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Jets vs. Seahawks Film Review: Jets Defense Or Lack Thereof

Three plays highlighted an interesting first half. Three touchdowns were scored, two by the Seahawks. The film provides answers as to why Lee and Pryor failed on the touchdowns.

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

John B already wrote up an article based on what you could see via the TV broadcast, but it's always good to look at the big picture. (The piece is excellent and I suggest you take a look).

The big picture is how badly the Jets defense looked on touchdowns. I'd like to point out  Calvin Pryor perhaps getting too much heat from us Jets fans on the second td but first let's talk about the first TD.

The simple fact: Davis Harris and Lee/Gilchrist failed.

The Hawks line up with four wide outs, two to each side. Each are running what I'd call zone beater schemes. The top is to beat cover three defense, with one high route and the underneath trying to beat a hole underneath on the far side. The bottom is cover two beater, with the deep route over the top of the flat route. The only route that is designed to beat man defense is the running back circle route.

The Jets are in cover three although I thought it was man based on the way that they defended at first. Although I thought it could be man, the key is watching Lee/Harris and the way they watch the outside routes. No defender switches off; they all play directly heads up with the person in front of them which is what made it look like man. The only exceptions were the previously mentioned Lee and Gilchrist. Lee is playing a short zone, Gilchrist is supposed to help over the middle, but he somehow loses track of the running back. Harris favors the outside off the bat, watching first the slot WR and then the RB  looking for a swing route to the outside from the running back.

The back escapes untouched to the inside. Lee has checked off his route and now drops into a zone although he's watching Wilson. At the same time, Wilson rolls to the right side. Lee has eyes on the QB but fails to see Harris getting beat to the inside. There's a huge hole inside the tackle caused by the OLB trying to keep the quarterback inside the pocket so maybe Lee saw that and thought he'd take off for the end zone.. Meanwhile Gilchrist, I have no idea.

Both end up covering Wilson while the back slips inside. Harris should have help inside, but both Lee and Gilchrist are QB watching. More than likely, Lee should not have abandoned his zone so quick, but it's hard to fault him knowing that Wilson is generally pretty good with scrambling and would take the ball upfield--even if he is injured. Gilchrist is less forgivable, he's supposed to be helping over the top in cover 3. He does nothing to help out Harris who is beat soundly. Harris is also at fault here for jumping the outside play when he was covered. His indecision cost him here and he had no hope catching up to Spiller.

A simple failure really between Harris, Lee and Gilchrist. The zone coverage was beat in an area where you'd expect them to have covered with three players. That's pretty terrible, but simple when you break down what each were looking at. Harris favored the outside route, Lee watched the scramble, and Gilchrist whose probably the one with no excuse, got caught looking at the scramble as well.


This one is more complex, because Pryor looked downright terrible, but there's a decent reason for it. Someone blew the coverage on the left so badly that I'm really shocked that we didn't hear that person wasn't benched the rest of the game.

What annoys me most is that it's a two man route. The slot wide out runs a simple diagonal route across the middle of the field, with the other wide out running a deep comeback/in route. The only other option is a long developing RB safety valve that was covered.

The Jets are more than likely in cover three. Yet again it means three guys deep, with four underneath which should mean that at most, the Jets should have someone watching that route across the field. I drew in what the zone should look like. I say should because someone on the far side of the field completely and utterly blew the assignment. The way Pryor moves to the center of the field and Revis covers the deep far sideline, it's pretty obvious that someone should have been the deep man on the far 1/3 of the field.

The next clip sums up the failure pretty well. 3 men cover one zone, where not a single receiver goes. Pryor drops to his middle third and Revis does a good job on the other side. Pryor could have done better covering that route across the middle, leaving Revis on the outside WR. However, that's in a vacuum knowing that there was no one helping him to the outside. If you want to be generous and give him the benefit of the doubt, he's got to worry about an in or deep crossing route coming from that near side wide out that would go across Revis's face towards him.

The route crosses and Pryor is still back pedaling (he can be seen tripping on the gif above.) This is a great example of how to blow an assignment. Someone should have been on that side, but it's left wide open for the easiest score you'll ever see.

Does Pryor get some blame here? It's not his direct fault, let's get that out of the way. However, he didn't exactly react quickly to what he saw. It was only a two man route with one across his face. He's only got one other WR and that is covered by Revis. He could have checked off the Revis route a bit quicker especially because it was on the far sideline, figuring Revis should have it under control.

The way he played it is almost like he was just a computer bot, I.E. drop back to X point. Todd Bowles saying that wasn't his man is kind of a half truth. It wasn't truly his fault he got open, although he did nothing to help the cause. That's about all I can say about his play on this touchdown.

That being said, the big blame is whoever didn't drop back. My guess is the top corner back didn't drop into his zone at all.


The one solid play all day was perfect all the way around. Marshall beats Sherman, Fitzpatrick throws a perfect (Yes, perfect ball) and the Jets grab their first of two touchdowns.

The Jets line up with three right and Marshall split left. The two wide outs on the right run in routes, while the slot goes over the middle. The running back is the safety valve.

Meanwhile it's straight cover two for the Hawks. Sherman has to know he won't get a ton of help deep, but somehow allows Marshall to get around him. And by somehow what I really mean is Marshall absolutely burnt him around 3-4 yards into the route.

Marshall ends up with a ton of separation, the safety is in the middle of the field so he's no help and Sherman is short and to the right. This is textbook case of a solid play in the making.

So why not throw it long here? Simple. Marshall has a huge height advantage and a long pass risks Sherman making up ground. By throwing it back shoulder, the only play Sherman would have is trampling through Marshall or making an inhuman cut to the outside and somehow knocking the ball down. Where it's placed ensured Marshall wouldn't have to go over the shoulder, nor worry too much about getting his feet in bounds, and more importantly there's no chance of Sherman being able to pick it off from the position he's in.

Argue about Fitz all you want, but for one play he made a good decision and it lead to a touchdown. At the end of the day, that's about the only thing that went right for the Jets offense.