Jeremy Bates’s antiquated west coast New York Jets offense is embarrassing compared to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Three-hundred-and-one yards per game. Thirtieth in the National Football League. This is the porous offensive ranking owned by the New York Jets.
The team also ranks 30th in the land in passing. It’s almost impossible to throw for a mere 192.4 yards a contest. Some teams couldn’t even hit that lowly level if effort-to-fail was involved. The squad ranks 18th in rushing with 108.6 yards a week on the ground, but it’s to be expected based on the forceful Todd Bowles ground-first mentality.
These are your New York Jets. This is your 2018 offense led by Jeremy Bates, a quarterback coach elevated to offensive coordinator soon after John Morton surprised with his playcalling ability.
What’s gone wrong?
First and foremost, the offensive line is poor. It’s a topic I’ve been screaming about for the last three seasons. Any general manager who’s selected just two offensive linemen in 28 total draft picks is asking for offensive trouble. Not only is “two” just a horrid number, but the two are Brandon Shell in 2016 and Jarvis Harrison the year before, both in the lowly fifth round.
That’s four years, folks. That’s four seasons of nearly ignoring the O-line pipeline. This is Mike Maccagnan.
Next on the explanation list is spotty quarterback play. Young Sam Darnold hasn’t been great in his freshman professional season. Josh McCown has been downright rough.
The combination of both factors makes the running back situation and weaponry look far worse than it actually is. In reality, both spots are solid (more so the wide receiving group). Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson is a solid NFL duo. Nothing phenomenal, of course, but they do, indeed, hit that NFL median.
The cherry on top of the disgusting offensive showcase this season is the overall mindset and scheme.
Bates runs an antiquated version of Bill Walsh’s west coast offense. While the entire league is getting fat off of true jet sweep motions, the Jets haven’t run it once. Instead, outdated over-the-top end-arounds are attempted in sincere vein.
Let’s check out just how embarrassing this New York Jets offense is in comparison with the Kansas City Chiefs:
Close But No Cigar
The first example brings a slight compliment to Jeremy Bates. Almost. He almost pulled it off.
Out of the gun split offset look, Josh McCown carried out an inside zone split to Elijah McGuire with a read-option look. While McCown probably didn’t have any green light on the keeper or pitch to Trenton Cannon, the look of zone read is a modern concept that helps stun the edge and second level.
The play picked up eight. It worked (despite the hold that brought it back). But the point is that the modern concept of the zone read look and edge pitch stunned both the EDGE and WILL, respectively.
So much more of this could be done within the offense.
A Slight Modern Variation
When was the last time Bates dialed up a quick running back motion out of the gun?
On the following example—switching gears to the Kansas City Chiefs—a simple rip motion from the back out of the backfield helps move the second level to its left. It allows Patrick Mahomes more space to find Travis Kelce on the slant in the opposite direction.
It’s nothing fancy. Noting splashy. It’s simply an effective use of sideline-to-sideline motion that helps move linebackers and defensive backs just enough to create space.
The True Jet Sweep Concept
Finally, we get to the good stuff. Pay close attention. It’s a true jet sweep concept that forces the motion man to take his action underneath the quarterback.
This is something that’s not even in the New York Jets playbook.
In the following example, Tyreek Hill’s liz motion in the jets sweep contrasts perfectly with the running back off-tackle right movement. Mahomes must have at least seven or eight easy touchdowns in this concept via the shovel pass this season.
Andy Reid unveiled his opposite direction jets weep action in Week 1 and it stunned the league.
The key to the concept is great footwork, ball skills, and perfect timing.
In having a jet sweep or nearby weapon close enough to run the jet sweep motion post-snap, it works as a complete sideline counter to the running back moving the opposite way. Defenders have no idea whether the ball is heading left sideline or right.
Embarrassing End-Around Efforts
We now turn back to the dark side and show everybody how not to run an end-around.
Of course, since the Jets don’t run any variation of the jet sweep, it’s the over-the-top end-around that provides Robby Anderson is only shots of rushing the ball. Number 11 has rushed the ball twice this season for a grand total of negative-eight yards.
On the first example coming from Week 1 in Detroit, the entire concept is just horrid.
Isaiah Crowell’s three-point stance makes no sense. The offensive line’s right-side push makes even less sense. Anderson’s pivot and late-developing hustle make the least sense.
In Miami, yet again, Anderson is so late on the play it’s embarrassing.
Look at when Darnold is ready to get rid of the ball. Anderson is still nearly outside of the tackle when he should be within arm’s length of the quarterback.
This play absolutely had a shot of going for a chunk of the timing was correct.
A Slot End-Around To Perfection
Finally, the Chiefs show us how a proper end-around is executed.
When they’re not running the jet sweep or some variation of the over-under double-cross backfield concept, they’ll off the end-around in masterful fashion.
It’s the pump-fake that gets it done. Notice how the entire defense moves at the site of the Mahomes fake.
That in combination with a disciplined offensive line and Travis Kelce’s sneaky opposite site leak block has Hill running for a huge chunk.
There’s no question it’s unfair to compare the Jets offense to the Chiefs. The talent alone makes the comparison completely ridiculous. But it doesn’t take away the idea that both schemes contrast so mightily.
In today’s NFL, there’s no excuse for not deploying the true jet sweep in some form. With Robby Anderson, Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon employed, it’d absolutely do damage if implemented and executed the proper way.
Instead, all we get from Jeremy Bates and this New York Jets offense is outdated principles and sloppy, slow-developing execution.