BGA is back…and this time it’s preseasonal (again)!
Coming up, the final part of your breakdown of last night’s 13-10 win over the Colts with detailed analysis of how the secondary played on defense and a few notes on special teams.
Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle. It's good to be back!
For many people, the big story from this game was how badly Dimitri Patterson seemed to struggle at cornerback. Let's dig deeper into what went wrong.
The game actually started well for Patterson as he evaded a block to tackle the receiver on a first-play screen pass. Things went downhill from there though.
The first catch he gave up saw him lose his footing as the receiver broke back for the ball. Maybe you could attribute that to bad luck.
On the next one, he seemed to be far too far off his man on the outside, giving up an easy first down as Hilton ran a quick out. The only thing I might point out here was that Calvin Pace dropped off the edge on this play, presumably to dissuade that throw to the outside, so perhaps he got his angles wrong and if he'd been one step further to the outside, Luck might have hesitated on the throw and Patterson could have closed it down.
In press coverage against Hilton, Patterson was burned for a 45-yard gain over the top. Patterson jammed the receiver and allowed him an outside release on a fly route, looking back for the ball as Hilton reached the upfield break. My only thought on this was that maybe Patterson expected help over the top. Antonio Allen did get over a few steps late to tackle Hilton, but without seeing the coach's film it's impossible to tell if he should have been over sooner. From what you can see, there's no obvious reason why Allen would be drawn too far over into the middle of the field and the fact Patterson looked back for the ball at that moment just gives me pause. That's where Hilton separated from Patterson too and I didn't get a good enough angle to see if there was any sign of a push-off. Patterson compounded the fact he was beaten by missing as he tried to make a diving tackle on Hilton following the catch.
In the second half, Patterson (who led the Jets with 41 defensive snaps per PFF) was deployed in the slot. The one play where he gave up a catch was a zone trap which saw him immediately drop off to the outside receiver while Darrin Walls backed up to cover the slot guy. This was all well and good with both being well covered initially but then the outside receiver broke back to the inside and in between the two of them. I'm not sure whose fault that was, but it was another well designed and executed play.
Obviously what I'm doing here is, to some extent, defending the indefensible. However, maybe there were a few elements on some of these plays that were out of his control. Cleary our first look at Patterson as a Jet was disappointing, but having seen how he performed last year, he should be able to improve upon this. Alternatively, maybe he's this year's Antonio Garay - a very good player coming off an injury plagued season that is expected to start until a poor preseason performance ends that thought.
Across from Patterson, Dee Milliner had no such problems. Targeted twice, Milliner broke quickly on the first one to break it up and stayed stride for stride with his man on the other looking back to locate the ball in plenty of time to break that one up too. The only complaint you could have here was maybe that he should have intercepted that second one.
Kyle Wilson gave up a first down on a play where Hilton ran a quick out. He was left a little isolated by an all-out blitz on that one. He did get in on a run stop, although he also overpursued once.
Dexter McDougle got some decent playing time. Although he missed a tackle early on and overpursued on one dump off pass, he had a great pass breakup (very similar to Milliner's first one) and made a third down tackle on a screen pass to force a punt. He was apparently called for a defensive holding penalty on the play before that break up. On the whole it was a pretty impressive debut from the youngster.
Aside from his involvement in the play mentioned above, Walls had good coverage on a throw to the end zone which may have been deliberately overthrown. He almost gave up one catch but that was dropped.
Ellis Lankster only got into the game with the third unit, but he looked great. He was in press coverage on a throw down the sideline which he broke up (although there was a penalty on someone else on the play), made a great read and closed superbly to stop a 3rd and two slot screen short of the marker and almost blew up a run in the backfield that his teammate was able to finish off. I'd like to see Lankster get some reps with the first and second unit. He did play with the first unit in the green/white scrimmage.
Surprisingly Ras-I Dowling (and less surprisingly Brandon Dixon) was relegated to special teams work only. Johnny Patrick did not play. Jeremy Reeves did get in the game though and made one good open field tackle.
As noted above and in the previous article, Allen might have been slightly out of position a couple of times in coverage. I prefer him in man-to-man coverage than as a deep safety or in zone coverage, but he wasn't tested in that role last night. Something to consider for when Calvin Pryor returns would be who plays where, but last night the safeties were pretty much interchangeable with Dawan Landry in the box 13 times and Allen 11. Allen was also called for a hold and his only tackle was on the long pass to Hilton.
Landry had a pressure, a tackle for a loss and a good play in pursuit. Interestingly, the long pass to Hilton came on a play where he blitzed. Maybe his role will change based on how Pryor performs.
Jaiquawn Jarrett and Josh Bush both played mistake free football. Jarrett had an unblocked pressure and Bush had a good play in coverage. Each of them was in on a third down stop.
Rontez Miles played 10 snaps, all in the box. Each of these was in the fourth quarter apart from one which was the first play of the second quarter with the starters. He was not targeted.
Let's wrap this game up with some bullet points about special teams:
- Nick Folk kicked off well and nailed a 51-yard field goal. It wouldn't have made it over from 52 though.
- Ryan Quigley's punting was pretty nondescript with an average below 40 and one shanked out of bounds. What was interesting though was that he kicked off once, putting it deep into the end zone
- Kudos to Andrew Furney for his game-winning kick but that was the ugliest knuckleball I've seen in ages
- As already noted, that kick was almost blocked due to Jace Amaro's missed block on the edge
- Jacob Schum's punts seemed more impressive than Quigley's. One in particular drew applause from Coach McGaughey
- Lankster and Troy Davis combined on the best hit of the game after a punt was fielded on the bounce
- Dixon and Saalim Hakim did a good job of getting downfield on punts, with Hakim assisting on a tackle I'm not sure speed alone is enough to get you on this roster though. Hakim also had a bad kickoff return that went nowhere
- Jalen Saunders was comfortable fielding punts, but while he looked slippery, couldn't get free to generate any significant return yardage
- Miles and Nick Bellore also made good special teams tackles. IK Enemkpali, AJ Edds and Dowling were also credited with special teams stops