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New York Jets: The Screen Game

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus took a look at how effectively quarterbacks used the screen game in 2014. If you click the link, you can see Geno Smith averaged 4.9 yards per screen pass while Michael Vick averaged 5.1. This put both outside the top 25.

While PFF uses this as a quarterback stat, I'm not sure it's entirely accurate. Yes, quarterbacks do have something to do with the success of screens. It helps if they have the correct timing and do not force the receiver to adjust to the ball with a bad throw. Even so, I view the success of screens as more a function of the receiver's playmaking ability and the mobility of the blockers.

I think this was an area where the Jets were hoping Chris Johnson could make a difference. The impact wasn't very big, though.

The Jets are probably going to be in a mode in 2015 where the rest of the team will need to lift the quarterback up rather than the quarterback carrying the team. The screen game is one way to really help the quarterback. They provide easy completions. Well-timed and executed screens can also force a defense to get less aggressive. Screens are a great way to punish teams for heavy blitzes. Blitzers run themselves out of the play going after the quarterback while the quarterback tosses the ball over them.

I would like to see the Jets considering bringing in a back in the Draft. There seems to be a lot of talent at the position. One who could make a difference as a receiver and take some of the pressure off the quarterback would be a real asset.