Bryce Petty Preseason Week 2 vs Atlanta Falcons Cover

Bryce Petty’s Second Preseason Game Against the Atlanta Falcons

Rookie QBs in preseason aren’t going to be pretty. I’m not going to pretend this is going to be an article of pretty throws. It’s going to be a messy article full of overanalyzing tiny errors to point out where Bryce Petty needs to improve in the future. Most of the issues we’ll see here will likely not be there when he sees the field again next year in preseason but it’s fun to see just how much he needs in order to turn into an NFL capable player.

This week, although i’ll be posting all the plays, I’ll only be breaking down the ones that have something worth showing. For the most part, Dan Quinn’s second team ran a strictly cover-3 defense occasionally disguising themselves as cover-1 man. They rarely blitzed, instead choosing to test their coverages ability to cover for extended periods of time as Petty had plenty of clean pockets overall, save for just a handful of plays.

Target Distribution by Distance

Outside Left Numbers Left Middle Numbers Right Outside Right
30+ X CX
20-29 XX X
10-19 C C CC
1-9 X C C C CC


Bryce Petty only attempted one pass last week past the 10 yard line towards the outside left and it was incomplete. So far, it’s showing to be an issue for Petty to hit anything other than underneath throws on that side of the field.

2nd and 2 at NYJ 39 (5:46) B.Petty pass short right to J.Kerley to ATL 40 for 21 yards (K.White). NYJ-S.Evans was injured during the play.

Jets are in a 0x1 I Formation set. Falcons are showing a cover-1 shell but it’s a cover-3.

Not a lot to see here, Bryce Petty puts on a good playaction, with a full extension and removes the ball as it reaches the running back. The Jets have a levels on the rollout with the tight end running a dig over Jeremy Kerley’s flat route, which is uncovered because he initiates this play by cut blocking and falling to the ground purposely, in order to both sell the run and make it look like he’s out of the play. I just want to point out here that in Petty’s preseason week 1 game against the Lions, he was unable to hit these rollouts- so starting with this was already some improvement.

1st and 10 at ATL 40 (5:16) B.Petty pass deep right to J.Kerley to ATL 23 for 17 yards (D.Southward) [C.Matthews]. Atlanta challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands. (Timeout #1.)

Jets are in a 1×2 I formation set. Falcons show a cover-1 shell at the line with the lower corner looking manned up while the the upper corner is showing a zone stance. When the Jets send the outside receiver in motion, the corners all move down one player, giving Petty the read that this could be man. It’s not though, Falcons are running a cover-3 zone blitz. After the motion, a LB moves up onto the line into a blitzing position and the Falcons send 5.

At the snap, the play starts with a slightly worse play-action fake than normal from Petty, it’s not a full extension and a bit too quick of a snap in pulling it out and bringing it back. But that looks like Petty trying to hurry up to make the throw he knows he wants to hit. Petty reaches the end of the play action and makes a precise stop, takes a step forward, and throws the ball right at the comeback route he has on Jeremy Kerley at the sideline. The throw is a bit imperfect in accuracy, but it’s absolutely perfect in timing. Petty enters his throwing motion just as Jeremy Kerley enters his break. I’d point out that there’s a defender bearing down on him as he’s throwing this, but it doesn’t look like Petty ever noticed his presence on this throw.

Bryce Petty Preseason Week 2 Atlanta Falcons

1st and 20 at ATL 22 (2:28) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass incomplete short left to D.Richardson.

2nd and 20 at ATL 22 (2:24) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass incomplete deep left to D.Posey.

Jets are in a 3×1 shotgun set. Falcons are showing a cover-1 shell, on the post-snap it’s a cover-3.

Bryce Petty takes three steps on his dropback looking a bit towards the right side of the field, it looks like his dropback should have synced up to the out route being run by the inside slot receiver on that side of the field (the one running a deeper out route) but the player is covered. Really though, this decision looks pre-determined. After Petty hits that final step, he doesn’t read the left side of the field instead opting to just turn and throw. For what it’s worth, he has a small window here to drop the ball in over two defenders, but it’s a hard throw. On 2nd down and 20 however, it’s a little more acceptable to make this kind of decision. Petty’s entire time spent looking at the right side could’ve really just been him attempting to move the safety.

1st and 10 at ATL 26 (1:02) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass short left to Z.Stacy to ATL 18 for 8 yards (J.Bartu; J.Mincy).

2nd and 2 at ATL 18 (:44) (No Huddle, Shotgun) B.Petty scrambles left end ran ob at ATL 16 for 2 yards.

Jets in a 3×2 shotgun empty set. Falcons are showing a cover-2 zone shell.

