C.J. Mosley did it all for the New York Jets against Tennessee
Mosley finished the game with 13 total tackles, his third straight game with at least 10. Five of those tackles came on Titans running back Derrick Henry for three or fewer yards gained. Mosley also had a sack and made a crucial adjustment to stop a Titans’ third-down attempt.
Run or pass, Mosley was everywhere.
His impact was felt almost immediately, notching his lone sack of Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Tennesee’s first drive of the game.
Mosley ran a “Green Dog Blitz” as he abandoned his coverage responsibility to rush the passer once he realized that Derrick Henry was staying in to block rather than run a route. Mosley showed good patience as he waited for the lane to develop and then shot into the backfield.
The 29-year-old also proved he’s just as strong and powerful as ever, even after slimming down to gain speed in the offseason.
In the second half, Mosley stood up Henry for a one-yard gain, a rare occurrence against the bulldozing back. Mosley quickly triggered outside and beat the right tackle to meet Henry and stop him in his tracks.
Mosley’s stats were excellent, but his best play of the day didn’t even show up in the box score.
Early in the game, Tennessee converted two separate third downs from the same formation, an 11 personnel bunch set. The Jets blitzed on both plays, leaving their secondary in man coverage. Bunch sets are notorious man-beaters, as they create natural picks to get separation, and both times Tannehill hit Josh Reynolds slanting over the middle to move the chains.
Partly through the fourth quarter with the game tied, Mosley made a critical audible to stop the Titans on third down.
Before the snap, Tennessee showed a “2×2” set with two receivers to each side. They then motioned a receiver across the formation and end up in the same bunch set as before. The Jets were set to again sending a blitz with man coverage behind it. Mosley saw the play coming after the motion and changed the play-call to avoid disaster.
Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich would later explain in his press conference that Mosley did this all on his own. The Jets hadn’t installed any coverage checks against the Titans bunch, meaning Mosley drew the play up on the fly.
Mosley is the heart and soul of the Jets’ defense. He is their leader, and the unit benefits greatly from having him on the field.
The Alabama product wins with elite instincts and technique first, letting his brain do the work before his body finishes the play. Be it cheating across gaps before the snap, exploiting running backs in pass protection, or taking over and calling plays himself, Mosley’s elite intelligence stands out.
The Jets haven’t had an All-Pro on their defense since Darrelle Revis in 2011. Based on his play through the first four games of 2021, C.J. Mosley is about to buck that trend.
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