Hey folks. Today's breakdown is interesting because it's entirely from the third quarter, which I shall entitle "The Greatest Quarter the New York Jets Have Ever Played." I chose four plays, two defensive and two offensive. The defensive plays were actually the first two plays in the quarter, and really sparked the massive turnaround. I wasn't at Metlife Stadium, but after the two happened, I received a text message from a friend who was, saying, "I'm not sure the structural integrity of the building can hold up if this continues."
Q3, 15:00 remaining. The Jets line up in their nickel formation to match the Patriots three receivers in the shotgun, a typical passing formation. Quinton Coples' quick move immediately beats Nate Solder, and although Solder recovers, Coples is able to quickly get his hand up and knock the ball away. Really heads up play by Coples here.
Q3, 14:36 remaining. The Jets are lined up in man coverage with two deep safeties in their big nickel package. This is really just a bad throw by Tom Brady. He might have been able to hit Rob Gronkowski if he had lofted the ball over Antonio Allen's head, but he put it slightly behind him, letting Allen take it to the house.
Q3, 5:51 remaining. The Patriots are lined up in man coverage with a single high safety. All the receivers go downfield, leaving nobody between Geno Smith and the first down marker. Just a smart, heads up play by Smith, and an excellent second effort to get the first down. This play demonstrates Smith's situational awareness (knowledge of where he is on the field, that it's third down, etc.), which has been mostly fantastic through seven games.
Q4, 4:42 remaining. At the top of his drop, Smith finds all of his receivers blanketed. He rolls out to gain some time, maintaining eye level. I can't stress this enough. A lot of bad or rookie quarterbacks immediately start looking where to run, and don't keep there eyes on the receivers. This is an obvious tip-off to the defense and makes it impossible to throw it if someone breaks free. But Smith waits, waits, waits, watches his receivers, and when there's absolutely no other choice, he takes off. Also notably, watch his subtle head fake, which breaks Marquice Cole's ankles. Smith has passionately said he doesn't want to be classified as a running quarterback, but he's really good at scrambling.
Immediately following that play, the camera panned to Matt Patricia, the defensive coordinator of the Patriots, who just gave up the go-ahead touchdown:
I call this the "Oh, crap." face.