Yesterday, I kicked off a new series going through all of the Jets’ 2017 touchdowns, handing out assists to the offensive linemen and blockers who contributed to making the scores happen. As a general rule, assists are given to successful blockers on plays where their lack of success would have potentially resulted in the touchdown not occurring.
The series will contain a total of four parts, each with a pack of 8 Jet touchdowns. Plus, a mashup featuring Spencer Long’s contributions to Redskins touchdowns in 2017. After chronicling the first 8 of the Jets’ 32 touchdowns in part one, let’s go through their next 8!
JETS @ BROWNS: 1ST & 10 AT CLV 24(08:35)
(8:35) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass deep right to J.Kearse for 24 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
I went over the first of the Jets’ two touchdowns in Cleveland yesterday, and today we’ll wrap up the Browns game with the second.
The Browns rush five. The left 1-technique defensive tackle (highlighted by the backwards arrow) drops into coverage. The left defensive end and the right defensive tackle will attempt a stunt, while two blitzers come from the outside. Jermaine Kearse will run free down the right sideline for the eventual TD.
Big time credit to the offensive line here, in addition to Elijah McGuire. Brandon Shell does a great job passing off the stunt and recovering to meet the blitzing outside linebacker. The inside trio did a nice job clogging up the gaps for the stunting tackles. Kelvin Beachum shut down the defensive end, Carl Nassib (#94), while Elijah McGuire did a great job standing up the blitzing outside linebacker.
For the first time in the series, assists for everyone! Very solid rep of pass protection here. McCown likely would’ve been clean for another full second or more on this play.
Assists: Beachum (5), Shell (4), Johnson (4), Carpenter (3), Winters (3), McGuire (1)
PATRIOTS @ JETS: 3RD & 1 AT NE 1(09:13)
(9:13) J.McCown pass short right to A.Seferian-Jenkins for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
ASJ scores for the second consecutive week in almost the exact same fashion. Like the final touchdown of yesterday’s report, the Jets slide the protection left (light green arrow) and McCown hits ASJ on a corner (dark green line) for the score.
The primary difference in this play compared to the one in Cleveland is that McCown throws a little play action fake in there, but the action is more or less the same, as is the result.
By the design of the play I think only the 4-technique (#93 Lawrence Guy) and the 1-technique (#97 Alan Branch) have a potential shot at making a play on McCown here. Shell and Winters both execute their blocks perfectly, though, keeping McCown plenty clean to drop in the touchdown. Biggest credit to Shell and Winters here.
Assists: Shell (5), Winters (4)
PATRIOTS @ JETS: 1ST & 10 AT NE 31(12:26)
(12:26) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass deep left to J.Kerley for 31 yards, TOUCHDOWN [T.Flowers].
Kerley will score on a deep crossing route over the middle. The Pats bring a simple four-man rush from their defensive front.
Ultimately, McCown gets hit after the throw as Brandon Shell fails to set a good base and is beaten by #98 Trey Flowers. The rest of the line does well, however.
Kelvin Beachum showcases some solid protection against the standing up edge rusher, allowing some penetration but preventing the pressure with a good base and hands. Winters and Johnson put the 3-technique tackle on the ground. Carpenter holds his own against the opposite defensive tackle. Despite Shell’s shortcoming, the rest of the line did enough to allow this touchdown to happen.
Assists: Beachum (6), Johnson (5), Winters (5), Carpenter (4)
JETS @ DOLPHINS: 2ND & 10 AT MIA 29(13:01)
(13:01) J.McCown pass deep right to J.Kearse for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Another game, another instance of Josh McCown eating a four-man rush for lunch with a deep bomb down the right sideline.
Like the previous touchdown against New England, the Jets really did not protect McCown all that well on this play. James Carpenter is pushed right into McCown’s lap by the 3-technique defensive tackle on his side. Brandon Shell is sidestepped inside by William Hayes, luckily Brian Winters helps him out to prevent the hit. Still, McCown seemed to adjust his motion a bit here because of the penetration.
Kelvin Beachum was serviceable on his side, Wesley Johnson eliminated Ndamukong Suh, and Brian Winters provided timely help to prevent a potential hit.
Assists: Beachum (7), Winters (6), Johnson (6)
JETS @ DOLPHINS: 1ST & 10 AT MIA 18(01:34)
(1:34) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass deep middle to R.Anderson for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
When will defensive coordinators learn? Stop trying to beat Josh McCown with a four-man rush!
McCown had to handle a bit of pressure on the previous two touchdown throws against a four-man rush up front, but this time the Jets do a slightly better job of keeping him clean.
No defender really ended up close to hitting McCown, but I have to knock Winters and Brent Qvale here. Credit to both for staying in front and not allowing contact, but both were driven right into McCown’s lap, directly in his throwing lane. Assists for Kelvin Beachum and Wesley Johnson for clean victories in their respective 1-on-1 matchups.
