First off, I'm going to separate the Chalkboards this week by Jets TD's and Pats TD's, with a brief detour for Sheldon Richardson. Let's start off with the good guys shall we?
Late in the 3rd, the Pats had a 1st and 10. The Pats lined up with 4 WR and a TE to the right. The Jets meanwhile lined up with 4 up front and 7 in coverage. I'm seeing a lot more 4 men down looks from the Jets this year and so far I've liked some of the results, this being one of them. The Pats here run a levels concept with 3 underneath routes and 2 deep routes.
The Jets also played a true zone coverage... a simple basic cover two with 5 men underneath and the safeties splitting the field playing deep. Notice something here: the coverage thus far is excellent.
Finally one of the four DL gets free and it's Richardson getting around the block. Brady does the smart thing and rolls to his left avoiding the rush. Problem is for Brady, there's no one really open other than the underneath route which a defender is monitoring. Also because Brady rolled to the left, effectively he's also going to have a much tougher time throwing to the 3 WR side.
Eventually Richardson's pursuit catches up to Brady, who was still looking for anyone to get open. I get we all get excited for Richardson and his pursuit but the coverage here made the difference.
This is the definition of a coverage sack, where the rush was muted at first but eventually did get to the QB. Unfortunately, for the Jets the ball ended up in the wrong hands, as the Pats recovered the strip sack.
Earlier in the game, the Jets got a touchdown from Kerley on a play that had more than one option wide open for a TD. The Jets had 3 wide with two to the left, with the TE to that side. Ivory lined up in the backfield and would provide some extra protection for the pass. Kelley runs a in/slant route while the slot WR runs a deeper out route. The TE and other WR run seam routes.
The Pats sent a few extra people were in man to man coverage behind the rush. Perhaps the biggest key to this is an apparent double team on the bottom WR. That really opened up the left side of the play for a quick pass. I can't even fault the defenders too much here. Kerley got a step on him right off the bat, and that's all he really needed to get the pass and head up field.
Now check out the TE below. The Pats blew this coverage really badly. Even if Kerley was blanketed, there were still two other options. The TE gets wide open in the center of the field for a "pop" pass, while the inside WR running the out route could be lead on a sideline route.
Needless to say, this is a great play call. When you have multiple options for a score, and especially one that is wide open, it says to me that Chan had the Pats completely confused and caught off guard. Good stuff.
And now the GIF. Hat tip to a great writer and film review guy: Xes&Os who found out how to gif this stuff.
Let's take a look at the Ivory TD where I'm not sure, but the Jets may have gotten away with a pick and a half. The Jets lined up with 3 wide, two to the bottom in stack formation. Decker is tight to the TE, a few yards outside of the slot. Ivory is offset right to Fitz.
The Jets run a typical bunch concept with the WR's running slant routes off each other. Ivory will swing out to the right, which will be set up by the slant route that Decker runs.
It looks like a straight man defense with a double team on the other side. The TE also deserves a hand here as him and Decker end up running into multiple defenders which opens up the outside fully for Ivory. You can see the cluster that will be formed as the players come together off the top bunch.
Ivory swings out to the right and doesn't have a defender within 5 yards of him because of the interference caused by Decker and the TE. The pass is a simple pitch and catch.
The damage was done early on this play, as Ivory could stroll into the end zone with the defender way behind him.
Now for the important question: could there have been a penalty on the play? I'm sure somewhere in the rulebook there is a rule against this type of thing, but also have a feeling that Decker was close enough to the line of scrimmage for this to be legal. Either way, another great play call, design and execution by the Jets offense.
If anyone knows the rule and wants to prove me right or wrong, go for it. I'll be working on part two in the meanwhile.