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Jets vs. Bills Film Review: Pass Defense Bailed Out by Offense in Second Half

Watching the game tape, it's pretty painful on defense. Rontez Miles stunk, Williams and Bowles got lucky that Taylor is mediocre and Revis was even worse. On the plus side, our offensive line dominated.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

I knew the second half tape had a lot of bad plays, but honestly I didn't think it was this bad until I saw it. Let's start off with a complete and utter disgrace of a defensive play. Greg Salas touchdown pass should be shown to every defense of how not to play cover 3.

The Buffalo Bills lined up with 3 right in bunch formation with a WR split out left. The lone tailback is to the weak side. It's a 5 man route, with the bunch concept featuring a shallow cross route, a deep out route and an arrow route. If you've played Madden before you probably have run this play a ton.

The New York Jets I think are in cover three. The only reason I think and not am certain is what Rontez Miles does. He should have deep middle responsibility, but as you will see, if they are in cover 3, he decided to abandon post.

First off, he nearly eats dirt as he slips running forward which is what eventually leads to his demise.. Here's the thing. I don't know why he sprinted forward. The shallow cross should be picked up by the far backer, and the short arrow route was to be picked up by the middle LB whose passing along the first route. It's not exactly a rocket science concept. Oh and side note: Darrelle Revis had more than one bad play and this is one. He's bailed out here by Miles' ineptitude.

Let's start with Miles. After tripping, he stumbles forward, effectively giving up the middle third of the field. Salas has already blown by him. The linebackers are checking off the routes and think Miles has picked him up behind him. If only he hadn't tripped or taken a truly awful route afterwards they'd be right. Meanwhile, the front four has done work. They've effectively collapsed the pocket. There is a problem, though. The OLB forgets contain and goes for a sack. He ends up getting knocked out of the play. Meanwhile, Revis is looking at the QB again as the WR is on his outside shoulder. The WR runs an out route, and Revis can't slam on the brakes.

It leads to this frame. Revis is beaten outside, Salas is over the top of Miles, who is a good half dozen yards behind him, and Tyrod Taylor is making a fool out of our OLB.

To be fair, Revis gets in position quickly and would have had a decent chance at a pick had Taylor not had a better option. On the other hand, had the pass rush not collapsed the pocket a second earlier, a good pass means he's toast for a first down. Let's not forget though, we're not roasting Revis on the play. Miles is a solid 10 plus yards behind the WR by the time the pass gets thrown.

Not shown but also adding to the fun, Miles had a shot to bring him down at the ten but fanned on the tackle. He was a special kind of awful on this play. The only good part was the Jets still had the lead... for another minute or two.


On offense the Jets started to do some serious work, especially up front. In the first half it wasn't very good at times, but the running plays in the second half...

That is some good quality stuff.

Matt Forte's second TD comes down to a few key blocks. The rush is a zone read scheme with zone left blocking. The key blocks are Nick Mangold, the RT and Kellen Davis(?!) .

Mangold and Wesley Johnson double down creating a problems for anyone coming to make a tackle from the left. Ben Ijalana watches/blocks the DL who takes himself out the play by turning and running. Meanwhile, Davis has linebacker responsibilities.

Everyone executes. Ijalana simply lets the defender do his job for him. Mangold and Johnson double, with Johnson coming off the block to help pick up a linebacker. Davis does something positive for once.

It's not really captured, but hats off to Johnson who gets off the double and picks up the linebacker driving him clear across the hole. He's part of the right cluster you see with Mangold doing work in the middle. Forte uses Johnson's block to cut back.

This is beautiful blocking, plain and simple .


Let's go back to defense. Marcus Williams and his interception are part mediocre QB, part decent coverage and part luck. That's all I have.

The Bills had a weird looking formation that had a TE, two WR's, a RB, and a WR in essence being at the RB spot while in motion. Either way it was a three man route with two deep routes and the swing route from the WR.

I for one cannot explain this play call. It's cover one, meaning man underneath with a safety over the top. Marcus Williams is on Sammy Watkins. I repeat... Marcus Williams one on one with Sammy Watkins. Off the line, he does a good job of jamming Watkins but after a few yards Watkins is already by him.

Here's where two things happen, a good read and a bad pass. One the QB reads cover one... so he can't just throw a rainbow deep with the safety coming to help. That would likely result in a INT, incomplete pass or Watkins ending up hurt. There is a pretty big window for a deep but concentrated strike of a pass. A good QB probably gets you seven here.

Williams is beaten, and the safety is late. This is still not  a route easy to cover, and somehow this pass ends up with Willlams. Again, poor pass and a bit of luck.

When I watched this play, the safety came into frame, and I thought it might have been cover two with two defenders helping deep. That would give Williams and Todd Bowles a lot of praise for a well thought out scheme. However, that wasn't the play. It was cover one. The Jets got bailed out on this one big time.


Back to offense we go, and yet again I can't really stress enough just how good the blocks were and how solid Forte's vision were on this play.

Credit Ryan Clady for a tough block, Mangold and Johnson again working a double team to perfection, and Brian Winters who didn't take a holding call for once. Corey Graham, you might want to look away.

Graham decides to fly outside as the arrow below indicates. Forte sees this and cuts it back hard underneath several solid blocks that give him a cut lane.

Just about everyone completely dominates their matchup. Mangold and Johnson set a hard edge. Winters keeps his man under control and Clady sets a block. Check out the cutback lane Forte finds. This is perfect vision as Graham finds himself completely out of the play.

Below is heaven in one image.

Hats off to the offensive line for just an incredible job setting up Forte for the third rushing TD of the game.


Everyone in a good mood? Good, let's change it. The defense gave up a touchdown late in the game, which wasn't the worst thing in the world. That worst thing in the world distinction belonged to the tackling, which is why the Bills scored instead of just getting a first down.

The Bills had 5 men go out in the pattern. There were 3 deep routes, one to each corner with one splitting the middle of the field. Underneath there were simple 5 yard routes, one to the middle of the field the other to the sideline. This is a play call for when you are expecting zone.

What's interesting is the defense was exposed, but not where you'd expect. A cover two defense would be exposed deep, a cover three would be beaten on the outside deep routes or underneath, while cover four would have trouble underneath with the 5 yard routes. However, the Jets cover two was beaten short, which is not the worst thing in prevent defense. It's really a simple matter of a few defenders favoring the deep route and quick score.

The problem lies with what happens after the catch. Two defenders eye the pass, which is going to be complete. The Jets pretty much were content with giving up that short pass to prevent the pass into the end zone.

This image shows what a prevent defense should look like. Three defenders are unblocked in front of the running back. Two are in between the end zone, and one prevents the back from getting to the sideline. The problem is tackling. Watch the GIF. It's simply terrible; they're in good position but just don't get the job done.

If the Jets had lost this game, you'd look at the pass defense, and blame them. They did just about everything wrong on several plays, yet the Jets offense completely bailed them out. When is the last time that happened?