levi: On the long Colts drive that ended with the Gore fumble was the D playing more conservative or did the Colts just have a good drive? Also, I saw Decker was open when Fitz forced it to Marshall in double coverage. So I'm wondering if he was passing up other open receivers to target Decker and Marshall on other plays? I'd like to see the ball being spread around to other guys too considering injuries in the NFL you can't rely on just your favorites.
The Jets weren't playing conservative, other than on 2nd and 20 when Revis played off his man and gave up a 15-yard catch. Other than that, they were arguably more aggressive, with a bunch of big blitzes. They were successful enough in creating several passing situations on the drive, but the Colts narrowly avoided giving up a sack and were able to convert five times with a first down on Cromartie, two on Skrine and a couple of runs that only just made it to the marker.
As I illustrated in one of my preseason BGA's a lot of the combinations the Jets run have layered routes with multiple options. So, Fitzpatrick might roll out and there's a guy open in the flat, one on an out pattern, one deeper down the sideline and one trailing across the middle. Once again, they ran this play and he hit Marshall downfield. So, you could say he had three other guys open but went for the toughest throw. Still, that was successful. Some of the others weren't. I guess he has to weigh up risk and reward based on situation.
NYPCE in Germany: Can you expound on why you were comfortable with the offensive strategy during the game? In other words, it's easy after the fact to be OK with it, but during the game, did it not concern you that the Jets repeatedly had 3 & outs and squandered good field position by running up the gut when the colts hadn't really proved they could stop the pass? Repeatedly giving Luck chances - is that really an advisable strategy? How do you imagine this strategy would have differed if Gore had scored? Also, did anyone notice that after the first INT, Bowles cracked a tiny smile and fist bumped someone? I didn't know he could be so effusive. Does that perhaps warrant a gif?
No, because Jaiquawn Jarrett was standing right in the way! Get out of the way, Jaiquawn!
Anyway, going back to the first part of your question, they certainly got a gift from the Gore fumble and, sure, the approach could well have been different from that point forwards had he scored. Maybe my comfort came from something intangible like the body language of the team and coaches showing a confidence I'm not used to seeing. Generally, though, I liked having the knowledge that they had something high percentage in their back pocket if they needed it and, sure enough, that how it worked out.
BDarc23: The Colts TEs had zero catches. What adjustment did the Jets make to be able to shut down the TEs since that has been a major weakness of the team previously?
They mixed things up, really. One time it might be Harris picking them up underneath. Or a linebacker would line up opposite them and then drop off to cover someone else and Pryor would come up. Lattimore got some tight end coverage assignments. Coples even jammed and then dropped with the tight end on Luck's first interception.
One thing that made a difference was blitzing. By doing that, they forced the tight ends to stay in and block 15 times. No tight ends were even targeted, although as I mentioned, a Revis/Pryor breakdown left one wide open down the seam on a play where the Colts instead made a downfield completion to a receiver.
sumjetsfan: What would you attribute this victory to, a great defensive front or a great secondary? The right answer is probably both but which would you rate higher? Reason I ask is that might explain the direction the team is taking and who do they weigh more, do they spend on Wilkerson and then on Sheldon or do they continue to improve the secondary?
Well, I don't know that one game is enough to make that decision anyway. If it was the defensive backs this time, who's to say the next three wins won't be sparked by the defensive line?
I will say, that for all the focus on the five turnovers by the defensive backs, two were directly caused by Wilkerson pressure.
My opinion is that our defensive backfield is good enough now. The next priority will be spending to keep the front line strong.
WW85: In the post game presser, Fitzy was asked why the Jets failed to score more points while so many Indy CBs were injured. He said he was disappointed as well, but that Indy had employed a zone D & they had shied away from throwing into it. This surprised me. He may have just said it off the cuff, but wondering if you had a thought on that.
The most surprising thing about this is that it implies they weren't expecting a zone defense. It was so obvious the Jets would have some mismatches with corners if they spread it out. The most important thing is winning the game, so if the team felt they were better off not taking any risks by throwing into the teeth of a zone, then I'm okay with that. This has the added benefits of not giving the rest of the league film of all our best passing plays as well.
JamesL: Is it me or does D'Brickashaw seem to really be showing his age at LT? I thought he looked bad at there at times against Mathis and others. I fear how he would do against top pass rushers like Von Miller in a playoff game.
