I have skipped over the first two touchdowns and fumble because there wasn't a ton to break down. Revis completely whiffed on the route guessing outside and watching the WR go inside. Ivory used vision to find a crease between a few blocks, and Decker couldn't hold onto a ball. That's the sum of those plays. Anyway, I got to do a few plays using the work computer, so let's take a look at the highlights.
On a bad note, the first half was punctuated by yet another Ryan Fitzpatrick interception. He's not been great at game managing although he's really done a good job in spots. Tis' the life of a Jets fan that we see plays like this. Jets are lined up in Chan Gailey special aka 5 wide. The play is a crossing route on the right with Marshall running a wheel route underneath a slant route. The other side of the field has some deep post routes with a comeback route.
The Redskins run a cover one scheme with a deep safety and a QB spy on Fitz. Everyone else has a man. This can be exploited by routes like the wheel route and it makes sense to go to Marshall on this play based off the coverage.
Marshall gets some separation as he runs the flat portion of the route. The safety runs up the field for no apparent reason, other than maybe trying to fly up the field in case Fitz takes off. But there is one man already there for that purpose, so he totally screwed the pooch. That should open up a deep sideline route even more than a man scheme would.
Fitz seeing this "unleashes" a pass that floats to the inside of the field. Marshall gained and lost separation in the first five yards and the defender was in a weak position that was bailed out by the pass. He ends up cutting off Marshall who was running up the field at a slight angle towards the sidelines. Perhaps the defender also shielded Brandon really well, but either way he did a great job cutting off the pass.
Bad decision? Not really. Poor pass? I think so. I could also point to the pass and say that Fitz was expecting a slightly more vertical route rather than the more sideline route. Of course the defender may have also been doing a great job shielding Marshall that way. That may explain the pass which stayed inside and the reason why Marshall looked out of place. If we are being real though, it looks like yet another weak pass from Fitz. An outside pass would fall incomplete at worse and at best Marshall takes it in stride. C'est la vie with Fitz at the helm.
After a Folk hero field goal to start the second half, the Jets would start a string of three straight TDs. The turning point of the game is because of everyone's favorite Jet: Revis. It reminds of a similar play years ago during the 9/11 game against Dallas. Revis fakes like he's in man, even though they are playing zone. Then the QB makes a fatal error and Revis makes them pay by baiting the QB. Let's break it down.
Washington lines up in a 3 wide 1 TE 1 RB set. The three WR on the right run two spacing stop routes designed to find a hole in the zone with one man going long. On the top, the RB runs under a purpose rub route with the WR trying to take the corner and the safety/LB whose on the RB out of the play. Unfortunately for the Skins, the Jets are playing a zone. I want to point something out. When is the last time you saw the Jets run a true nickel defense with 4 men on the line, 5 across and 2 in zone? I think years.
Underneath, the Jets run a basic cover 2 or possibly cover 3. Cro does go deep here covering the deep wideout which suggests a cover 3, but watching the safeties it looks more like a cover two than cover 3. If it is cover two, (which I'm inclined to believe) Cro does an intelligent thing and covers the WR going long. You can see where this is going to go wrong for Washington with a play design that should beat man coverage.
It's almost a "there's no way they are running this vanilla of a defense" look. It's something you see a lot on opposing teams, but this is Todd Bowles guru of the blitz and disguised coverages. The Jets play true to form, and it's evidenced by Revis allowing the slant route to come across his face while the back peels out of the backfield. In man, Revis would be on the slant route, while the LB/Safety would come across to get the RB. In zone, Revis let's him go. Cousins is too busy looking at the other side of the field to notice. With no deep routes, the safeties lurk over the top.
Cousins then commits the fatal error. Revis is lying in wait for this exact moment, jumping the pass to the edge.
Hats off here to Bowles and Revis. Bowles for dialing up a zone at the right time, and Revis for doing his thing. He totally baited the ball there. Say what you want about his physical traits and ability to shut down a WR, but this is something that you can't teach. He's a true football IQ guy.
The Jets weren't going to let Revis's INT go to waste, so they promptly scored on a QB scramble. I personally thought Fitz was an above average scrambler going into this season, but he's really added a new dimension to this team with the ability to get 5-6 yards and a first down. Every once in awhile, he's done something like this, except with the whole scoring thing.
The Jets line up in an formation with 3 wide to the left of Fitz, with the TE tight to the lineman on the right. Ivory will be lending a hand for the line. From this formation, there's only one side of the field that can be targeted unless you really want to see Kellen Davis on an isolation route.
The Jets run run two underneath crossing routes with two deep posts. The idea here is to probably find a bit of space or hope the defense falls apart in the secondary.
The defense, meanwhile, is in cover one. The right deep man at the top of the screen is probably matched up with Ivory, and with him blocking is free to do his own thing. The Skins send 5 and have five in man (one who ends up doubling a deep post) and one man deep.
The pressure starts to come around the right edge, but Fitz sees a lane and takes it. Notice the open field in the center as the LB is playing Davis to the sideline route. He's got a lot of room to work with here if he can break the pocket cleanly.
True to form, he does just that as the pocket breaks down and the one edge rusher gets swallowed into the center. He's got about twenty yards of room in front of him and Davis is shielding the man labeled 4. Fitz really has 3 guys to beat here although the 4th could get in the play if he hustles. Davis ends up with the key play here, and this is something you really like to see. He instead of watching, goes out and tries to block someone/anyone in front of Fitz to spring him the 5 extra yards he will need.
Davis hustles over and gets in the way of a defender, log jamming the two behind him. Fitz makes a great cutback behind Davis. Our trailer on the play nearly gets to Fitz around the two, but Fitz's momentum carries him in the end zone. The deep safety on the J in the middle of the field had an outside chance of preventing the TD, but it worked out for Fitz as he squeezed into the end zone giving the Jets the lead. It's a lead they would not relinquish.
Breaking down this play was fun. Fitz had perfect and I mean that perfect vision to see the developing hole in front of him. The line gave him enough time to get through the pocket where Fitz had plenty of room to work his Fitzmagic. Davis deserves at least a partial game ball on this play for hustling his way up and providing the shield block that turned a really nice gain into a touchdown.
I'll have more later this week.