Bryce begins looking off to the right side, it looks like he wants the snag that the outside receiver runs, but he chooses not to take it. It doesn’t really make sense why he decides to look over to the left side afterwards, right under the snag is a wide open throw in the flat- and this route combo really should be the only read he needs on this play. It’s a weird decision to not take it on 2nd and 2 and guarantee a first down, clock stopping play.

1st and 10 at ATL 16 (:37) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass incomplete deep right to Q.Enunwa (D.Southward).

Jets are in a 1×3 shotgun set. Falcons are showing a cover-3 shell.

The two outside receivers on the right side are running a post/out and up combo, which is supposed to bait the deep cover to follow the post inside, leaving the up and out receiver wide open. Obviously not what happens. When Petty is entering his throwing motion on this play, it all looks like it’s going according to plan. The slot corner and the outside corner have both taken paths leaning on doubling the post, but the deep CB is playing this patiently and not committing to it. He ends up baiting Petty into taking this throw and almost coming away with the pick. Petty should’ve thrown this differently based on what he was looking at.

Because the deep CB hasn’t fully committed to taking the post, the right decision would’ve been to put this throw in a place high and behind the up-and-out receiver’s route (by throwing at the Pylon for example) so at least the receiver could box out the CB when he adjusts to it or else it would go out of bounds. This would have been a pretty advanced decision for a young QB though.

Bryce Petty vs Atlanta Falcons Preseason Week 2 (2)

2nd and 10 at ATL 16 (:32) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass short left to Z.Stacy to ATL 6 for 10 yards (A.Bradford; J.Bartu).

1st and 6 at ATL 6 (:23) (Shotgun) B.Petty sacked at ATL 12 for -6 yards (S.Maponga). FUMBLES (S.Maponga), recovered by NYJ-B.Winters at ATL 12.

Jets are in a 1×3 shotgun set. Falcons show a cover-3 shell.

One of Chan Gailey’s main plays here, the triple slants. Petty’s dropback is kinda of wild and erratic and rushed, with two weird gallops as he backs up, almost like he feels pressure just from the snap. This is supposed to be a quick throw but Petty doesn’t feel like throwing to any of these small windows and with his already panicked drop-back I would assume his mind might be out of this play before he ever read the field. At the point where he brings the ball up then pulls it back down and switches to his left side, it doesn’t look like the RT has lost against his man yet, so it’s reasonable that Petty believed the RT had his man and was going to just drive him outside of the play. But for the some reason, the RT decides to put his weight on the rusher without trying to drive him outside of the pocket, giving the rusher the opportunity to now use the RT’s momentum against him, stop, and then just cut back inside. Huge fault on the RT.

2nd and 12 at ATL 12 (:12) (Shotgun) B.Petty pass short middle to Q.Enunwa to ATL 6 for 6 yards (A.Bradford; W.Herring).

Jets are in a 2×3 empty shotgun set. Falcons are showing a cover-2 zone at the snap. They’re just trying to prevent any potential touchdown pass because of the time remaining in the half.

A quarterback’s main job, regardless of whether they’re Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith is to manage the game. You can not play quarterback in the NFL effectively if you are not factoring game situations like time remaining, time outs remaining, down and distance, and even how many points you are down or up by in deciding your throws and reads. Here’s a big gaff by Bryce Petty.

There’s 12 seconds left in the quarter, it’s 2nd and goal and the Jets have only 1 timeout. This play has three underneath routes, with the right outside slot and right outside receiver running digs and the left slot receiver running an out. The other two receivers are running towards their corners, the left outside taking a deep fade and the right inside slot running a plain corner. On this play there’s only one spot that should be read and that’s the outside receivers dig and the inside slot receivers corner, because any other throw has no chance of reaching the endzone. The slot running an out is also an option, but there’s no need since reaching him in the progression would waste too much time off the clock.

Because of Petty’s decision to instead throw to the lower dig route, the Jets will immediately kick a field goal on 3rd down without ever having a chance to reach the endzone. They likely would have had to kick one on third regardless of what the decision was (unless it was an immediate throwaway) but with no timeouts remaining after this play the choice is forced on them.

Finally, take a look at the outside receivers deeper dig route. That route actually has a chance to get the YAC required to make it inside the redzone and had he been reading that corner/dig combo, he might’ve made it. Instead, this down is a complete waste.

On the next page we’ll look at the second half.

Edward Gorelik

Upon being contracted with the New York Jets Fandom Virus (NYJV), Edward plunged head first into the fountain of misery and comedy provided by the team on and off the field. A student by day, and professional couch General Manager at night, he brings his completely biased wisdom to NFLBreakdowns.

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