Mike LaFleur digs into his bag of tricks for the New York Jets

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With the 2021 season winding down, first-year offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur looks willing to open up his little bag of tricks for the New York Jets offense. While the Jets have struggled this season, perhaps as expected, the development of rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has not been as linear as many would have hoped.

But with pride on the line against the Miami Dolphins, LaFleur decided to open things up a bit. In the first half alone the Jets have dialed up a pair of trick plays, both conjuring up images of backyard football, and both leading to gains for the offense.

First there was this design, that culminated in Wilson finding a target downfield after managing to evade multiple potential sacks in the backfield:

Then, in a design that would make Jonathan Moxon proud, LaFleur called for a hook-and-lateral play on third-and-long:

As described in the above tweet, this play had more of a “hook and throw” element to it. Jamison Crowder, after catching the short crossing route, then throws back to Braxton Berrios, who picks up the first down with his legs.

As Ted Nguyen of The Athletic pointed out, there is a method to the madness. With the Jets facing third and long, short routes are not going to be covered as the Dolphins will drop deep and protect the sticks. So rather than forcing a throw into a numbers disadvantage, try and flip the script a bit:

Hey, during a rather dismal early slate, it gave us something to cheer for.