We're going to kick off today's analysis with some things you might not have noticed from yesterday's win over the Bengals:
The Shaq that rocks the Crable
These Hollywood remakes are getting ridiculous.
Shaq Lawson - Number 50 coming off the right edge - bats the ball into the air and comes down with a crucial fourth quarter interception to set up a fourth quarter touchdown and give the Jets a three-point win?
Haven't we seen this somewhere before?
Yep, 34 years ago, Bob Crable - Number 50 coming off the right edge - did this:
Wow...now, that's spooky!
Block your socks off
It's a phenomenon we often see when a backup quarterback enters the game. ("We" meaning observers of football games rather than Jets fans specifically). Everyone else steps up their game and plays hard for the new guy. That's not to say that these Jets weren't already playing hard for Zach Wilson, but on Sunday, they went above and beyond.
However, it wasn't so much the linemen working hard to stay on and move their man, although this happened to a degree. Nor was it the pass catchers coming down with passes and fighting for yards with the ball, although this also happened. No, on Sunday, what made all the difference was some outstanding blocking from the pass catchers and ball carriers.
Check it out:
The first example came on Ace Carter's touchdown run to complete the first drive. Ryan Griffin set the edge and stayed on his block well, Denzel Mims drove the safety back so he didn't have the angle to make the stop and Tyler Kroft pulled out in front to demolish the defensive back in space:
In the second quarter, Carter had a first down run that wouldn't have been possible without Keelan Cole blocking down with a de-cleater on Trey Hendrickson and Ty Johnson of all people leading the way out of the backfield.
Carter's longest rush of the day also came on a play where a pass catcher made a great block. This time, it was Griffin again, trapping for a pancake on the linebacker.
Carter might have been the beneficiary of all these plays but he also showed some blocking prowess on this outstanding blitz pick-up to set up a short completion.
The Jets may not have a George Kittle or Kyle Juszczyk on their roster (yet) but these are the plays that can unlock the Shanahan offense and make it so much more dynamic and effective. Hopefully they continue when Zach Wilson is back.
Who says they can't pick up a stunt?
There was a lot of discussion this week about the Jets' inability to pick up stunts, mostly centered around a couple of isolated incidents which belie the fact that the Jets have improved in their ability to do so over the course of the season - and by a long way over what we saw the past few years.
Regardless of how well they did this on Sunday, they definitely did it when it counted. Check out the offensive line on Kroft's game-winning touchdown catch:
The Bengals dialed up a double stunt, clearly hoping to get some more pressure on White. However, all five offensive linemen played their part in picking this up and just about giving White the time he needs to recognize the blown coverage.
(Almost) the icing on the cake
The Jets struggled to run the clock out at the end of the game as Elijah Moore went out of bounds right before the two minute warning to preserve a Bengals time-out and Carter flopped down short of the marker because he didn't want to go out of bounds.
In the end, the Jets got a bit lucky with the personal foul call on 3rd-and-long and were able to run out the clock.
Nevertheless, the play on second down before the two minute warning warrants another look. White looks for Carter but throws incomplete although passing here makes more sense than running because you know the clock will stop at two minutes no matter what.
Here's the play:
The two inside slot receivers run quick in-breaking routes, drawing the attention of the defenders, and Denzel Mims releases inside on a deep crossing clear-out. Carter, who lined up as an H-back, runs to the flat but then arcs downfield in a wheel route action, getting behind the safety Vonn Bell (#24).
Unfortunately, Logan Wilson (#55) reads this all the way and gets across to pick up Carter. If he hesitates at the snap, gets slowed up in the wash, reacts to any of the in-breaking routes or if someone on the inside hesitates and he breaks off his assignment to pick up that man, this is not just a first down but a huge play and maybe even a touchdown.
This is a play that didn't work, but easily could have if Wilson didn't make such a great defensive play. Nevertheless, it's an interesting design and a good insight into the playcalling looking to stretch the defense and take advantage of any errors they make.
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.