We're going to continue today's analysis with some things you might not have noticed from yesterday's loss to the Colts:
With so many injuries, the Jets had to mix and match on both sides of the ball. However, some of their changes this week were not injury related. Here were some of the more interesting ones:
- Despite Neal Sterling's injury, Eric Tomlinson played just six snaps, by far his season low;
- Deontay Burnett was the receiver who received the most reps apart from Jermaine Kearse - even before his three fourth quarter catches;
- Tarell Basham was in the starting lineup ahead of Jordan Jenkins, even though they split the workload on the left side;
- With Steve McLendon suffering a leg injury, Mike Pennel played a season-high number of snaps;
- Trenton Cannon got more snaps than Isaiah Crowell and stayed in to block three times, whereas Crowell never did; and
- Rashard Robinson's first action of the season came in the dime package as he played five snaps with a group that comprised Leonard Williams, Brandon Copeland, Henry Anderson, the two starting inside linebackers and the five top defensive backs.
Truth be told, this wasn't one of Jamal Adams' better games as he missed a couple of tackles and gave up a first down in coverage. However, his importance to the team was highlighted in the fourth quarter when he missed a snap - his first of the year - due to injury.
This forced Maye to come up into the box with the recently-signed Ibraheim Campbell coming off the bench cold for his first snap as the deep safety.
The Bears ran right at Maye, easily blocking him out of the play at the second level as Leonard Williams was forced downhill by a double-team and Jordan Jenkins was sealed outside:
Campbell was also slow to come up as he perhaps could have made the stop at the 15-yard line, but allowed the runner to drive him for extra yards down to the five.
Had Adams been in the game on that play, you'd have expected him to do a better job than Maye did of anticipating the block and filling the running lane. Also, Maye probably would've done a better job of cleaning up on the back end than Campbell did.
A confounding gameplan
The addition of Rick Dennison as running game coordinator was supposed to boost the Jets' running game, but they got nothing going yesterday and didn't really help themselves by playing to their strengths.
Obviously the absence of Spencer Long didn't help, although his replacement Jonotthan Harrison made a good start with a nice block on a short yardage conversion.
Aside from the fact they had five false starts, which Harrison and Darnold's unfamiliarity with one another was probably a factor in, the Jets seemed reluctant to play to their strengths.
All six of Trenton Cannon's carries went between the tackles, when his speed would obviously be more of an attribute around the edge.
However, they did try to run outside five times with Isaiah Crowell, including four times around the right side. All four were stopped for no gain.
They also didn't put a fullback in the backfield on any one play in the entire game and didn't try to stretch out the defense with jet sweep motion or fake end arounds.
Here was a run that was stuffed on 3rd-and-short. Brandon Shell got blown up by the impressive Akiem Hicks on the play:
It seems bizarre that the Jets would opt to use their backs in such a counter-intuitive way - almost as if they felt they couldn't beat the Bears upfront without deceiving them in some way.
Maybe the Jets spent all week thinking up ways to prevent Khalil Mack from wrecking their world only to then have no conventional plan in place for if he didn't play.
Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall for some of these offensive gameplanning meetings?
Much more analysis to come later today and over the next few days. Please let us know who you'd like to see us feature in more detail in 3-on-D and 3-on-O.