The last edition had what went right for the Jets on Sunday. Here let's recap why the Jets lost and why they had a shot at the end of the game, if Marshall got set.
Let's start with the Amendola TD which is an example of loose coverage and a safety caught in between covering two routes. Pats line up with 3 wide to the left of Brady, with a TE and RB to the right. Pats run a combination of slant routes of various depth. Most are consistent with 10-15 yard post and corner routes, although Amendola's is a bit shorter and a bit more like an in route.
Jets here are in a cover two man coverage. Two deep safeties help out taking any longer routes and provide inside help. The underneath men are mano-y-mano with the exception of a LB that drops into either a lurking linebacker looking for short routes or more probable, a spy on Brady. With the exception of Marcus Williams everyone underneath plays just about heads up, Wililams shades to the outside, which is the reason this pass gets open in the first place.
Williams gets totally schooled here on the slant/in route. He's already giving a step or two to the outside, and when Amendola cuts inside he's dead in the water. Check out the separation. At this point it's up to Gilchrest to make a play. Problem is that he (correctly) helping out on the other route that's deeper. To his credit he does make a play on the ball, recognizing the wide open WR cutting across the middle.
He's just a shade late getting to the pass though and Brady doesn't miss too many of these. Amendola makes the catch and avoids the safeties dive/tackle enough to fall into the end zone.
While it's easy to say Williams has been pretty good for the Jets, here you see the bad. He guessed outside and was playing that the whole way and got absolutely taken advantage of by the play. Gilchrist was a bit preoccupied to cover for the mistake, which lead to a pretty easy score.
The next play is a pure blown coverage disaster for the Jets. Simply put, either Gilchrist or Coples completely blew the assignment. It's pure man to man coverage to boot meaning any mistake like this and it's pretty much a gimmie TD.
Pats line up in an empty set with 4 wide and Gronk to the left of Brady tight to the line. Pats have a few WR going deep here. The right slot WR runs a simple out route while Gronk runs a TE delay route over the middle.
Below is example A of a blown assignment. The Jets are playing straight man across the board, with no help over the top. Either Coples or Gilchirst should have been on Gronk, but instead both went right after Brady. One would have been enough to cause havoc, as neither was blocked. Problem is the rush would have needed a full second or more to get to Brady from that position, and that's more than enough time for Brady to throw arguably the easiest TD of his career over the top of the defenders.
Check out far they are from the QB when he's throwing the ball, there's no way he misses that pass.
The worst part was the Jets had no one to help. Everyone else is covering a man or blitzing. There's no one within 15 yards of the catch, with half the Jets in the Patriots backfield.
That's just terrible. No other words for it. I'd love to know who blew that assignment, because that's the reason the play was so easy. The sad part is that if someone covered Gronk, Brady probably throws the ball away or takes a sack. I'm not sure he would have had enough time to find that out route that was open briefly.
I can't end on that note so let's look at special teams and how the Jets recovered an onside kick. First off, great design here as it stretches the Patriot recovery team very thin. Also Folk had a decent onside kick, aided by a total muff of the kick. Looking at the replay I'd say 8 out of 10 times that's handled by the return team without an issue. This time it worked out.
The Jets lined up with 3 men in the middle, with two kickers and 4 guys to the kickers left and 5 to the right. One man goes in "motion" running laterally and then turning upfield. The Pats do a good job to screw this up as well. There's four guys on the right side of the screen, and the Jets will have 5. Both players in the box don't shift at all, which creates a 5 on 4
power play overload.
Below the man is about to turn upfield and you can see the 5 highlighted in red against the Pats 4 guys. If I'm looking at this and I'm a Pats coach I'm a bit disgusted. One guy should have shifted over to that side of the motion and the other middle player should have shifted and covered the other kicker. As is, the Jets have numbers on their side.
The muff set the play in motion obviously, but there's more to it than just that. The outside men lock up, which effectively gave the Jets 4 guys to the Pats 3 within diving distance of the bouncing ball.
Even worse is that the Pats outside recovery guy gets beat to the ball. If Marshall had bobbled it more, the next guy who had a clean look at it would have been a Jets player who was about 2 yards behind Marshall.
That's a solid onside kick design and poor coverage by the Pats. The second part is more than likely what I'd point to why this kick worked, outside of the muffed kick itself.
I wouldn't doubt that the special teams coach for the Pats will practice this play a dozen or so times in the coming weeks, because this was a terrible play from their perspective.