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Jets Film Mashup: 2017 QB Protection Report Part 6

Carolina Panthers vs  New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Behold! Welcome back once again! Today, we advance to part six of our film mashup taking a look at every sack the Jets allowed in 2017. After last week’s mashup highlighted two polar opposite performances against the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we shift our focus to Weeks 12 and 13, in the final mashup to solely feature Josh McCown at quarterback.

Remember, this is not meant to bring a dark cloud over an enthusiastic time of Jets history! I hope that this review helps better shape your perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the Jets offensive line. To balance out the negativity, I have been and will continue to provide good plays as well.

This is not an exact science, but just one observer’s opinion. As always, feel free to have a differing opinion on who the culprits are, and do let me know your perspective!

Previous breakdowns: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

SACKS: Week 11 (L vs. CAR) & 12 (W vs. KC)

3RD & 7 AT NYJ 30 (Q3 - CAR 12, NYJ 10)

(14:11) (Shotgun) J.McCown sacked at NYJ 22 for -8 yards (M.Addison).

Panthers right end (9-technique) Mario Addison just blows by Beachum with a great first step and strong arm extension.

The Panthers’ NT and left DT ran a stunt against Brian Winters and Wesley Johnson. Winters picked it up, but Johnson allowed a pressure that very easily could’ve been a sack as well and also potentially distracted McCown from sensing the pressure that eventually became the sack. I’ll nab Johnson as an accomplice here.

Culprit: Beachum (5-1) (Season total of: Sacks responsible for - sacks partially responsible for)

Accomplice: Johnson (2-1)

Source: 1v1 edge loss (Season total: 13)

2ND & 11 AT NYJ 45 (Q4 - CAR 18, NYJ 20)

(12:16) J.McCown sacked at NYJ 36 for -9 yards (W.Horton). FUMBLES (W.Horton) [W.Horton], touched at NYJ 36, RECOVERED by CAR-L.Kuechly at NYJ 34. L.Kuechly for 34 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

At this point in the fourth quarter, the Jets held a two-point lead and were driving, holding the ball at their own 45 on 2nd & 11. Instead of keeping the momentum going, the Jets allowed all their momentum to slip away with a snap of Thanos’ fingers. McCown takes a sack and fumbles the ball away, leading to a Luke Kuechly recovery touchdown and a lead the Panthers would never relinquish.

All four down linemen rush for Carolina, while they also bring a safety on a blitz to the Jets’ right. Elijah McGuire and Lawrence Thomas are going to pass protect. It looks like the Jets are going to run a 4-man slide protection, isolating Brandon Shell with help from Thomas. ASJ, not even pictured below, is going to help out Beachum with a chip and release.

Let’s see how it plays out.

Thomas goes to the right edge to help out Shell with the blitzing safety. Winters, following the slide, helps out Johnson with #98. All of this action leaves Elijah McGuire one-on-one against the 6’5 265 Wes Horton; not an ideal matchup, and the expected result occurs. McGuire was way too late getting in front of McCown, who takes a brutal hit in under two seconds after taking the snap. Fair or not, McGuire gets the sole blame here.

Culprit: McGuire (1-0)

Source: RB loss (1)

3RD & 4 AT NYJ 31 (CAR 26, NYJ 20)

(10:47) (Shotgun) J.McCown sacked at NYJ 23 for -8 yards (J.Peppers).

A preview of the new Jurassic World movie, as the final two prehistoric remnants of the 2002 NFL draft collide.

It’s going to be a delayed stunt as 3-tech #93, Kyle Love, attacks the gap between James Carpenter and Kelvin Beachum. Julius Peppers will lure Beachum outside and then attack the A-gap vacated by Carpenter.

It works perfectly. James Carpenter is unaware of Peppers and allows himself and Beachum to be taken completely out of the play, leaving Peppers a wide open lane.

Carpenter is the main culprit here, but I have to give Beachum an accomplice tag.

Culprit: Carpenter (3-0)

Accomplice: Beachum (5-2)

Source: Stunt (4)

And, that would be it for the sacks in this two-game stretch! After allowing 3 to Carolina to make it 9 in two games, the Jets went clean for the lone time this season when they hosted Kansas City. Perhaps not coincidentally, that game turned out to be one of the Jets’ best offensive performances of all time. With 38 points, 488 yards, and no turnovers, it was only the fourth time in team history the Jets have compiled those numbers (last doing it in 1985). In case you think that total is unimpressive, even the Patriots have only done it five times ever.

