Top 5 Most Useless Jets Play Selection

NY Jets Fan standing in Stadium

During the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era, the New York Jets have accumulated many wins through innovative play calls and well thought out match ups. At first the Jets have been able to capitalize on catching opponents off guard and unprepared. But the Jets’ plays have become repetitive, stale and now predictable. The Jets are spiraling on a losing streak and a solution to their woes may be to stop running the following five plays. These plays are still being called even though they are no longer as effective.

5. Jimmy Leonard defense coverage

Safety Jim Leonard is 5 feet 8 inches tall. It’s a mystery why Leonard is asked to cover tight ends when there is a clear mismatch in speed, height and strength.

This season other safety Eric Smith is now being asked to cover tight ends too. And Smith isn’t much taller than Leonard. Both safeties are being asked too much to cover such players and the result is always a big gain for the other offense. In the 30-21 loss to the New England Patriots the tight end Aaron Hernandez keep winning the one-on-one coverage from the Jets safeties.

4. The Wildcat offensive play

The Miami Dolphins made the Wildcat formation their primary offense in 2008 and the Jets soon incorporated this formation into their offensive playbook as well. With the speed and explosive talent of Brad Smith, the Jets snapped the ball to Smith to run down the middle under the wildcat. With this offensive formation, however, the Jets always ran the ball in the middle and hardly deviated from this play. The Jets gained a lot of yards initially but as expected the yards eventually decreased.

Even though Brad Smith has left for the Buffalo Bills, the Jets are still running the wildcat in the 2011 season. Put simply, Brad Smith made the wildcat work for the Jets but since there is no player to replace his talent for the wildcat the Jets should stop attempting this formation. It was a declining play that should just be left in the past.

3. Overload blitz

Rex Ryan did not have much talent on defense his first year as head coach with the Jets but he did attack the quarterback with his creative blitzes. In the overload blitz, the majority of the Jets defense line up on one side of the field and blitz the quarterback from that side. It worked at first but most quarterbacks found the weakness in this attack. Quarterbacks see the overload blitz and just quickly throw the ball on the opposite side of the field as soon as the ball is snapped to avoid the blitzing side altogether. Offenses even shift their blocking to that side to block the blitz and give the quarterback a few more seconds to release the ball. While the overload worked frequently before, it has now become ineffective in reaching the quarterback.

2. Santonio slant pass

It might have been a highlight reel last season but the slant pass to Santonio Holmes is no longer catching defenses off guard. Sanchez hit Santonio with the slant pass last season against the Detroit Lions at the end of the game for the game-winning score. Surprisingly, the same play worked the following game against the Cleveland Browns in the Jets overtime win. Yet after the Browns game the Jets went back to this play whenever they are in need of a score but defenses caught up to the Jets reliance on this play. Defenses often place  a defender in the area where Santonio will slant to and deflected the pass. Whenever the Jets find themselves on third and short yardage, defenses plan for this attack and now the result favors the opponents. It is an explanation as to why the Jets cannot convert on first downs when they run this play over and over.

1. Play-action rollout left

A season or two ago, when the Jets were a run-first offense, the play-action call created an open receiver for Sanchez as defenses bit on the run. Sanchez would snap the ball, run back and pretend to hand off to the running back, rollout to the left and pass to the open receiver. But even in the first season when the Jets had big gains off the play-action, after the half of the season, this trick play also became less effective. Defenses would designate the defensive end to focus on Sanchez and not pursue on the run. Result: When Sanchez turns around he now has a defensive end approaching him or already tackling him. Why the Jets are still running this play this season when they have become a pass-first offense is bewildering. Defenses are not falling for the play-action and are reaching Sanchez to force him to turnover the ball. This offensive play has become the most ineffective play the Jets run that actually does result in turnovers because even fans have come to expect this.

Photo credits: Steve

I don't know. Sometimes it feels like my writing & thoughts are way off. Who knows if it'll help anyone or if it means anything.

Written by Nassau Jones

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