Todd Bowles' blitz heavy philosophy has been discussed a lot. There is no right or wrong philosophy in the NFL. All styles have strengths and weaknesses. It is more about having the ability to execute a certain style successfully than it is about picking the "right" style. A blitz heavy approach has certain weaknesses, but so far the Jets have excelled. Let's talk about a few of the effects the Jets' blitzes have.
This is a simple concept. The more guys the defense blitzes, the more guys the offense has to block. For example, if there are only five offensive linemen and no extra blockers, it requires each lineman to go one on one. That means the guy blocking Muhammad Wilkerson gets no help.
Here is another example. On this play, the Jets blitz both Harris and Demario Davis. One inside linebacker is going to be fairly easy for a center to pick up. Inside linebackers are not pass rushers by trade. They will have a difficult time getting off a block by an offensive lineman. Sending both in addition to four linemen means a back is going to have to get one of them, Harris in this case. This is more of a fair fight, and Harris records the sack.
Putting Pressure on the Opponent
Most quarterbacks get the ball out in under three seconds. That means the defense has to get to him quickly, but it also means the offensive line has to be able to quickly detect a blitz. A pressure scheme puts stress on the blocking scheme, and one mistake can mean a free runner.
The Jets have Damon Harrison over the center, who job frequently would be to pick up a blitzing middle linebacker. Instead, he has Harrison as the sea opens, and the back recognizes this late.
Ryan Tannehill actually scrambled for a few yards on this play, but it could have ended in catastrophe, and any hope for a big play was dashed.
Limiting the Offense
One of the legitimate concerns about this defense as the season progresses will be the coverage skills or lack of them from the linebackers and safeties. What is one way to deal with it? The Jets' blitz tendencies might force the opposition to keep tight ends and backs in to block as they did on this fourth down play. The Dolphins were left with a three man route. Two receiving options were eliminated. Then consider that out of the three options, one was covered by Darrelle Revis.
As we discussed at the start, any system can work if you have the players to execute it. Right now, the Jets' system is being executed very well.