The Jets took a 27-13 loss at home to the Patriots, falling to 3-8 on the year. How did the offensive line perform? Let’s take a look.
Previous editions: Pre 1, Pre 2, Pre 3, Pre 4, W1-DET, W2-MIA, W3-CLE, W4-JAX, W5-DEN, W6-IND, W7-MIN, W8-CHI, W9-MIA, W10-BUF
As I will always mention, it is impossible to capture everything with the stats, but with this series I hope to capture the most impactful plays accumulated by each linemen, both positive and negative, to help better our perspective on their production levels. Every single snap does matter, and here we will only be grading a small portion of those snaps, but this data can still help shape our opinions on players more properly and truly. Do not use these numbers as final judgement, but as useful evidence.
Here’s what I’ve been tracking:
- Stuffs (runs for 2 yards or less and no first down) allowed in the run game
- Rushing first downs assisted
- “Setup runs” assisted (which I now define as a 5+ yard pickup on 1st-3rd down that did not result in a first down). Despite not resulting in a first down, these kinds of pickups are still positive plays that deserve to be tracked.
- Sacks allowed
- QB hits (knockdowns) allowed
- QB pressures allowed (pressure counts include all throws affected by pressure, forced rollouts/dodged defenders, forced throwaways, throwing directly over/around a deeply penetrating defender, footwork/mechanics forced to adjust due to pressure, etc.)
- Deflections allowed (occurrences when allowing the currently engaged defender to bat/deflect a pass at the line)
- Open field assists (blocking assists for significant extra yardage/first down by any player, OL or skill position, in the pass game while a pass receiver has the football)
- Pass blocking snaps (Pass blocking snaps now counted for all players rather than just the base five linemen. Team pass attempts + sacks)
- Penalties (Total accepted, yards, first downs/scores wiped out, and declined)
Here are the numbers for the Jets against New England!
- I thought the offensive line was solid in this game. The Patriots brought a lot of creative pressure and the Jets handled it pretty well. Four of the five starters had strong games in pass protection.
- The only exception was Spencer Long, who slid over to left guard with James Carpenter out. While I thought he flashed in the run game with his pulling ability, he was just as disastrous in pass protection at left guard as he was at center. I knocked him for five hits allowed on McCown and another pressure. There was also a sack that was primarily on coverage that Long was in on.
Long’s versatility, as he started at guard to begin his NFL career, could be an interesting tool for the Jets as they look to rebuild their offensive line this offseason. However, the Jets can easily move on from Long and wipe his salary off the books. Considering his struggles this season, he has to prove quite a bit to avoid that fate. He needs to show he is a better option at either center or left guard than what the team can expect to get out of the free agent market. Despite the market looking weak, it’s not looking like Long will be able to do that.
- The Jets barely ran the ball in this game (12 running back carries) since they were usually trailing. The results when they did were average. No big plays, but few stuffs.
Before we get into Long’s struggles, I’ll give him credit for what he did well. This is one of his best plays of the season. He flashed on pulls like this one in Washington quite a bit, likely a big reason why the Jets saw him as a fit.
That’s about all he had going for him, though. Long had way too many brutal hiccups in pass protection. Many of them resulted in Josh McCown hitting the deck.
You can’t have an interior offensive lineman getting smoked this badly this often. Unless Long makes a major turnaround, the Jets would be better off going in almost any other direction next season.
I really liked Brian Winters’ performance in this game. As I’ve written a few times this year throughout the series, his highs are fun to watch. He’s put together two straight strong games.
It’s always pleasing to see one of your linemen manhandling an opponent.
Here is how the Jets are stacking up through eleven games.
Should the Jets retain Spencer Long into 2019?
This poll is closed
Yes, as a starter at center
Yes, as a starter at left guard
Yes, as a backup
As of right now, no, but I’ll give him the next five games to prove himself
No, and that’s set in stone