It's been a familiar sight over the years. How did that receiver get to be so wide open? Why can't we tackle anyone in the open field? The Jets will make life easy for their opponents, who will take advantage for effortless touchdowns or big plays.
There was plenty of that happening in today's game, but - for once - the Jets were also the beneficiaries of some terrible mistakes by their opponent. For a change they were also able to take advantage.
This is something that doesn't seem to happen very often, perhaps because the Jets' offense hasn't presented much of a threat over the years so defenses can play cautiously and conservatively, knowing that as long as they don't give up anything easy, the Jets' offense will probably stall sooner or later.
In the end, the teams combined for 79 points, almost a thousand yards and no turnovers. The Jets won in regulation despite giving up 31 points for just the third time since the turn of the millennium, with the last time being a 56-35 win over the Cardinals in 2008 where the Jets led by 34 at the half. The last time they won a high-scoring back and forth shootout like this in regulation was a 42-36 win over the Bills in 2001.
We can focus on where the Jets made screw-ups on defense tomorrow. However, for a change, instead of breaking down where the Jets shot themselves in the foot, we can focus on some mistakes from the opponent.
Let's review some examples:
Here's a type of play the Jets seem to give up all the time. It's hard to work out how the running back could be so wide open leaking out of the backfield. You can see that the linebackers all vacate the area as they drop off downfield. The result is a nice and easy third down conversion with a missed tackle down the field allowing some bonus yardage:
This type of play is the sort of thing you'd associate with the Jets last year or during some of the lowest points of the Rex Ryan era. Nothing the Jets do here is complicated or unique but the Chiefs' defensive backs either aren't focused or just anticipate really badly here. Another easy pitch-and-catch results:
Some nice play design here sets up the easiest third down conversion you could ever wish for and the speedy Robby Anderson is able to catch the ball in stride and make some good yardage after the catch. Anderson motions to the left and then runs a drag route in the other direction while the defender tracking him gets completely caught up in the wash:
Other than blown coverages, the Jets will often hurt themselves by being in the position to make a play but not finishing. On this third down play, Josh McCown looked certain to be sacked but somehow escaped the pocket and found Chad Hansen to keep the drive alive:
Finally, here's a routine quick slant to Jermaine Kearse. The Jets ran several of these throughout the game, with good success. This should have been another 12-15 yard gain and a first down. However, sloppy tackling by two Chiefs turned it into a huge play:
It's refreshing to see this from the other side and the Jets executed flawlessly when presented with these easy opportunities which is not always the case. Hopefully they can start to become the kind of team that doesn't make many of these mistakes themselves, while benefiting on the other end. That will make them a tough team to beat going forwards.