People have been saying the same thing about Ferguson for years, though. You face top pass rushers like that and you're inevitably going to give up some pressure. What Ferguson still does well is preventing that pressure from being clean so that the quarterback can still move around and get the throw off. Even as Mathis used his go-to spin move on him, Ferguson repelled it well enough to keep Fitzpatrick clean and it was only when Carpenter lost his block that Fitzpatrick was hit.
Most other left tackles around the league would also give up a few pressures here and there, even if they got help, which Ferguson usually does not. While I would never say he's as flawless or athletic as he was at his peak, and hasn't been as effective in the running game since Faneca retired, Ferguson is still one of the more reliable players this team had ever had and hopefully he still has a few more years holding down that spot on the blind side.
Ferguson did struggle against Von Miller back in 2011, although Miller primarily plays the strong side, so it would actually be Giacomini that would match up with him most of the time.
idothis2: Do you think Rex will be watching film of the Jets D this week while simultaneously staring at their 8.5pts allowed stat foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog? Also, on a scale of 1-10 how concerned are you for Bradford's safety this week with the Jets DL vs he Eagles OL?
I'm not sure how Rex would feel about "his" players having more success in a similar version of "his" system. Also, I don't really want to hurt Sam Bradford that badly. The rest of our division still has to play the Eagles - do we really want to give them a freebie by making them face Sanchez?
lbp44: Special Teams is still a big problem; is there anyone other than Quigley available? Even Westy refused to defend him last night. Do Jets challenge Iggles to a "shoot-out" this week?
To be fair to Quigley, he had three good punts and one poor one - and the poor one wasn't helped by a low snap and two guys getting pressure on him.
While I'd hope the Jets can outscore the Eagles on Sunday, I'd like to do control the game too, so I'm not sure I'd advocate a bombs-away approach.
Disgruntled Jets Fan: How many routes did TEs or WRs not named Decker or Marshall run, and were any of them open but ignored? If so, was it because Decker or Marshall were better options, or did Fitz not even look?
It's difficult to quantify who was open, because there are varying degrees of that. There were certainly examples where he locked onto one target and didn't look elsewhere, but that's fine if your primary option is clearly going to be open.
The numbers: 67 overall routes run - including 33 by Owusu and 22 by Enunwa. Those two combined for one catch on six targets.
Ben Nevis: Do you think the Jets' improved OL performance in the second half was due to adjustments (made by the coaches), or was it due to better execution (from the players), or some combination of the two (for instance, is it likely that the second-half adjustments allowed for better execution)?
They were able to double team a lot more effectively on the interior in the second half, which really got them going. Maybe that was because there was one fewer player in the box at times, because the defense was reacting to their corners struggling in coverage.
I guess that helped them to get into a rhythm more on the offensive line, because from that point onwards there were a lot more well executed individual blocks than there had been in the first half.
Rocky Mountain Jet: Follow up, same question but for the D-Line as they were getting gashed early in the game.
That was one of those things where it wasn't as bad as it seems. The Colts had five runs that went for eight or more in the first quarter, but two were called back for holding, two were stuffed up the middle and bounced outside. There was only one run where Gore cut back for 18 that went up the middle. On that play Williams was prevented from getting across to plug the gap and Davis was caught inside. Other than that 18-yarder, the Colts gained 17 yards on 14 carries in between the tackles.
David Aron: It seemed that the jets rush D was frequently getting gashed on plays bounced to the outside. Was it a matter of defensive strategy to get upfield with the pass rush over playing rush defense, or was there a repeat offender who failed to set the edge?
Calvin Pryor let this happen a couple of times. Another was just a well-designed play where they doubled Harris and cut him to prevent him from being able to get to the edge.
Marcus Armstrong: Curious if you have any thoughts on whether Fitz's throws looked predetermined... Seeing some chatter about it on twitter, and interested in your opinion on the matter. Also, I'm really curious about the 5-2 alignment... How often was it used, and do you have splits for it vs a more traditional line?
Isn't it a basic tenet of the Erhardt-Perkins philosophy that the quarterback makes pre-snap reads? In that regard, a lot of the passes should be pre-determined anyway, if you're doing it right. I see Fitzpatrick locking onto his first option at times, but if that's because he's anticipated that's going to be the right option, then I'd rather he do that than pretend to survey the field and end up making a bad read like I suspect Geno Smith has done at times.
