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Four Quarters with Jamal Adams: The Third Quarter

NFL: OCT 13 Cowboys at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We enter the 2nd half of the New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys.

Jamal Adams is manned up against Jason Witten. When Witten motions in, Adams comes right along with him.

That’s not a great trade-off for Cowboys fans. Witten is there to put a wind-back block on #98 Kyle Phillips. That leaves Adams unaccounted for. Which ... is not smart. Here we go sports fans.

Oh I forgot to mention.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 25(15:00)

(15:00) (Shotgun) E.Elliott right guard to DAL 24 for -1 yards (J.Adams, K.Phillips).

Adams quickly recognizes the play. He will exploit the rushing lane created for Ezekiel Elliott to tackle Elliott for a loss. That’s all made possible by Folorunso Fatukasi rocking back left guard Connor Williams thereby reversing the edge of the hole.

Apart from that, what’s there to say? Adams reads and reacts exceptionally quickly, maximizing his 4.56 speed. His movement through the hole is like a running back—actually, let’s look at that for a second.

There’s a moment when Adams is working through the hole. He wants to plant and cut to his left, but he has to avoid tripping over Williams’ shuffling feet. It’s a really close shave.

But Adams is nimble, very nimble. He clears Williams, pivots left, and explodes into a tackle attempt on Zeke. It ends up being a (good) ankle tackle capped by Kyle Phillips for a loss of one.

Witten’s block is extraordinarily awful, by the way. Dude’s coming soon to a booth near you.

2ND & 11 AT DAL 24(14:27)

(14:27) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass deep left to J.Witten pushed ob at DAL 44 for 20 yards (J.Adams).

Here come the halftime adjustments. Witten was getting open. Now Witten gets targeted.

Prescott is scrambling. It takes him a few seconds to find Witten, but Adams is so shook, his weight so far over his feet, that Witten is easily able to increase separation by coming back for the ball.

Adams absolutely stinks in coverage here. He looks so ragged just attempting to keep up with Witten, it’s little wonder that the old man’s little move is able to create so much separation. Woof.

But it happens.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 44(13:54)

(13:54) E.Elliott left end to 50 for 6 yards (A.McClellan).

Adams sprints up from the third level to put himself in good position should Elliott break Albert McClellan’s tackle.

2ND & 4 AT 50(13:24)

(13:24) E.Elliott left guard to NYJ 47 for 3 yards (J.Adams).

Adams times the snap up very well. He is going to wind around the backside and tackle Elliott after a gain of 3. Which is, technically, a win for the offense. But to understand how much Adams achieves on this play, consider this altered photo in which I removed Adams.

The situation looks dire for New York. Instead:

Adams grabs Elliott by the hips. That doesn’t stop Elliott, but it makes for an easy finishing tackle by McClellan.

3RD & 1 AT NYJ 47(12:48)

(12:48) (Shotgun) E.Elliott left guard to NYJ 34 for 13 yards (B.Poole).

Adams misses the tackle attempting a strip, but it’s a good chance to take. It doesn’t lead to any additional yardage gained by Elliott.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 34(12:11)

(12:11) E.Elliott right end to NYJ 38 for -4 yards (K.Phillips).

Adams effortlessly disengages from Witten’s block.

He leads a posse of defenders around the edge.

Elliott runs into Phillips’ tackle for lack of anything better to do.

2ND & 14 AT NYJ 38(11:33)

(11:33) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to T.Austin pushed ob at NYJ 33 for 5 yards (T.Johnson).

3RD & 9 AT NYJ 33(11:00)

(11:00) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to M.Gallup to NYJ 20 for 13 yards (T.Johnson).

Witten starts in the backfield. When he motions into the left slot, Adams does not follow him. This makes his intentions to blitz painfully obvious.

#34 Brian Poole seems particularly concerned with the resulting confusion.

All surprise lost, backup left tackle Cameron Fleming doesn’t have the least trouble blocking Adams.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 20(10:26)

(10:26) E.Elliott right end to NYJ 13 for 7 yards (M.Maye).

