Defenders Out Of Position
What happens when a defense is put into a situation in which its defending the run first in most situations?
Defenders are exposed in the passing game. Guys like Calvin Pryor and David Harris are asked to cover their man one-on-one, and even worse, when there’s only a single-high safety, opposing QBs have been feasting on this Jets look.
In the following example, the Jets matched K.C.’s 3 WR look with their base nickel. In a 2nd-and-2 situation, Bowles went single-high safety and rushed five (with K.C.’s RB remaining in to block):
All it took was one glance in Pryor’s direction for Alex Smith to gash the Jets. Playing Pryor in one-on-one covere outside of the numbers is risky business enough, but in this case, Bowles had him lined up against one of the most dangerous TEs in the league.
Pryor is a guy who struggled his rookie year under Rex Ryan. The reason was obvious, as he was asked to play centerfield far too often (thanks to a lack of personnel). Last season, he thrived in playing close to the box and robbing underneath. Now, in his third season, Bowles is allowing him to be exposed by playing him severely out of position in man coverage against much faster weapons.
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In the above example, either two safeties need to be over-the-top (while relying on the front seven to stop the run), or a dime package needs to be in the game (if the Jets would like to remain with a single-high look).
Pryor cannot matchup in this situation. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Todd Bowles.