We're going to kick off today's analysis with some things you might not have noticed from yesterday's loss to the Seahawks:
Pancakes with da Becton
Breakfast time...and this week let's order a double helping.
Ya dats right.
Let's break down three offensive plays from the second quarter which all had interesting aspects to them.
The first of these plays is this screen pass to Frank Gore. Wonders will never cease because this was a well timed playcall with Seattle blitzing and picked up a first down.
The blitz was on Sam Darnold quickly with the interior linemen releasing but he does well to get the throw away and Gore does a good job of finishing well by falling forward at the end of the run to get to the marker.
Downfield, Connor McGovern makes a particularly good block and Josh Andrews hustles downfield to find someone to put a hat on although that doesn't really affect the play.
Mekhi Becton's contribution should perhaps be highlighted here too though. He could easily have hustled downfield and tried to make a block or even just turned around and sealed off one of the players who got drawn upfield but essentially quits on the play and starts walking while the play is still going on.
Before we start to level any accusations about "loafing" at Becton, this can potentially be justified by what happens after the snap. This appears to be similar to a play last week where Ty Johnson initially appeared to give up a sack but actually Pat Elflein seemed to have blocked the wrong guy. Becton clearly expected to pick up the end here, which would have made more sense because then Elflein could slow up the interior rush before leaking out himself.
So, for Becton it's arguably more a case of not being instinctive enough to react and improvise. It could also be a sign of frustration, which appears to be creeping into his game based on some of his body language.
At Louisville, Becton had a few bad habits, mostly because he was so dominant he could get away with imperfect technique or not playing to the whistle. In space, he's starting to develop a tendency to shove the defensive player back rather than locking onto a block and opposing players have started to anticipate this and brace themselves so they can stay upright and get back into the play.
Plays like the above screen pass might get picked up in film study this week and whatever message they deliver to Becton is important so that he doesn't let old bad habits find their way back into his game after having made such good progress over the course of the season.
Moving on from that, the running game was a lot less effective than in recent weeks and no doubt people will be quick to blame this on Frank Gore. Actually, though, the blocking simply wasn't as good as it's been of late with Ty Johnson held to just two yards per carry coming off his 100-yard game last week.
Here was one play where they did work well though. It's a conventional zone play, designed to spread the defensive line out to create a running lane, which is what happens.
It's always interesting to look at each blocker's contribution on a play like this. Let's go from left to right.
Trevon Wesco fires off the line and gets into KJ Wright's chest so he can keep him sealed to the outside.
Becton also fires out and gives an effective enough shove that his man is forced wide. It's another example of him lunging after a block rather than locking onto it but in these cases that's still effective enough.
Elflein keeps his man moving laterally which is the key here. His man does penetrate by a few yards, but he has enough lateral momentum to carve out a lane.
McGovern gets to the second level and Bobby Wagner almost fights off his block, but the center does well to reset his angle and keep him walled off.
Andrews probably makes the key block here, getting the step on Damon Harrison to seal him on the backside with a well-executed reach block.
George Fant also does a reach block but this one is somewhat unconventional, albeit very effective. Instead of moving laterally with conventional sidestep-style footwork, he effectively sprints downhill to get to a spot before his man and then steps across to stand in his way. He doesn't even turn towards him; just stands with his butt in the way and the defender has no way of getting around Fant as he puts on the brakes.
As unusual as this was, it does appear to be something the Jets coach their linemen to do, because it's not the first time someone has done it this year. Becton would do the same thing on a run going in the other direction later on.
Finally, Ryan Griffin easily gets to Jamal Adams' inside shoulder as the safety seems to make an uncharacteristically late read. He doesn't stay on the block well though, so Adams gets a big hit in at the end of the run.
The last play we're going to look at in this section is the one where Adams was credited with a cheap sack to set the all-time record for sacks by a defensive back.
The two main points of interest here are how badly Elflein was put on rollerskates by his man at the snap and Chris Herndon breaking deep for a potential big play over the top as Adams vacates his coverage responsibilities.
Darnold used to do a good job of keeping his eyes downfield when he evacuated the pocket but that ability seems to have deserted him and there seems to be a missed opportunity on a play like this every game or two now.
It's interesting to contrast a player who freelances when he probably shouldn't but it usually works out well for him with another who used to excel at freelancing but now seems to be afraid to do so.
Bush League Defense
With Gregg Williams out, how would the Jets fare with Frank Bush at the helm? Not great.
Operating the same basic defensive schemes, the Jets had so many breakdowns with rookies Bryce Hall and Javelin Guidry being among those who seemed lost on the most occasions with Matthias Farley often ending up exposed and isolated.
Rather than break those down in any detail, we'll give them a pass because clearly the coaching change obviously didn't help their preparation.
While some of these errors should reduce once Bush has had more of a chance to prepare his team properly, right now it looks like this move makes the ignominy of an 0-16 season all the more likely. Of course, some will feel that's a good thing, though...
We'll have some more in-depth analysis for you throughout the rest of today and over the next few days, so keep checking back here early and often.