On a number of key plays for the Jets in Sunday's victory over the Patriots, Chan Gailey dialed up the right play at the right time. Gailey's use of presnap motion in particular got players open.
The Jets scored a touchdown right before halftime to take a 10-3 lead on New England. On the last two plays of that scoring drive, they ran the right play at the right time.
On this third and 2 from the 12 yard line, the Jets have Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley in the game together.
What the Jets do is put Powell in motion.
The Jets had a lot of looks like this with Powell and Ridley on the field at the same time or Powell and Chris Ivory. This served a few purposes. When you motion a back out wide, sometimes the defense tips what it is going to do. If you see a safety or a linebacker move with the back, the defense has given away man to man coverage.
The downside might be that by splitting your back wide, you have given away that you are going to pass. This is not so here because Ridley is also on the field. The Jets still have a credible run threat.
Because Powell first motions to the right side of the formation, Jordan Richards makes a motion with his hands that he will pick up Powell.
However, because Powell then motions back to the left side, Richards has to go all the way across the field to pick him up. He is out of position at the snap.
On top of this, Brandon Marshall's route is right in the way of Richards' path to Powell, creating an obstruction that opens up an easy throwing lane.
Also note the safety at the top of the picture. He's providing double coverage on Marshall and not focusing on Powell. This is yet another example of Marshall's mere presence drawing attention and opening things up for others.
Marshall took a leading role on the next play, which was the touchdown that put the Jets ahead.
The Jets bring Marshall in motion across the formation.
The Pats are again in man coverage. Bringing Marshall in motion near the goal line creates traffic for the defender with so many bodies near the line for the defense.
In this case, Quincy Enunwa's route creates even more traffic and another throwing lane.
Marshall takes it in for the score.
Fast forward to overtime. Between Quincy Enunwa's big 48 yard catch and Eric Decker's walkoff touchdown, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Brandon Marshall for 20 yards to set the Jets up first and goal.
On this play the Jets have Ryan Fitzpatrick in the shotgun again with two backs split between him.
Chris Ivory is one of the backs. The other one circled is Eric Decker. This is a crafty little move by Chan Gailey. If the defense isn't paying attention, it is liable to not recognize Decker is lined up as a back and stick a linebacker or safety on him, creating a total mismatch.
That doesn't happen here. Malcolm Butler is on Decker. Once again, however, motion helps the Jets.
Like on the Powell play, Decker motions to the right side of the formation and then comes back left.
Butler is following Decker.
Butler gets caught flat footed, however, when Decker changes directions.
The Pats are in trouble. Decker has a head start on Butler.
Perhaps because Bill Belichick has made an adjustment, the Pats are ready for Decker. Logan Ryan is about to switch off Brandon Marshall to cover Decker in the flat.
The thing is Butler needs to read this the same way and pick up Marshall. He doesn't recognize this until it is too late. You can see Butler (triangle) run past Marshall (rectangle) and head to an already covered Decker by Ryan (oval).
This opens up a throwing lane for Fitzpatrick to complete the pass for a 20 yard gain. For a guy who played well otherwise, Butler had a really rough end to the game. On top of the big penalty he took to extend the Jets' last drive of regulation and getting burned for the game-winning score, Butler made a mistake here that led to a big completion.
A play later Decker found Fitzpatrick for the winner.
I think sometimes it is easy to overstate whether a playcall was good or bad. It comes down to execution more often than not. A great playcall is when the players execute. The same call in the same situation can be stupid when they don't.
These were good playcalls, though. I think on a number of the key plays in this win, the Jets outschemed the Patriots. That is a credit to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.