The Jets only had five plays where five or more linemen had their hands in the dirt, with the Colts gaining nine yards, including eight on one play. However, they often brought a linebacker or DB up to the edge and pinched the end on that edge inside to create basically the same look with base personnel.
Juunit: Am I crazy or are DB blitzes the best blitzes?
Percentage-wise, the top pass rushing defensive backs do generate pressure more often than their front seven counterparts. In fact, 10 defensive backs had a PRP of over 20 last season, but no front seven players did.
The reason for this is pretty obvious - the element of surprise means that there's nobody to block them. However, the downside is that you're a man down in coverage. Also if you load up on defensive backs you can be susceptible to the run or to screen passes.
BaltoSeaJets: Pryor looks much more solid and less error-prone than he did at any point last year. Do you agree with that statement? If so, how much do you attribute it to Bowles positioning him in a different spot, making Pryor's job simpler, or CP just not being a dumb rookie any more?
I agree with the statement, but I still think his change in role is a bit of a misnomer. He looks better in coverage this year so far, while his struggles last year were portrayed as "of course he's struggling, he has to play in coverage!" I put a lot of stock into what Pryor was saying about the offseason and his communication with the veterans around him. I think that's helped him immeasurably and he's learning what it takes to be a pro as a result.
r_in_ct: Is it just my perception or is Quigley really terrible when kicking inside his own 15? It seems whenever he really needs to boom one, he turns into a shankapotomus and barely gets it to midfield. I watch other punters seem to come up big from their own endzone and boom 50 and 60 yarders, so I know it can be done. Right?
I swear you ask me this question every season! Well, I guess the fact that you do shows that he obviously has an issue with it. As noted, though, he wasn't helped this week by a less than ideal snap and poor blocking upfront. Maybe he's not the only one who chokes in these situations.
a57se: The Colts dropped back to pass 41 times. Would you please break down how many times Cro was targeted vs. how many times Revis was targeted and how much production each surrendered? Also, how much of Wilk's success this year to date is from one-gapping instead of two-gapping?
Revis was targeted nine times and gave up 5-75. Cromartie was targeted four times and gave up 3-71-TD.
I would say that none of Wilkerson's success is due to him one-gapping. Yes, none. Wilkerson is just a great player no matter what you get him to do. It's like when it doesn't matter to Mangold's performance whether the Jets do zone blocking or man/power. Wilkerson has always done a bit of both anyway, the balance has just shifted a little.
You may have heard Gruden talking about the Jets' "jam fronts". In such formations, the three interior linemen are all head-up on an interior lineman - so, actually, two-gapping. When Gruden first started saying this was something Bowles likes to do, I was thinking that was curious because I hadn't actually seen them do much of it, but then, sure enough, that's what they opened with. I wonder if someone tipped him off to the fact the Jets were working on that, or maybe he just noticed it at practice.
Obviously in such a front, it becomes very difficult to run up the middle, but that puts the onus on Davis, Harris and the safeties to go sideline-to-sideline.
MoSacks MoSnacks: 3 Part Question: 1. On the first interception from Luck, were there any DBs lined up on the left side to cover Andre, in case he ran an out instead of a cross? 2. Should the contact that Douz made with the receiver been considered illegal contact, as it appeared to be more than 5 yards downfield? 3. If a walrus with a machete and a polar bear with a bazooka fought Wilkerson and Snacks, who would survive?
1. Based on the TV footage, I can see why you asked this. It looks like Cromartie runs deep with the outside receiver and the left side of the field would have been wide open, but it was actually a well-designed coverage:
As you can see, if Andre ran an outside route, then Cromartie would pick him up and Gilchrist would get across to cover the outside receiver's go-route. (Remember, it was 2nd and 18). Obviously, the wrinkle of dropping Douzable and Coples into coverage fooled Luck with Skrine unblocked on his blitz off the right slot to create pressure.
2. It wasn't five yards downfield. Douzable himself was actually at about three yards as he shoved Johnson within the five yards mark. If it was beyond that mark then, yes, it would have been illegal contract.
3. The machete and the bazooka.
tish: On that impressive goal-line stand that ended with the Gore fumble, who were the 11 guys involved in the D?
On 2nd and 3rd down, it was a six man line (Barnes, Bowens, Douzable, Harrison, Williams, Wilkerson) with four linebackers (Pace, Henderson, Harris and Davis) and Revis.
They had a more conventional defense in on first down from the three with Pace-Wilkerson-Williams-Coples up front and the regular back seven (two ILBs and the five man backfield, including Skrine).
