What a way for the New York Jets to kick off their 2018 season! The team was clicking in quite literally every phase in their season-opening 48-17 win - and that includes the offensive line. The maligned unit silenced a lot of critics with a very strong outing to start the year. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers!
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. 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.
So far, 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 defined as a 6+ yard pickup on 1st/2nd 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 allowed
- QB pressures allowed (which I defined as instances where the QB was forced to throw an uncatchable incompletion)
- Deflections allowed (occurrences when allowing the currently engaged defender to bat/deflect a pass at the line)
- Pass blocking snaps (for primary 5 offensive linemen only: official pass attempts + sacks while on field)
- Penalties (Total accepted, yards, first downs/scores wiped out, and declined)
Here are the numbers for the Jets in Week 1!
If you followed the series throughout the preseason, you might remember how hard it would be to find linemen who tallied more assists in the run game than stuffs allowed, or linemen who played significant time and stayed clean in pass protection. On Monday night, that wasn’t the case. This starting line played very well for the most part.
- First note is general - take a look at the positions racking up the assists in the chart. Tackles Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum are your leaders, while two tight ends contributed a pair of assists each and neither guard tallied even one. It’s indicative of the outside zone running game the Jets favored in this game, and did a great job with.
- Brandon Shell looked very strong in the preseason, and in Detroit he continued to showcase everything he was doing well in the preseason. His pass protection is much improved, and all of a sudden he is now an impact run blocker. I tallied him for 4 rushing assists and no stuffs allowed in the preseason - he replicated that total against the Lions as his 4 assists led the team. The Jets are utilizing Shell’s athleticism to get him outside, and it’s paid dividends. He looks much more comfortable and refined in the run game, bursting off the snap and hitting his spots with consistency.
Here is a rep from Shell in the preseason that stood out to me.
Now, take a look at this play in Detroit.
Credit to Quincy Enunwa in that play above as well - he continues to be one of the most impressive blocking wide receivers in the game. If Shell can continue to maximize his plus athleticism (see his measurables here) like this, it is going to do a ton for the versatility of this offense.
Shell threw key blocks on both of Isaiah Crowell’s touchdowns. Neal Sterling also made a huge block on the first.
Shell was a huge contributor to Crowell’s 62-yard score. Brian Winters gets beaten badly here - fortunately his matchup whiffs on the tackle attempt, but a loss by Shell and this is a ho-hum 2 yard gain at best. Great lateral quickness off the snap, good balance, and a nice job getting his hands in up high on the defender to prevent him from disengaging and plugging the gap.
Credit to Crowell, tremendous burst on the cut upfield and slippery elusiveness to squeak through that hole. This play is Crowell in a nutshell - one cut through the teeth of the defense and to the house. He has lasted in this league and will continue to be a threat for the Jets because of his ability to produce plays like this at a very high volume relative to the rest of the league.
- While the Jets benefited from rarely seeing stacked boxes or heavy pressure packages, the pass protection was very clean. The Jets did allow 2 sacks, but I did not tag any blame for the second one, which was well blocked initially and should not have been taken by Sam Darnold. They did not allow any hits, pressured throwaways, or deflections at the line.
Spencer Long and Brian Winters did not flash in the run game on the chart, but both were very clean in pass protection. Great stunt pickup by Long here on this key 3rd down conversion on the Jets’ second drive of the game. He does a nice job passing off to Carpenter, while Winters, without a man, tosses in a key chip to give Darnold the time to slide over in the pocket. An all-in-all well handled pickup by the interior trio. Shell also allows a tap on Darnold here, one of his very few mistakes in the game.
Here is the lone sack I assigned blame for, tagging Kelvin Beachum. Ezekiel Ansah picks up the sack working the stunt with Jarrad Davis against Beachum and James Carpenter. I think this is mostly on Beachum. He is very late to recognize this stunt, killing his chances of recovering in time to impede Ansah from getting to Darnold. Carpenter could have done a better job chipping Ansah off his path to the quarterback if he trusted his recovery speed back inside more, but he still did a nice job picking it up and recovering inside. Beachum is to blame here for the lack of recognition.
Beachum did make this key block after the first play of the game. This is phenomenal blind side protection for the prized young QB.
What did you think of the Jets offensive line against the Lions?
Offensive line player of the game against Detroit?
This poll is closed