Film Room: Breaking Down the New York Jets' Top Offensive Plays of 2008
In the aftermath of one of the biggest late season collapses in NFL history, the New York Jets still managed to finish in the top ten in points (25.3) and rushing yards (125.3) per game.
Under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets utilized a West Coast passing offense that relied heavily on playmaking receivers to generate yards after the catch.
On the ground, a revamped offensive line captained by Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold and guard Alan Faneca allowed Thomas Jones to have his most productive season rushing for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns and though explosive and game-changing, underused Leon Washington amassed over 800 yards and eight touchdowns.
At times, the offense looked unstoppable; other times, it seemed abysmal, slow and clueless.
With that in mind, let's take a look back at some of the more successful plays of the regular season.
1. Week One vs. Miami
Situation: 8:52 left in first quarter, 1st-and-10 from NYJ 44, scoreless
Formation: I formation, 1 TE, 2 WR
Breakdown: After establishing good field position following a punt return from Leon Washington, Brett Favre immediately decided to go for the throat on the first play from scrimmage.
A perfectly executed play-action pass call to Thomas Jones (101 yards, TD) confused safeties Yeremiah Bell and Chris Crocker who were supposed to provide deep coverage help.
Jerricho Cotchery out ran the entire Dolphins secondary and caught Favre's pass while carrying his defender with him into the end zone for a 58-yard score.
2. Week One vs. Miami
Situation: 7:02 left in second quarter, 4th-and-13 from MIA 22, tied 7-7
Formation: shotgun, 4 WR
Breakdown: Not waiting to be questioned for their toughness, the Jets faced a critical fourth down and 13 which normally would call for a field goal in this situation.
Needing to get off the field, the Dolphins called a cover zero and sent the kitchen sink after Favre.
Under heavy pressure and with defensive tackle Randy Starks all over him, Favre somehow escaped the pressure and threw wobbly pass that was somehow caught by Chansi Stuckey in the end zone for the future Hall of Famer's second score of the day and a 13-7 lead.
3. Week Four vs. Arizona
Situation: 7:23 left in second quarter, 1st-and-10 from ARI 34, NYJ 14-0
Formation: Offset I to the right, 2 WR, 1 TE
Breakdown: Brett Favre made a lot of great passes in the midst of a record-setting six touchdown performance but there was a pass he threw to Laveranues Coles that really lit up the Meadowlands crowd.
Following an interception returned for a touchdown by Pro Bowl defensive back Darrelle Revis, the Jets moved the ball into Cardinals territory.
At the snap, the Cardinals sent a blitz at Favre but a quick pump fake after two steps caused the Arizona defense to stop for just a split second.
Favre retreated three more steps and found Coles streaking down the sideline untouched where his pass met him at the five-yard line and the result was an easy touchdown.
4. Week 11 at New England
Situation: 14:19 left in overtime, 3rd-and-15 from NYJ 15, tied at 31
Formation: shotgun, 1 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE
Breakdown: After coughing up a 24-6 lead, Brett Favre faced a critical third down and 15 situation near his own end zone; a turnover would give the Patriots the ball and most likely the game.
On national television and with first place in the division on the line, the Patriots sent a blitz after Favre but rookie tight end Dustin Keller somehow got wide open underneath and caught his pass right at the sticks before barreling over safety Brandon Meriweather for the key 16-yard completion and the first down.
Favre would complete his next four passes on the drive en route to Jay Feely's winning field goal.
5. Week 12 at Tennessee
Situation: 9:01 left in first quarter, 2nd-and-goal from TEN 10, scoreless
Formation: shotgun, 4 WR (trips right), 1 RB
Breakdown: Moving the ball with relative ease against the undefeated Titans, the Jets used a no-huddle offense to dictate the tempo of their opening drive and keep the defense guessing.
After a 21-yard completion to Laveranues Coles, Brett Favre executed a perfect middle screen pass to Thomas Jones. Tennessee, who was in zone coverage expecting a strike to the end zone, was powerless to keep Jones from scoring from 10 yards out.
6. Week 12 at Tennessee
Situation: 11:18 left in fourth quarter, 2nd-and-2 at NYJ 39, NYJ 20-6
Formation: Singleback formation, 2 TE, 2 WR
Breakdown: Jets fans still do not know why he is used more but this play highlighted Leon Washington's game-breaking abilities.
Looking to end the Titans' bid at perfection, Washington took the handoff, ran off of right guard and the rest was a blur.
Washington's 61-yard scamper put a cap on an impressive victory and an 8-3 record.
With the loss of Laveranues Coles in the offseason, Schottenheimer will need to count on his running game to be a big part of his gameplan in 2009 regardless of who is under center this season.
A heavy dose of Jones, Washington and rookie Shonn Greene will open up passing lanes and generate more explosive plays down field and judging from the defenses the Jets will see, this is easier said than done.
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