Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams didn’t make much of an impact in his first outing with the team. Williams was credited with 1 tackle and failed to get close to a single sack but it’s not entirely on him. The All-22 shows us a Jets team with a good gameplan.
I took a look at every passing play from Mark Sanchez in Week 1. One thing that is very clear is that the Jets had a plan to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. The gameplan proved to be exceedingly effective at rendering the Bills pass rush non-existent, and exposing the Bills DBs who couldn’t hack it in coverage.
Jets Possession #1
1st and 10 @ NYJ 19
From the start of the game the plan is clear. Sanchez opens up with a quick three step drop and then a throw to the flat on first down. There’s no pressure and there isn’t going to be any, in any game in this league. It’s a quick play.
3rd and 6 @ NYJ 23
Our first indication that it’s going to be a long day of failing to get off the field. On 3rd and 6 Sanchez sits in the shotgun with three receivers left, one right, and a back to his right.
The back stays in for a quick chip block which brings a total of 6 blockers to battle the Bills front 4.
Sanchez makes a quick throw and converts the first down.
Later in the drive we get one of Mario’s best opportunities to get at Mark Sanchez. It’s a deep drop and Williams is singled up on Austin Howard. As Williams moves up field to swim through Howard, Cumberland comes open by cruising right by Nick Barnett.
Easy throw for Sanchez. Williams had some time...but not much. Two plays later the Bills intercept Sanchez on a play that runs a bootleg and gets Sanchez doing something TOTALLY different than he’s done to this point in the game. We don’t see it much more from there either.
Jets Possession #2
On a 3rd and 7 we see Sanchez in shotgun formation with four receivers and his ultimate target is split off to his right. Jeremy Kerley gets singled up against Leodis McKelvin who has dropped off a good 8 yards in coverage.
McKelvin gets close but at the moment that Kerley springs open...Williams (the blue X above) rush has already been thwarted around the right side.
There wasn’t a ton of time to get there, but this is another one on one and it comes on one of the deeper drops. Sanchez only completes one more pass on the drive and that’s the TD pass to Kerley. Williams was not on the field on the play.
Jets Possession #3
The Jets open up with good field position and go right back to what is working. Sanchez in the shotgun gets a good chance to read the defense and his drop is another short one. A few steps back and a completion over the middle to Dustin Keller on second down. Third down is more of the same. Shotgun...quick drop...quick pass. First down.
On the first play of the 2nd quarter the Jets go up top for a touchdown to Stephen Hill. It’s a route with three receivers and one back as an outlet. All three run vertical routes with Hill’s double move (and Sanchez’s pump fake) clearing the way for the score.
Williams is handled by the right tackle. The Jets back chip blocks on the left side and the coverage error is exposed. George Wilson helps on the TE that is covered by the LB and when Sanchez sees the singled up Stephon Gilmore the pump-and-go is wide open. Only a sub-par throw (which it was) makes it a bit tough for the receiver. WIDE open.
Mario Williams singled up...did not beat his man. A fairly quick throw. Another breakdown in coverage.
Jets Possession #4
Run for 2 yards. Quick throw to Santonio Holmes - a bubble screen. No chance to rush the passer. On 3rd and short it’s more of the same from the Jets. A conversion on 3rd down. Another. Another. The Jets are ultimately forced to settle for a field goal after picking the Bills secondary apart with quick routes and quick delivery of the ball from Mark Sanchez.
Key play on the drive. 3rd and 5. Sanchez in the shotgun (seeing the theme) delivers the ball to Santonio Holmes on the out to his right. Jairus Byrd is in coverage - and not close.
It’s halftime and the Jets clearly have a plan to take this Bills pass rush out of the game.
Perhaps the one play that might stand out as the one where Mario Williams had the most time...the flea flicker. The Jets hand the ball off...
pitch back to Sanchez...
he surveys and picks out an open receiver. Williams is singled up...until the very last moment. The Jets stay in to protect with 7, while the Bills only rush 4 after the pitch as a few backers drop off during the play.
The drive ends with a TD pass to Stephen Hill as Mario Williams tries an inside move on Austin Howard. He gets handled and the throwing lane for Sanchez is right where Mario came from. TD Jets...and on something we didn’t see a lot of in the game - a 7-step drop.
So what’s the Eye in the Sky say? Mario Williams could have been better. The Bills pass rush could have been better obviously. Credit the Jets. Lots of shotgun throws for Mark Sanchez. Lots of 3 step drops, or quick throws against DBs that weren’t up to the task.
I would expect a lot more out of Mario Williams but if that’s going to happen, he’ll need some help. He’ll need a secondary that doesn’t consistently give the opposing QB his primary read. He’ll also need an offense that utilizes deeper drops. It’s on the Bills D as a whole to find a way to stop these quick hitters.
If they don’t? Get used to it. The tape is out.