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2018 New York Jets Offensive Line Stats: Week 15

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Michael Nania tracks the numbers of the Jets OL in Week 15

NFL: Houston Texans at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets fell to the Texans by a score of 29-22. Sam Darnold played a great game - did the offensive line help him do it, or did Darnold get it done in spite of the line?

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, W12-NE, W13-TEN, W14-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 blocker, 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 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 Houston!

  • Brandon Shell left the game with a knee injury and will miss the rest of the year. He gave up a sack to J.J. Watt on the Jets’ first pass play of the game, but stayed clean after that. It marks the end of what I saw as a quality season of right tackle performance. While his run blocking, though improved, was still a weakness, he put together a very nice season of pass protection. He had a couple of very poor protection outings this season, but other than that he was strong in the majority of his outings. Hopefully he can come back healthy in time for 2019. The Jets can’t afford to have another hole open up on this unit - Shell was easily the most penciled-in starter on the unit before this injury.
  • This game alone helped prove Shell’s impact. Just look at the pass protection on the chart above. Brent Qvale was walloped in relief of Shell. Eventually, the Jets were forced to use Elijah McGuire to help him out in key late-game situations, taking away a receiving option against a soft Texans defense defending a lead. On the final drive of the game, McGuire pass protected on Qvale’s side on the second and third down plays. With only four receivers against seven Texans in conservative coverage, nobody could get open on either snap, and the Texans picked up a hit/throwaway followed by a sack on those two plays (both away from Qvale).

Shell protected on 24 snaps, Qvale relieved him for the final 21. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe the Jets allowed about three quarters of their total pressures in the 47% portion of pass protection snaps Qvale played. Darnold saw a substantial increase of pressure in his face after Shell left the game.

  • Nice game from Jonotthan Harrison in pass protection, who went without a pressure allowed for the game. Spencer Long did a pretty nice job for the second straight game. He allowed penetration a few times late, but laid some quality hits in help throughout the afternoon.
  • Brian Winters struggled, allowing a sack, a hit, and three pressures. He drew some matchups against J.J. Watt inside and predictably didn’t do very well on those. Watt constantly overpowered him. That guy is such a great player. I saw him create pressures using straight speed, brute power, swim move, rip move, spin move, everything. What a monster - and just think that this has been far from his best season.
  • Kelvin Beachum drew a really tough matchup that had mixed results. He had to take on Jadaveon Clowney 1-on-1 quite a bit. There were some successes, but Clowney was just too much for Beachum on the whole. His quickness and ability to shoot through tight gaps is something else.
  • The run game was brutal in every facet, and everyone was in on it. Houston was consistently filling their gaps and holding their position across the entire line of scrimmage. Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon were unimpressive, looking indecisive and failing to create yardage of their own. Jets running backs gained 2.2 yards per carry, the sixth time this season that the running back group has combined for under 3.0 yards a carry. That’s abysmal.

Here is a look at my numbers for the Jets on the season: