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The Jets First Half was a Thing of Beauty

The Jets played a dominant first half against the Titans completely shutting them out and putting up a huge 27 spot. Here's how they did it.

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The first drive of the game is often the tone setter. Do you limp away after a quick 3 and out, or do you shove the ball down the throats of the opposition. The Jets did the latter, marching down the field and scoring via the air. A lot of talk focused on how Ryan Fitzpatrick fooled the defense on this play.

The Jets lined up in a full house shotgun backfield with 2 WR split out. They don't exactly hard sell a play action fake, instead opting to run a wheel route to the far side with an in route underneath. On the other side Decker runs a post route.

On defense, the Titans are in cover 3, with three men deep and 4 underneath. This defense has natural seams deep in between the zones if you can get one man to make a wrong move.

The Jets get not one but two Titans to make wrong moves. The safety flinches forward with Fitz looking to the wheel and in route. Decker meanwhile is going to cut across as the corner shades to the outside. It's a perfect set up for a quick hit in between the zones.

Fitz wisely throws it somewhat behind Decker to give Decker a little better chance of making the catch without the safety gunning for the kill.

This is a really basic play done well by QB and WR. Fitz sold the safety that his target was left the whole way, while Decker ran a perfect route, making the corner fade to the outside as he cut to the inside.


Defensively the Jets were solid in the first half, aided by a rookie QB who was forced to throw the ball rather than run it. On this play in particular, pressure got to the QB early which prevented a deeper pass from being attempted.

The Titans lined up with three WR and two running backs, one to each side. The WR are tight to the formation and run a cover two beater with a deep route and underneath in route. On the other side, it's a corner comeback route. The underneath RB runs a circle in route over the middle.

The key man here is Skrine who locks up underneath with the RB. From what I read he was supposed to blitz, but dropped back knowing the Jets were in a deep zone and he wold not make it even close to the QB. Otherwise the Jets rush 4 with 6 in coverage and Skrine on the RB calling an audible of sorts.

While the deep man gets open, the pressure mounts on Marita. IF there was no pressure, I could easily see that out route being a completion for some yardage, but Mariota goes short. He overthrows the RB and the ball lands in Skrines hands.

It's a pretty lousy pass to be fair as the RB did have a step, but the pressure was key to preventing a big play. Sometimes conservative is a great option when your DL gets as much pressure as they did here.


The Jets scored their second touchdown on the same concept as the Titans pick. They ran a RB circle in route and got Powell open in space.

The Jets lined up with 4 wide, 3 split right and one to the left. Powell is also left of Fitz in the shotgun. This is an example of a levels concept underneath with lots of underneath routes, including Marshall running an arrow and up route, an in route and the circle in underneath both of those. Two deep routes including a post-corner route from the wide WR and a simple fly route out of the slot open up the middle and occupy the safeties.

On defense it's yet again a zone defense that gets a bit discombobulated with all of the underneath routes. 4 men are underneath with a cover three deep. The defense is slow to recognize Powell underneath, as they focus on Marshall and the other WR across the middle of the field.

Powell gets around the the edge and has no defender directly on him. The nearest to react is at a huge disadvantage because he's 5 yards away and Powell is cutting across his face.

Powell gets the ball with a lot of space on the far side. Credit the Jets WR here, they immediately go to work with downfield blocks. However it's an A for effort and C- with execution.

The big "block" is as simple as a shove by Decker to get the defender to move a yard for Powell to split 3 defenders into the end zone.

That's a great play from Powell and a great call from Chan. Two things that are rare but becoming more common.


I'm not even going to recap the next play: good on Fitz and Marshall. And LOL Titans.