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Jets Aggressive D is a Double Edge Sword

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The Jets Defense surrounded 3 passing touchdowns and caused a turnover. The key to all these was how aggressive they were in these situations and break down the key plays on Sunday.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Well the Jets lost again, which is becoming an all too familiar refrain. The Jets let up some huge passing plays in this game. The Texans had 3 TD's all which came from outside the redzone. There's a common refrain to them, and one that Bowles has to sort. How aggressive can you get and does your defense need to change tactics to be as successful as it once was? Let's break it down

The first play from Sunday is a positive one that gets overshadowed by the rest of the garbage we saw last week. The Jets forced a turnover off a semi-delay blitz. Perhaps more important was the fact the coverage was so good as opposed to the rush. This would not be the case most of the day.

The Texans lined up with two tight ends on either side of the tackles with a bunch set of three WR split out to the right. They run a max protect from inside with the 3 WR running the routes. A bunch package is designed to get one of the three open by causing confusion from the defenders. The inside man runs an arrow route while the outside man runs a post and the lead man runs a sideline fly route.

The defense was somewhat aggressive even despite having two men deep in cover two. The DB underneath play straight man coverage. Two keys to this: the cover two protects deep and there's a blitz underneath. The Jets rush six including Marcus Williams in red.

Despite having to switch men, the coverage itself is great on all routes. Even the deep routes have a safety just in case. Other than maybe a heave towards the sideline there's no one open. At the same time, Williams times his blitz splitting two rushers and gets a clean look at Yates.

At the moment of impact, there's no one open. Yates was going to get sacked or take a grounding penalty here. Luckily for the Jets the sack also came with a strip and gave them the ball.

Aggressive, yes. Help deep? Yes. This is the good side of playing aggressive with this defense.


Now let's take a look at the bad.

We didn't have to wait long for the aggressive defense to cause problems. Revis was left on an island covering Hopkins while he rest of the defense bit hard on a play action fake.

It's a really simple set up with Hopkins flanked out wide right running a deep post and the left TE running a 12 yard in route. Two things to take away: the jumbo set is primarily used to bang out runs and selling the play action which the Texans do to perfection can lead to a big play.

Revis gets outside position, which normally good, but Hopkins darts inside. Already Revis is a bit well, screwed. It doesn't help that there is literally no one helping him out. Everyone else sells out on the run, except for the one man covering the inside route.

Revis does a great job up until about this point. There he runs into Hopkins and that allows the WR to get some separation. Again with Revis playing outside, he did well to get to this point. The problem is that with the Jets selling out on the run, there's no one left to help Revis on the inside, one mistake will be a killer.

And now you see the result with Hopkins running away from Revis, who again nearly comes back to make the play.

The aggressive Jets defense flew to the play action and bit hard. Our possibly elite or possibly not elite CB was put into a tough position.


Trick plays are interesting for a coach. How often do you see them? Rarely. The reason: they provide huge rewards, but often with a low rate of success. The best time to take it is when the defense is already on it's heels and trying to make a big play.

This is simple enough, with two WR left one steps back and the other blocks. With all eyes on one side of the field the TE runs a clear out route, while the back piggybacks off the post and runs into the clear area.

Cro does an admirable job of going after the TE, but left Davis who was caught looking inside as the back swung around him.

At the same point, look how many Jets are on one side of the field. A ton. It's only Davis and the RB on the other side of the field.

With Davis watching inside and Cro rushing to get the TE over the middle, it's a pitch and catch situation.

And that's how you beat a defense that is too busy looking for a cutback to see the back getting wide open behind the LB.


Last play and one that John B and I were both questioning. Revis at this point had a head injury, so Wiliams filled in. That's a big step-down in talent, but instead of helping Wiliams or calling a less aggressive defense, Bowles opts for pretty much an all out blitz.

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The Texans have 4 wide with a back behind Yates. The two left WR run an arrow and comeback pattern while Hopkins goes long with the slot going underneath.

Here's the biggest problem I have:

The Jets have a safety running over to the slot WR, Williams stuck in one on one with a top 5 WR in Hopkins and the help deep coming from the other side of the field. I get being aggressive and dialing up blitzes that are disguised, but the situation called for something more conservative or something that takes the pressure off Williams. When Hopkins went up the sideline it was always going to be one on one.

Check out how wide open the slot man was as well. Instead Yates spots the mismatch and rather than take a surefire 5 yards goes up top to Hopkins. The safety over the top, isn't on the right side of the field to help.

The WR does get a pretty good arm bar on Marcus, but I am more wondering about the play call. Aggressive is one thing, but hanging Williams one on one with Hopkins isn't just aggressive, it's asking to get beat.

I hope this shows you why begging for more blitzes isn't a great solution to the Jets problem. I'm not sure if there is one, or what it would be. All I can say is that I hope Bowles pep talk gets the Jets fired up and ready for this Sunday's game.