defensive line he’s exactly what you need.
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