When is a sack really a good play against the run? The first play from scrimmage Buffalo ran Thursday night gives us an example. It was a major win for the Jets defense and set the tone for a game where the Bills struggled to do much offensively until garbage time.
The Bills faked a zone run with everybody moving left on the snap. Jenkins was at the end of the line.
Frequently on plays like this the guy at the end of the line is left unblocked by design. He is the farthest away from the play of any defender near the ball so the offense doesn’t want to allocate a blocker to him.
There are some great athletes in the NFL capable of flying across the field and tackling a ball carrier, though. To account for this, offenses need to build in fakes to make an unblocked defender pay for going up the field.
The Bills were trying one of these fakes. The play was really a fake handoff. The hope was that Jenkins would fly to the ball carrier and vacate his spot on the field. Buffalo’s design had Tyrod Taylor moving to his right after the fake and a tight end running across the field for what would be an easy completion if Jenkins ran out of position.
A defender should always be suspicious when he isn’t blocked. If the offense isn’t blocking you, there is a good chance they are hoping you will run yourself out of the play.
Jenkins did a great job staying disciplined. The result was a great start to the game for the Jets.