Brandon Marshall has been a revelation for the New York Jets- averaging over a 100 yards and almost one touchdown per game. The Jets haven’t had a player break 1000 receiving yards since 2007, and Marshall is well on pace of lifting that curse from the fan base. With only a handful of catches against the Redskins, Marshall still managed to make high impact plays when asked to, along with two highlight reel catches.
Brandon Marshall vs Redskins – 7 Receptions, 111 yards, 1 Touchdown
2nd and 11 at NYJ 49 (6:26 – 1st) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to B.Marshall to WAS 40 for 11 yards (P.Riley; K.Jarrett)
One of the points of emphasis in Chan Gailey’s offense has been to get favorable matchups in the slot. On this play Chris Ivory moves from the backfield into the spot just outside of Brandon Marshall. This causes #41 CB Will Blackmon to move over to Chris Ivory and signal for #56 LB Perry Riley to take man coverage against Brandon Marshall. That’s a huge mistake by Blackmon, it doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to realize this is a plus matchup for Marshall.
On the snap, Marshall immediately pivots inside and takes a hard break upfield. He’s got a deep bend in his back, signaling to the LB that he wants to head upfield. Marshall purposely overruns past Riley before taking his break in order to get him to over-pursue on the slant route. It works, and Marshall breaks backwards creating a huge amount of separation between himself and the linebacker.
Once Marshall catches the ball- he realizes that Riley will again over-pursue in order to make the tackle and steps up in order to run around him, gaining an extra 5 yards on the play.
1st and 10 at NYJ 42 (5:09 – 2nd) R.Fitzpatrick pass short right to B.Marshall to WAS 45 for 13 yards (B.Breeland). FUMBLES (B.Breeland), RECOVERED by WAS-B.Breeland at WAS 45. B.Breeland to WAS 45 for no gain (N.Mangold).
Brandon Marshall’s one big gaffe in this game comes on his second target. Facing one on one man coverage, Marshall’s running a quick slant against #21 CB Breshaud Breeland, who only has an deep safety support on the inside.
At the snap, Marshall takes a hard outside step and shows an implied motion with his shoulders that makes Breeland immediately move his left foot back and begin opening his hips towards the sideline (it’s actually just Marshall’s arms coming up, but the way he does it combined with that step give the impression that he’s about to head outside). This one simple and subtle move creates two yards of separation between Marshall and Breeland, giving Fitzpatrick an easy target. Marshall might be choosing this hard outside move because he recognizes the cover-1 and knows Breeland will have to react to an outside release because he has no support there.
The ball is thrown behind Marshall, causing him to slow down and lose some of the advantage he’s gained through the release. It looks like through the process of the catch Marshall is unable to secure it comfortably (in fact in one frame it even looks like he’s holding the ball out with one hand) and ends up propping it up against his chest more than actually securing it, allowing Breeland to rip it out.
2nd and 6 at NYJ 24 (2:00 – 2nd) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to B.Marshall to NYJ 37 for 13 yards (T.Robinson) [C.Baker]
Brandon Marshall is lined up against CB #41 Will Blackmon, who’s in man coverage against him with only an inside deep safety as support.
Marshall takes a patient release, stepping up and then stepping back with his second foot, this is done to avoid a press that doesn’t come. Marshall then again attacks the outside shoulder of Blackmon- knowing that he will have to react heavily to that side- by lining up his inside shoulder with Blackmon’s outside shoulder. Then Marshall uses his outside arm- along with the leverage he has due to his length- to push Blackmon off of him once he initiates contact. The result is another wide open Marshall, who’s now created a full yard of distance between himself and Blackmon while stacking him behind his back.
Fitzpatrick again makes a sub-optimal throw on this slant, forcing Marshall to make a highlight one handed catch. The act of reaching for this catch makes Marshall stumble and stop in order to regain balance but he still manages to spin off of the tackle and dive for two extra yards after contact.
2nd and 9 at WSH 28 (12:24 – 3rd) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short right to B.Marshall to WAS 20 for 8 yards (B.Breeland)
Redskins are playing a cover-1 man again, leaving Brandon Marshall on the outside one on one with Breshaud Breeland.
Marshall opens up at the release with a quick bounce forward and a short weak step to his left attempting to threaten the cornerback and get him to commit to the inside. Breeland doesn’t. Now forced to beat Breeland with no advantage from the release, Marshall breaks to the outside. He immediately brings his arm up to chop down Breeland’s arm as he gets closer and perfectly times it with Breeland’s attempt to get into Marshall’s chest.
With Breeland’s arm neutralized, Marshall throws his own body into the corner, allowing him to put his outside arm into Breeland’s chest. As Marshall nears the 20 yard line, he begins to extend this arm during his break in order to create a “legal” push-off and gain extra separation. This is what NFL veterans do.
Fitzpatrick rightly throws this to the outside shoulder of Marshall since that is the one spot Breeland has absolutely no chance to play on the ball and Marshall makes a clean catch, nearly breaking free of Breeland’s tackle. You can tell he also gets confused while spinning as he tries to extend the ball while in the wrong direction.
3rd and 7 at NYJ 27 (7:58 – 3rd) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to B.Marshall to NYJ 41 for 14 yards (W.Blackmon)
Brandon Marshall has Will Blackmon again in one on one coverage, although the Redskins do have some zone support from the linebackers. This looks like an attempt by the Redskins to suggest pressure in order to force a quick throw that one of the two linebackers who drop into zone then have the chance to intercept.
This time, Marshall releases directly into Blackmon, but still lines up his inside shoulder with Blackmon’s head, who attempts to slow him two yards off the line of scrimmage. Marshall, using his momentum, gets his own arms up and twists his hips towards the sideline in order to force Blackmon to the outside. Marshall then heads towards the 36 yard line and breaks inside.
Marshall has to take two hard steps with his left leg to break inside and is unable to gain additional separation as he loses a lot of speed in the process. Fitzpatrick throws the ball slightly behind Marshall forcing him to use his entire body to shield it from getting knocked out by Blackmon.
2nd and 4 at WSH 35 (5:53 – 3rd) Brandon Marshall Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick for 35 Yrds N.Folk extra point is Good
Brandon Marshall sees Breshaud Breeland in man coverage again on his final catch of the day.
Marshall releases with that same weak inside step as before, and again it doesn’t give him any advantage. Breeland’s quick to get physical at the line of scrimmage, getting his arms into the body of Marshall and forcing him to break free of contact before entering his route. Marshall’s able to do just that by getting his outside arm on the shoulder of the corner, pushing with it and then swimming over with his left arm-regaining leverage on Breeland. However, Breeland’s got Marshall all the way up against the sideline- giving Fitzpatrick very little room to throw this ball to.
As the ball is in air, Marshall begins to slow down and gets his hand up on the shoulder of Breeland. This is done in order to make sure Breeland can not get his arms above Marshall’s, and will be used again as a way to getting separation- he’ll push Breeland forward subtly as he breaks back to the ball in order to get him to over run the route.
The ball is heavily under-thrown (although not shown in this gif, it looks like that’s because Zac Stacy bumps into Fitzpatrick as he’s throwing) and Marshall adjusts by making a fingertip catch right near the ground. He quickly secures the ball and places it firmly against himself as he immediately switches from receiver to runner and begins extending his arm with the intent of breaking Breeland’s tackle.
He’s able to get his arm into the chest of Breeland and bends his body away from Breeland in order to keep him from grabbing onto his jersey. At that point, Marshall shoves him back and runs it in for a highlight reel touchdown.