Yesterday, we touched upon how the Jets made a bunch of big plays. Today, let's look at the other end of that equation, as the Jets prevented the Jaguars from having any plays that netted 30 yards.
We wrote in depth during the offseason about how limiting big plays was going to be a major priority this year and could perhaps have been the reason that they targeted Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams with their first two picks.
Maye has had a quiet season so far in terms of making impact plays, but that's largely because he's been playing deep and, by covering a lot of ground and being in the right position, he's not only limiting the gains on big plays, but also preventing the opposing team from making plays down the field and giving his teammates opportunities to make impact plays underneath.
Yesterday, he played a key role in limiting the yardage on some of these plays yesterday. Let's review some of those examples.
On this play, Buster Skrine loses his man in coverage but Maye comes up fast from deep to make an immediate tackle:
There's no yards after the catch at all on this play and Maye could easily have broken up the pass. That's a 15-yard gain, whereas a similar play for Jordan Matthew in week one had seen a gain of 50+.
On this play, Blake Bortles fools the Jets by keeping the ball on a read-option look. Jordan Jenkins bites to the run action completely and Darron Lee twists his ankle as he tries to react in the hole:
Glossing over the fact that Bortles lights up Juston Burris at the end of the run, you can see that Maye is right there to cover for Burris if Bortles had tried to cut back inside, but also took a conservative enough angle that he'd have been able to prevent Bortles from continuing down the sideline if Burris failed to get off his block.
As it turned out, Bortles was happy to take the easy yardage and step out of bounds, but Maye's role is important because if he'd taken a more aggressive angle and missed, then perhaps a more athletic quarterback would have been able to break into the clear.
Finally, this was the biggest pass play of the day as Bortles was just 2-for-12 on passes more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage:
The key to this play is that both inside linebackers get caught on blocks at the second level and then Leonard Fournette slips between Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine down the field.
However, it's Maye once again who runs Fournette down and makes the tackle, as Adams runs the conservative angle in behind him, just in case.
We were excited about the fact that Adams and Maye had good positional sense and the ability to break down effectively to tackle in space, but there were still some big plays in the first couple of weeks. However, they've done a good job of limiting these over the past fortnight so the plan seems to be coming together in that regard.
PREVIOUSLY: Reviewing the rotations