TK: Thoughts on Enunwa? I think that guy should be moving to TE ASAP. He's huge and looks too slow for a WR, but could do damage at TE.
You can call him what you want, but his effectiveness in doing tight end stuff is predicated on him also playing a lot in the slot. And, I guess, his success at receiver will come from teams matching up someone more physical on him so his lack of speed is less of an issue.
Apparently the team loves him in this role, but it would be nice to see him be a more consistent pass catcher than he's shown so far. Hopefully, he'll build on that play in the last game.
Keep reading. You'll like him more when we get to the end of the article, I guarantee it.
johng: Do we have a tight end?
Do we even need one? We just had a great win where no tight end was even targeted, let alone made any statistical contributions.
greggreen: Jeremy Kerley for Brandon Pettigrew? Both teams seem to be moving on from their respective players and the money is pretty much a wash. Plus Pettigrew is a much better fit for the “Y” TE than Cumberland IMO, and you can move Cumberland to the “H” TE which. As a former WR, terrible in line blocker I think he’s better suited for. Thoughts?
Pettigrew would perhaps be an upgrade over Cumberland, but he's obviously a flawed player otherwise he wouldn't be on the block. I'm sure there'd be aspects of his game that would be frustrating too, especially as there'd be a period of adjustment while he learned the playbook and developed chemistry with the quarterback.
I'm not writing off Kerley making some big contributions this season. I think that would be awesome if he stepped up and did that.
Paul Samuels: Is Powell going to become a bigger part of the passing game if Decker is out for a while?
Maybe Fitzpatrick would have to check down more often, but he's already a pretty big part of the passing game. He gets all the passing down reps and had four catches on Monday night. Would be nice to see him breaking some longer gains on short passes, as we know he can do.
Lew Blaustein: A friend says the Jets couldn't run in the 1st half because the Colts were stacking the box more than usual. Seems to me the Jets couldn't run because...the Colts D-Line won the battles when they weren't stacking the box. Who's right?
You're both right. They were stacking the box more in the first half, but, even so, the Jets had failures due to individual one-on-one battles lost up front in the first half but won more of those battles in the second half.
Jeff E. Guy: Our QB has more touchdowns than interceptions. Under current NFL rules, is this allowed?
It doesn't specifically say you can't do that in the CBA so we should just carry on doing it and appeal if they suspend us for it.
McGeorge: I may be wrong but a lot of Fitzpatrick's deep throws seemed like they were inaccurate (too deep) or could have been intercepted. I get scared when I see him throwing deep. Thank God we have Brandon Marshall to at least fight for those balls (maybe that's why Fitzpatrick throws deep to him). I can see Fitzpatrick throwing many interception if he keeps this up. What are your thoughts?
Yes, I think throwing deep to Marshall as opposed to just throwing aimlessly deep to anyone else is a higher percentage play. Also, if he is going to get intercepted in these situations, at least it's better than a red zone pick or a pick-six. Hopefully they will connect on a few of these over the course of the season, but I agree they shouldn't overdo it.
Tom (via e-mail): If the Jets keep this up, do we nominate Big Mac or Bowles for President?
Hey, no politics! I'm English anyway, so we don't have a president. Let's make one of them the King instead.
James (via e-mail): WHY DON'T THEY USE KERLEY??? It's driving me crazy! A guy who has proven he can produce and would be perfect in the slot with Decker and Marshall is seeing one offensive snap per game? And not even for a guy like Devin Smith, but for a dude like Enunwa? Owusu? It's aggravating to say the least.
This is obviously confusing and makes you wonder if there's more to it than just football reasons. However, I do have one football reason theory that could explain why they aren't using him as much as others. Perhaps he just isn't suited to the requirements of this offense, which calls for receivers to adjust their routes based on pre-snap reads and requires more natural instincts. I have no evidence to suggest he's any worse than that than the others, but it's one possible explanation.
Wilkershakes: Does Fitz have a batch of sunflower seeds hidden in his beard? That's the only thing I keep picturing while he's munching on something the entire game.
I like to think he has a lot more variety in there than just sunflower seeds. He should have chewing tobacco, Bombay mix, stuff like that. I like to think he has a small rodent in there, cooking stuff up for him like in "Ratatouille".
And finally: The GIF of the week featuring Quincy Enunwa.
I'll be back tomorrow with a preview of the Eagles game.