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Jets vs. Bills: Offensive Line Will Be Under the Gun

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Being part of a successful offensive line in the NFL is no simple task. In an instant once the ball is snapped on passing plays, you have to identify exactly what rushers are coming on the defense, know which one you have to pick up, and know that the guy next to you is on the same page and capable of doing his job. Continuity is very important. When you have played next to the same guy for years, you gain chemistry and come to know exactly how your partner will handle any situation.

The Jets do not have much offensive line continuity. At no spot on the line do two players line up next to each other with much experience. Vladimir Ducasse saw some work as a substitute last year between Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, but the first two weeks have been his most extended action. That gives him a leg up on Willie Colon, who has never been next to Austin Howard and Mangold before this season. This presents the Jets with a test.

As we know, old friend Mike Pettine as a protege of Rex Ryan likes to mix up the looks he throws at an offense. Last week, the Bills recorded six sacks against the Panthers. Part of that was due to a great player, Mario Williams, being dominant, but the Bills got their sacks displaying plenty of different fronts. They got a sack with four linemen rushing four. They got one on a zone blitz with four linemen rushing five with one lineman dropping into coverage, a linebacker and a defensive back blitzing. They got one with three lineman and a linebacker rusher. They got one with just three linemen and the coverage creating a coverage sack.

Particularly as the Bills look to rattle and confuse a rookie quarterback, the Jets can expect to see a number of different fronts from the Bills to a degree they did not against the Buccaneers and the Patriots. The offensive line will be put under stress. The linemen will need to instantly know their job and trust everybody else is on the same page. There will be disastrous blown assignments if this is not the case. With a rookie quarterback, they might not get much help on adjustments from the signal caller either when Buffalo shows exotic looks.

The Jets' line might not have a ton of chemistry, but there certainly should be enough talent to execute. Whether or not they do might be a key to the game.

If you argue the Jets are also going to throw a lot of different looks at Buffalo's own rookie quarterback and put pressure on the Bills' offensive line, you would have a point. These teams mirror each other in many ways given their quarterbacks and defensive coaching. There will be a lot of overlap when it comes to talking about this game.