We're going to kick off today's analysis with some things you might not have noticed from yesterday's loss to the 49ers:
Pancakes with da Becton!
It's breakfast time...
Ya, dats right.
Off to a bad start
You look for positive signs early in a game like this, but the signs were overwhelmingly negative on both sides of the ball.
Obviously it doesn't get much worse than the first play on defense, where the 49ers ran for an 80-yard touchdown.
What went wrong here? It would be easier if we told you what didn't go wrong. Henry Anderson was sealed to the inside, Neville Hewitt overpursued, Alec Ogletree (on his first snap as a Jet), didn't get across in time (or, if you prefer, underpursued), Bradley McDougald (who lined up at linebacker having played as a deep safety last week) got swallowed up in the box, Ashytn Davis (on the first defensive snap on his career) came up recklessly from deep and failed to get to the ball carrier and Marcus Maye took a terrible angle down the field.
However, if you were looking for a positive sign from the offense, here's what Sam Darnold saw on his first dropback:
But, where did he go with the ball? Underneath, to the right, forced into traffic. This is troubling because when a young quarterback loses their decisiveness, that's when you know they're struggling to stay afloat.
Greg Van Rotten
Jets right guard Greg Van Roten had a rough game in pass protection but it was in the running game where he was the weak link in a unit that otherwise was blocking really well.
The Jets were down deep in 49ers territory late in the first half, back when the score was still only 14-3 and they were getting the ball first in the second half. Score here and you're right back in it.
However, Van Roten proceeded to have the worst series since Bob Hearts Abishola went off the air? (It's still on the air? You're kidding).
On first down, he works the double-team with Connor McGovern. The plan is that they drive the tackle off the line and then Van Roten peels off to pick up the linebacker. Unfortunately, the double-team gets no traction and Van Roten peels off too late, so the linebacker just blows him up to get in on the tackle near the line. To his credit, Frank Gore falls ahead for a gain of five so it worked out okay. Things got worse from there, though.
2nd-and-5 and, this time, the play is well blocked as Mekhi Becton kicks his man out and Alex Lewis and McGovern carve their men out of the middle on the zone block to create a seam for an easy first down. Unfortunately, Van Roten fails to complete the relatively straight forward task of picking up a linebacker at the second level and he trips Gore in the hole just short of the first down.
3rd-and-1 now, and the Jets again block the play well enough for Gore to fall forward for the first down only for Van Roten's man to throw him off at the point of attack to meet him in the hole.
Finally, the Jets opt to go for it rather than kick the field goal to make it a one-possession game and come up short on 4th-and-one. George Fant does a great job of sealing his man to the outside but Van Roten whiffs totally on Fred Warner at the second level and Josh Adams is dead to rights.
It would be nice to be able to say that this series was an aberration for Van Roten, but the veteran struggled badly all day after having played well in the opener. It's blown execution like this that can torpedo an entire gameplan and turn a competitive game into a blowout. When the 49ers drove down and scored late in the half, that basically came to pass.
If you wanted any further evidence that the 49ers were thinking smart and the Jets were off their game, look no further than the first half punt which should easily have been downed near the goal line. How come nobody got to the ball?
There was one reason and one reason alone. Arthur Maulet was in perfect position to run down and make the play but instead of watching the flight of the ball, he instead got completely fooled by Trent Taylor pretending like the ball was going to land in the middle of the field:
As you can see, he runs away from the ball and a potential great play once again becomes a bad one (32 yards net).
You make the call
And finally...check out this failure of a receiver screen:
Hardly notable, considering the Jets had several of these on Sunday.
However, check out Braxton Berrios and Chris Hogan. Did they miss their blocks or actually were they leaking downfield to get a nice gain on that pump-and-go play that Chris Herndon and Robby Anderson each had long scores on over the past year or two?
It certainly seems from their reaction that they were expecting the ball. Perhaps only one of them was supposed to leak out. But Darnold just threw to the first option.
A misread? Is he too skittish to have any confidence in his line to hold up that extra half-second it would require for him to pump it and then throw over the top? Did he call it wrong in the huddle? Or was this just some terrible blocking? You make the call...