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A look at Jamal Adams’ three sacks for the Jets vs. Washington

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New York Jets v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Jets safety Jamal Adams had a monster day on Sunday, recording three sacks against Washington. Let’s see how he put up his production.

Sack #1

I think most of the credit for this one goes to Gregg Williams. The Jets load the area in front of the line of scrimmage with potential blitzers, and force the Redskins to guess which guys are coming.

Washington has six blockers. They pick out the six Jets they believe are most likely to blitz. James Burgess and Brian Poole are the two Jets near the line of scrimmage they don’t account for.

They guessed right with Burgess, but they guessed wrong on Jordan Jenkins, Terrell Basham and Neville Hewitt, who also drop into coverage. They also guessed wrong on Poole who blitzed out of the slot.

The Jets actually only rush four on the play against six blockers. But three Redskins offensive linemen are blocking air because they were assigned to guys who didn’t blitz. As a result, Poole runs free.

Poole misses his free shot at Dwayne Haskins, but he does force Dwayne Haskins to leave the pocket. Adams gets off the block of running back Wendell Smallwood to clean up the sack.

Sack #2

This one happened on the last play of the first half when Washington was attempting a Hail Mary from a yard inside midfield.

A lot of success in football is simply understanding score and time. Hail Mary plays take a while to develop. It takes a while for receivers to get 50 yards down the field. That means the quarterback can’t just sit in the pocket. He will have to buy some time by moving. A right handed quarterback like Haskins will naturally move to his right to stay in throwing position. That means an edge blitzer like Adams can take a wide angle to get around the tackle and reach the quarterback.

The angle would have to be much tighter on a normal play if Haskins stayed in the pocket. Otherwise Adams would run around him.

A situation like this suits Jamal who won’t be able to withstand the physicality of a lineman like Donald Penn in the tight angle scenario but will win a footrace to the edge in the wide angle rollout scenario here.

A safety is usually the last line of the defense. A Hail Mary play is one where the last line of defense is tested by definition. I think the fact Gregg Williams had Jamal blitz in this situation speaks volumes about his ability as a pass rusher.

Sack #3

This one is in the category of “All Pro safety taking advantage of an inexperienced quarterback. Adams follows wide receiver Kelvin Harmon in motion.

This makes Haskins think Adams has Harmon in man coverage.

Instead Adams blitzes.

During the game analyst Ronde Barber said there was no possible way for Haskins to know Adams was going to blitz. That isn’t entirely true. Odds are the Jets wouldn’t cover a wide receiver like Harmon with a safety like Adams. For a more experienced quarterback, that would be a warning sign.

Additionally, cornerbacks Arthur Maulet and Bless Austin are both looking in at the play and positioned outside the receivers on their side. The leverage they are playing with would force receivers inside. Most of the time a cornerback would position himself like this in zone coverage because that is the situation where help is inside. This would be a giveaway that Adams isn’t in man coverage when he follows Harmon.

A seasoned quarterback might pick up on these things, but an inexperienced rookie won’t.

The Redskins are going to have a difficult time with Adams. An assist here has to go to Jordan Jenkins who wins inside early. This forces Adrian Peterson to help on him. Peterson would be the only shot at picking up Adams.

Adams is left to clean things up.

With that he had his third sack.