Football is not just “around the corner”. It’s so close that we’re back to regular season stuff! So welcome back and our first opponent of the year comes on preview. The Buffalo Bills prepare for the New York Jets in the season / home opener. With nothing to do except last year’s game, let’s look at the Jets ‘defense of what they did to stop the Bills’ offense. Yes, I know Josh Allen got better all year and the Week 17 game was less “serious” than usual. But let’s give some credit to the Jets who were respectable all year on defense.
A primary impetus for success for any defense is putting pressure on the quarterback. With most defenses typically running fewer than five players at a time, they need to win a one-to-one contest or rely on the other team to hold them off guard. To the Jets’ credit, they were often more successful, running three players instead of four. Bill’s line hesitated or stunted and unfairly beat in these scenarios. Here it limited Josh Allen to scramble and the success of the play.
The Buffalo Bills Offense did not have a very successful 2018. The teams gave him a heavy dose of cover-1 and all the quarterbacks of the team struggled against it. Overall, Allen improved the field in 2019, including the game. The Bills seemed to do better against defensive game calls in this way. For this exact play, either Allen has lost sight of safety or had too much confidence in his hand when he got the ball on time. Somehow, it was one of four turnovers from Allen.
The Jets run four. Both ran straight ahead at the edges and stopped. However the stunt in between is effective. This type of wrongdoing was successful throughout the day. There were two safaris deep in this play, aka “Cover-2” which helped make a hole in Middle Allen. It was a positive play but overall Allen was hesitant to play more against the Jets’ cover-2 look, and his defense saw more success using the scheme.
Another strategy that the Jets preferred to use was a slight delay for a Ranger or two line. Devin Singleri looks to get his block, but the two highlighted jets running together lead Quinton to the left, advancing to swim.
The Jets did not overthrow things against the bill and it came up several times. A common lament is that Frank Gore ran a play. While it has some validity, there is more to that story as told here. Frank Gorey may not have telegraphed the play in Week 1, but Frank Gore sidelined a Buffalo Bill with a major blocker and all but one like it certainly does. The Jets play it the way it looked and the result speaks for itself. The Jets earned a safety on a similar play and locked Allen on snacks more than once, including a turnover.
Another play involving two problems for the Bills. The three-man crowd is very well covered, but it is by no means a perfect pocket. Alan is very risky in traffic and incomplete doesn’t seem so bad compared to what he could have been.
The Jets ‘tendency to delay and confuse players’ assignments also helped the detective hide when he was used. It wasn’t a ton, but the Jets did manage to keep Allen under 4.0 yards per carry on 10 tries. Some of those efforts were scuffles due to fair pressure.
Note: GIFS came from Week 1 against all starters, but the Jets effectively used the same concepts in Week 17.
Some of their success could certainly be chalked up to the lack of bills at the beginning of the year and, yes, a bill unit that did not really get everyone’s attention in Week 17. Although it is not responsible for all. . The changing defensive front was effective in confusing the Bills line. And Cover-2 was less suited to Allen than Cover-1. Will another year of development and continuity on offense make it easier for Allen to deny the Jets’ defensive trickery? We don’t have to wait long to find out.
The defense makes notes. PDF