Play Was Maybe Ill-Conceived, But Result Was Vital

DENVER - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Rex Ryan the New York Jets celebrates a penalty call against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 17 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

I was taking a quick look at some more reaction articles to the great escape in Mile High Denver and I saw that Rich Cimini had posted a little blurb on the final 4th and 6th pass interference play, which read:

If you're a New York Jets fan, it's a case of, "All's well that ends well." But take a closer look at the Mile High Miracle --Renaldo Hill's 46-yard pass-interference penalty on Santonio Holmes -- and you will see it wasn't a well-designed play by the Jets.

On a fourth-and-6 from the Denver Broncos' 48, the Jets sent four receivers on vertical routes -- Holmes on the backside, with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller in "trips" to the right. After studying the replay, a revelation: There was no safety valve because LaDainian Tomlinson stayed in to block.

Although it may not have been the best call we're likely to see, I think an important note is that formation allowed Santonio Holmes to get in single coverage and put him in a position to make a play on the football. While watching the game I remember saying, good job we got pass protection on that play, Sanchez needed all the time he could get. So I went back and looked at the play a couple of times, and it shows just how vital LT's block was to supplying Sanchez with that added time. Take a look:

As you can see a Bronco turns the corner on Brick who's able to stay with him and push him out of the play, however another rusher comes inside off the shoulder of Slauson, that rusher is picked up by LT and he maintains the block laterally using some of his quickness to give Sanchez some extra time to make this throw.

I can begin to see what Cimini meant when writing this, however I can't be angry at a play call which helped out a rookie (counting Slauson as a rookie because of the lack of starts, maybe more a redshirt freshman), turned out to be a vital block and gave us single coverage on a clutch receiver like Santonio Holmes.

Also that safety valve of LT is all well and good in hindsight, but I've seen Sanchez miss his target on a simple 5 yard hot pass. I don't love the play, but I don't think it's necessarily ill-conceived either. It got the job done.

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