Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Film review: Anatomy of Ground & Pound
By Rich Cimini
Breaking down the tape of the Jets' 17-10 win over the Jaguars ...
RIGHTY-LEFTY SWITCH: The offense was a joke in the first half, managing zero points and only 94 total yards against the 31st-ranked defense. After halftime, coordinator Tony Sparano made a nice adjustment. Basically, he flipped the running game, from right to left.
In the first half, the Jets called 14 designed runs -- and not one of them went to the left of C Nick Mangold. Every run was either up the middle or to the right of Mangold. In the second half, they ran 11 times to the left, eight times up the middle and six times to the right. In fact, their longest run was a 14-yarder around left end, Shonn Greene on a misdirection play.
The Jets used a few misdirection runs in the second half, starting right and winding back to the left, often running to the open side of the formation. You also saw more pulling linemen, with the guards and tackles getting involved. Heck, even Vladimir Ducasse got out in space and made a nice block. TE Konrad Reuland also contributed in the running game.
The Jets gained 110 yards on the ground in the second half, finishing with 166. They faced a lot of eight-man fronts from the Jaguars, who weren't concerned about getting beat by Mark Sanchez and his depleted receiving corps. That made the rushing total even more impressive.
Here's a "hit" list, a four-quarter breakdown of where they ran:
Left end -- 2 for 16 yards
Left tackle -- 3 for 11 yards
Left guard -- 6 for 36 yards
Center -- 13 for 46 yards, 1 TD
Right guard -- 8 for 30 yards, 1 TD
Right tackle -- 5 for 8 yards
Right end -- 2 for 8 yards
PUTTING MONEY WHERE THEIR (SMASH) MOUTH IS: To say the Jets relied on their tight ends in the running game would be an understatement. By my count, they used multiple tight ends on 30 of 39 designed running plays.
The most frequently used personnel grouping was "12" -- 1 RB/2 TE/2 WR. They ran 17 times for 69 yards (4.1 average) out of that grouping, with extra OT Jason Smith counting as a jumbo-TE. Of course, some of it was out of necessity. When Stephen Hill (knee) went down in the second quarter, they were down to three healthy wideouts, including Mardy Gilyard, whom they signed off the street a couple of weeks ago.
THIRD-DOWN SPECIALISTS: For the second straight week, the Jets' defense dominated third down, holding the Jaguars to 2-for-16. Yeah, it's true, the Jaguars aren't very good, but let's give some credit to a well-designed plan and solid execution.
The Jets gave QB Chad Henne so many different looks that, at times, he looked dizzy. Rookie S Antonio Allen, who came up from the practice squad last week, was deployed as a blitzer in certain packages -- a classic example of Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine finding a niche for a player with a specific skill set.
There were a lot of good defensive calls, but three jumped out:
Second quarter, third-and-5, Jets 45: They put six at the line, but rushed only two -- meaning nine in coverage. Henne threw a swing to RB Jordan Todman, but LBs Calvin Pace and David Harris were there, waiting for him. No gain. It looked like they knew the Jaguars' play call.
Third quarter, third-and-3, Jags 33: They put seven at the line, rushing five. DE Quinton Coples, who had a nice day, dropped into coverage. Henne hurried his throw and hit WR Jordan Shipley for only one yard.
Third quarter, third-and-11, Jags 10: The Jets went to their "Amoeba" defense, with six standing at the line -- but no one in a three-point stance. They rushed five. Henne looked confused. Allen and Coples applied pressure, with Harris dropping Henne for a two-yard sack.
HICCUP NO. 1: It wasn't a perfect day on defense, as the Jets made two big mistakes. On Montell Owens' 32-yard TD run, which came on second-and-17, the Jets used seven DBs vs. 3 WRs -- and they paid the price for having a small lineup on the field. LB Garrett McIntyre got wiped out by two blockers at the point of attack, DB Ellis Lankster couldn't get off his block and Owens was gone -- the first TD in 25 possesions against the Jets' defense.
HICCUP No. 2: This was the Jaguars' fourth-and-15 conversion with 58 seconds to play, which infuriated Ryan. He still was seething after the game. The Jets went to their "Amoeba" front, rushing five -- including safeties Allen and Eric Smith. They played man-to-man coverage underneath, with two deep safeties in zone.
Shipley beat CB Kyle Wilson in the seam, and both safeties -- Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry -- were late to react. The look on Ryan's face said it all; it looked like he had eaten a bad oyster. The breakdown could've cost them the game.
ODDS AND ENDS: LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson was beaten cleanly by DE Jason Babin on an outside rush, resulting in a strip sack ... NT Sione Po'uha made a great play on a third-and-1, standing up the center and stuffing FB Greg Jones for no gain. It looked the old Sione ... Coples leaves his feet almost every time he gets near the QB; he leaves himself vulnerable to pump fakes ... DE Muhammad Wilkerson dominated on a three-and-out in the third quarter, recording two QB hits and a sack ... Crushing block by FB Lex Hilliard on Bilal Powell's four-yard TD run ... The Jaguars really screwed up their final play. They allowed pressure on a three-man rush (Coples blew past LT Eugene Monroe) and there was a miscommunication between Henne and WR Kevin Elliott. The result was an easy pick for DB Ellis Lankster.