If at the start of the season I was to tell you that after five games, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have been sacked twice and the Jets would be leading the league in rushing, you may not have believed me. However that's exactly what's happened as the offensive line continue to excel in both pass protection and run blocking. Football Outsiders insist that the Jets have the 9th best offensive line in the league when it comes to run blocking and the best offensive line when it comes to pass protection, and if you've watched the team all year, you wouldn't be surprised to hear that.
This is the perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Put simply, the line as a unit is a lot better than the individual players that make up that line. Although, lets not forget that we have three first round selections on the line in D'Brickashaw Ferguson, James Carpenter and Nick Mangold. The line benefited from the addition of Carpenter, and with Colon keeping the penalties in check, the entire unit is performing far better than I thought it would.
I know a lot of people don't like PFF and it's easy to see why when you look at the individual rating for each player through five games:
D'Brickashaw Ferguson - 59/77
James Carpenter - 28/81
Nick Mangold - 13/34
Willie Colon - 42/81
Breno Giacomini - 69/77
Individually, they are not lighting the world on fire, so it's a good job that the offensive line comes down to cohesive play, and doesn't rely just on individual talent. Although I can't say as I've seen 58 tackles in the NFL who are out-performing Ferguson, and the same can be said for every single one of those players.
it helps to have Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center. As John alluded to in his post-game wrap, his scrambling ability is far better than advertised. He also steps up and away from pressure a lot better than Geno ever did, having that veteran head back there be valuable when it comes to avoiding sacks and pressures. However with the Chan Gailey system, he's also getting rid of the ball very quickly,
The Jets are averaging 146 yards per game this year, and a lot of it comes down to Ivory and his own execution. However the lineman are opening up a lot of holes for him. Ivory who's having a career year is rushing for 5.5 yards per carry and already has four rushing touchdowns on the season.
The Jets are doing a lot of things right, the play of their offensive line is one of the big positives.