Let’s look at some of the best plays from the Jets O-Line in their explosion against the Chiefs.

The Jets were loving the zone run attack in this game. The results were mixed, as despite picking up 157 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, the Jets averaged only 3.2 yards per carry on an immense 49 attempts. However, there were flashes of what they can do with that style. Here, James Carpenter and Kelvin Beachum carve a huge hole for Elijah McGuire on the left side. Brian Winters gets just enough to avoid blowing this play up, and credit where it’s due to Wesley Johnson for getting downfield here.

The play you are about to watch was unfortunately reversed (Bilal Powell scored on the next play), but look at James “Can’t Play Zone” Carpenter getting out on the move and nearly leading McGuire into the end zone! I still don’t think he is an ideal fit for this scheme, but he is easily their most proven guard, and the Jets can make it work with some creativity.

Brian Winters doing his thing, pulling and making a play in space to clear out daylight for Bilal Powell. Allen Iverson has the crossover. Odell has the one-handed catch. Brian Winters has the pull block. OK, that’s a (major, major) exaggeration, but I think it is clear that Winters is the team’s best and most trusted lineman in space. Make of that what you will.

Below, the culmination of an absolutely absurd game-winning sequence from the Jets. Because of two Chiefs penalties, first on a 4th down field goal attempt and then on a failed 3rd down play, the Jets ran ten plays inside the Kansas City 10, including six inside their 5, the last of which finally resulted in a Josh McCown touchdown. Then, the Jets got a second chance on the two-point attempt after yet another Chiefs penalty. Here is that second chance; great positioning and finish in space by Beachum to clear the only obstacle between McGuire and the end zone. 12 snaps within 30 feet of the goal line; 8 points.

You might have noticed that none of the four “good” plays I selected were passing plays. I really don’t think the Jets were all that great in pass protection in this game. The Chiefs had five official hits on McCown in the game, with another nullified by penalty. The Jets feasted with a quick passing attack that Kansas City never adjusted to. The ball was coming out so quick that the quality of protection rarely mattered that much.

As a bonus, here is a really impressive deep route from Elijah McGuire that caught my attention.


Season total sacks: 35


Brandon Shell - 6

Coverage - 5

Kelvin Beachum - 5

Brent Qvale - 4

Josh McCown - 4

Brian Winters - 4

Eric Tomlinson - 3

James Carpenter - 3

Wesley Johnson - 2

Elijah McGuire - 1

Matt Forte - 1

Effective Blitz - 1

Robby Anderson - 1

Jermaine Kearse - 1

Austin Seferian-Jenkins - 1


Josh McCown - 3

Brent Qvale - 2

Coverage - 2

Kelvin Beachum - 2

Wesley Johnson - 1

Brandon Shell - 1

Matt Forte - 1

Dakota Dozier - 1

Effective Blitz - 1


1v1 edge loss: 13

QB escaped into sack (forced by coverage/collapsed pocket): 6

1v1 interior loss: 6

Stunt: 4

DB blitz: 3

RB loss: 1

Botched receiver play: 1

QB tripped: 1

On paper, a nice pair of games for the offensive line. Over these two home games against playoff teams, the Jets ran for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns (though only 3.5 YPC) while allowing only 3 sacks and 5 hits (the Jets actually didn’t allow any hits against the Panthers outside of the 3 sacks). It was a solid pair of games for sure, and two offensive outputs you cannot complain about. If your Josh McCown-led offense averages 32.5 points and 439.5 yards with 1 turnover in back-to-back games against two top-15 scoring defenses, you are doing something very right.

However, I think this stretch was as much about really good performances from the wide receivers, Josh McCown, and the coaching staff more so than it was about great O-Line play. The Jets still had a low efficiency in the run game and minimized the importance of pass protection with great play from McCown down the field against Carolina and a quick passing attack against Kansas City. In the next report, I’m interested to see how much of a problem the line was in a scoreless effort against Denver in Week 14.

What are your thoughts on the offensive line in the Carolina and Kansas City games?