2ND & 3 AT NYJ 13(09:53)

(9:53) (Shotgun) E.Elliott up the middle to NYJ 8 for 5 yards (K.Phillips).

Adams starts the play medium deep and is well positioned should Elliott break free, but he’s definitely not going to, and Adams doesn’t otherwise factor into the outcome of this play.

1ST & 8 AT NYJ 8(09:12)

(9:12) E.Elliott left guard to NYJ 5 for 3 yards (J.Jenkins; A.McClellan).

Pretty much the same thing here. Adams doesn’t do anything wrong but he also doesn’t factor into the outcome of the play.

2ND & 5 AT NYJ 5(08:37)

(8:37) E.Elliott right guard to NYJ 4 for 1 yard (B.Poole).

I guess I should be selfishly happy that I am able to run through so many plays so quickly.

3RD & 4 AT NYJ 4(08:02)

(8:02) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to J.Witten for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on DAL-C.Wilson, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at NYJ 4 - No Play.

This time Adams runs under/through the attempted pick and forces the flag.

Tony Romo says this is a “bad call.” His reasoning, roughly, is that Cedrick Wilson moves mostly vertically, and it’s really Trumaine Johnson (remember him!) who shoves Wilson into Adams. He has a point. Rules analyst Gene Steratore also thinks it’s a questionable call.

Either way, Adams is saved.

3RD & 14 AT NYJ 14(07:58)

(7:58) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete short right to E.Elliott.

Another somewhat inaccurate pass is badly dropped by Elliott. If Adams were closer, I might say this was an incomplete pass forced by intimidation. But it’s really just a concentration lapse by the receiver on an inexplicably wild pass.

Cowboys kick the field goal.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 26(02:31)

(2:31) E.Elliott right tackle to DAL 29 for 3 yards (Q.Williams; N.Hewitt).

Adams initially fends off a block by Witten but gets caught in the trash, never nearing Elliott before the play is over.

2ND & 7 AT DAL 29(02:07)

(2:07) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short middle to E.Elliott pushed ob at DAL 42 for 13 yards (B.Poole). NYJ-S.McLendon was injured during the play.

Adams does not directly factor into this play. He does however do something I would like to highlight.

He’s deep but he’s quasi covering Witten, again. He’s very clearly watching the quarterback’s eyes, but at a critical moment, he gets all twisted around attempting to sync what he sees with Witten charging right at him.

You can see the ball’s already in flight.

He eventually runs into Witten. Which more or less removes him from further participating in the play.

It’s a little thing of minor significance and maybe no impact on the outcome of the play.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 42(01:42)

(1:42) D.Prescott pass short left to C.Wilson to DAL 49 for 7 yards (D.Roberts).

Adams looks like he’s gonna blitz.

But in fact he’s going to ride Blake Jarwin in coverage. My wife snickers at so much of the language we use to describe American football.

Jarwin is pretty well smothered.

2ND & 3 AT DAL 49(01:11)

(1:11) E.Elliott left guard to NYJ 41 for 10 yards (B.Poole).

Jarwin’s just a little bit better blocker than Witten.

Li’l bit.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 41(00:40)

(:40) E.Elliott left guard to NYJ 33 for 8 yards (N.Hewitt).

Good angle, great close, Adams misses the tackle but it’s a good missed tackle.

The Jets are better off for the attempt and really lose nothing when he whiffs.

2ND & 2 AT NYJ 33(00:40)

(:40) T.Pollard left guard to NYJ 23 for 10 yards (J.Adams).

Adams is again matched against Witten.

When it comes to blocking, Witten feels the pain of Murtaugh et al.

Grabby as he may be Witten proves game never giving up on his assignment.

Marcus Maye induces Tony Pollard’s terminal spin, essentially tackling him. But Adams gets credit by virtue of being the last person to touch him.

Just to be a bully he touches Pollard a few more times. Which earns him the wrath of Zack Martin.

Thus ends a pretty dispiriting quarter of football.