And, wow, Josh McCown is really making some impressive throws under pressure here in the early part of the year.
Assists: Beachum (8), Johnson (7)
JETS @ DOLPHINS: 2ND & 1 AT MIA 1(02:00)
(2:00) J.McCown up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
Finally, another rushing score! Nothing special here, just a simple sneak up the middle from one yard out by McCown. The Jets put three receivers out side with Powell in the backfield and Tomlinson in motion, and in turn the Dolphins rolled out only three down linemen between the tackles.
The strategy paid dividends, as McCown had plenty of room to get the few inches he needed. Safety Reshad Jones (#20) does nearly make a tremendous stop, though.
Wesley Johnson got low and allowed the nose tackle Jordan Phillips (#97) to take himself out of the play as he attacked the wrong gap. Winters and Qvale executed a double team on William Hayes (#95). Nice job by those three creating the hole.
Assists: Johnson (8), Winters (7), Qvale (4)
JETS @ DOLPHINS: 3RD & 9 AT MIA 10(01:52)
(1:52) (Shotgun) J.McCown pass short middle to A.Seferian-Jenkins for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
At this point, I’m convinced Josh McCown against the four-man rush of an AFC East team is like Michael Jordan against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. McCown throws yet another score against a four-man rush.
The Jets protect pretty well on the play, and McCown finds himself staring down a wide open Jermaine Kearse to the left of the end zone.
Curiously, he turns the throw down and decides to escape, as the protection was good enough to buy him plenty of time on an escape. The decision pays off.
Mostly good work all around on this play. Kelvin Beachum wins another matchup on the edge in bend-but-don’t-break fashion; allowing some penetration but again keeping the pocket untouched. Brian Winters doesn’t have a matchup, so he puts Johnson’s matchup on the ground towards the inside of the pocket. Johnson and Carpenter had decent protection as well. The only man I will deny an assist here is Qvale. Wake bullied his way through Qvale into the pocket and forced McCown to escape here.
Assists: Beachum (9), Johnson (9), Winters (8), Carpenter (5)
FALCONS @ JETS: 1ST & 10 AT ATL 20(10:38)
(10:38) J.McCown pass deep right to E.Tomlinson for 20 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
We conclude this report with the first of the Jets’ two touchdowns against Atlanta. Obviously, the Falcons didn’t watch enough film, because they allow Josh McCown to throw yet another score against a four-man rush.
I really like the play design by the Jets here. They turn Eric Tomlinson upfield on Robby Anderson’s side. As the strict blocking tight end he is, the Falcons barely account for him, and they pay for it as Tomlinson breaks wide open.
Not just smart play design, but a showing of the effect Robby Anderson had when lined up outside. If that were Jeremy Kerley or Chad Hansen out there in that position, for example, I doubt Tomlinson breaks as open as he does.
So, back to the offensive line. The protection here was mostly good. I do think Kelvin Beachum and James Carpenter could have done more to prevent the 5-technique, Derrick Shelby (#90) from crossing them both to getting the closest to hitting McCown. Johnson and Winters both held up very well while Qvale did just enough to keep McCown unaffected for the throw.
Assists: Johnson (10), Winters (9), Qvale (5)
With that, we’ve gone through half of the Jets’ offensive touchdowns in 2017!
Here is how the assist totals are looking through half of the touchdown total. In parentheses, each player’s assist total is broken down into passing touchdown assists followed by rushing touchdown assists.
Wesley Johnson - 10 (7 pass - 3 rush)
Kelvin Beachum - 9 (8-1)
Brian Winters - 9 (6-3)
James Carpenter - 5 (5-0)
Brandon Shell - 5 (4-1)
Brent Qvale - 5 (1-4)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - 2 (0-2)
Lawrence Thomas - 2 (0-2)
Eric Tomlinson - 1 (0-1)
Neal Sterling - 1 (0-1)
Dakota Dozier - 1 (1-0)
Elijah McGuire - 1 (1-0)
This study is certainly not meant to be an all-telling measure of offensive line productivity, but more of a way to throw deserved credit at the linemen coming through when needed to make the big plays happen. Despite their enormous value, touchdowns make up only a small fraction of the game - after all, the Jets’ 32 touchdowns in 2017 made up only 3.2% of their 984 offensive plays. Every other one of those other 956 plays more or less have similar value to the touchdown plays - after all, what if some of those plays would have been touchdowns with better offensive line play?
This is just one way of many to simultaneously watch and chart linemen at the same time - and a fun one! Stay tuned for the final two touchdown collections, in addition to another report tallying Spencer Long’s 2017 touchdown assists!
Who will end up leading the Jets offensive line in TD assists by the end of the series?
This poll is closed