The second half was as bad as you could imagine after about midway through the third quarter. After forcing a few 3 and outs the defense laid an egg the rest of the half allowing Pittsburgh to score twice and only get bailed out by Big Ben fumbling the ball away.
This play is Gilchrist completely taking himself out of the play coupled with perhaps an inside linebacker also abandoning zone, but mostly an abomination by Gilchrist.
The Steelers line up with 4 wide, with three in a tight bunch left and a single WR to the right also tight to the formation. It’s a 5 man route with two swing routes, a corner route and stop route. The route that gets wide open is the single WR to the right running a simple crossing route across the middle.
Jets meanwhile are in cover 4. That means four deep with three underneath. The crossing route should go through at least two if not three zones. The outside man should check off, while the route goes between the underneath and over the top middle zone. Gilchrist immediately motors to the underneath area for unknown reasons.
Henderson takes himself out of the play by focusing on the running back. But the real question is what the heck Gilchrist was trying to do. He runs ahead of the route, but underneath it, practically taking himself out of the play.
He’s rewarded his abysmal route by slamming into the other Pittsburgh wide out. Meanwhile Brown just walks himself wide open by spacing a bit to the left.
If you’re going to blame Henderson, that’s fine. He’s probably been worse than expected, even if there wasn’t a ton of expectations. Frankly, he’s probably worse than Demario Davis. Meanwhile Gilchrist is rapidly approaching the point of where he’s a complete liability on the field. Between the two, it’s embarrassing.
Meanwhile the one good play is a case of a good switch off, solid coverage and Big Ben making a mistake. This is not great pressure. This is a coverage sack.
Pitt lines up with 5 wide, with all routes short or medium length. This is practically west coast offense 101, where all routes are designed to beat a quick pass rush by getting the ball out quickly.
The Jets are in some sort of zone coverage. My best guess is cover two, but it’s definitely a zone coverage. The two men on the bottom execute a perfect switch, where the inside man grabs the in route, while the outside man gets the deep comeback.
The coverage is solid all across the board and the pocket has basically collapsed on itself. Although no one truly wins a matchup, it’s more or less the case of everyone doing just better than a stalemate. Basically they all get close to Big Ben who holds onto the ball too long and tries to do too much.
Check out the Gif below and see what I mean. It’s decent pressure, but there’s no one really dominating a matchup per se. Just good coverage and Ben trying to stall until someone got open. He probably should have just eaten the sack and been done with it.
Let’s check out the last play. I think the Jets are simply not communicating at all. Two options are wide open, while the RB gets 3 players watching him out of the backfield.
It’s a really simple route concept, with two in routes, one around 10 yards deep and another shorter crossing route from the left. On the bottom it’s a corner-comeback route.
It’s another case where I have no idea what defense the Jets were running. I can assume man based on the two guys and how they cover the wideouts, but at the same point I thought maybe it was a zone. Either way, 3 men end up watching the running back while the two on the outside left of the formation get beat to the inside.
What’s interesting is that both options are open. The deep option over the top has the bigger separation, but the shorter route was also open.
Yet again it seems the Jets have big time issues with simple assignments. I highly doubt that three men were supposed to cover the running back (the tight end was blocking the entire way), so all I can say is the defense stinks.