The Jets fell to the Browns in a brutal Thursday night loss. While the offensive line’s performance as a whole was less than ideal, there were some positives that stuck out to me. Let’s dive in!
Previous editions: Pre 1, Pre 2, Pre 3, Pre 4, W1-DET, W2-MIA
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.
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 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 allowed
- QB pressures allowed (pressure counts now include all throws affected by pressure, forced rollouts/dodged defenders, and forced throwaways)
- 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 (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 3!
Some of my takeaways:
- On the positive side, this was one heck of a game in the blocking department from the skill positions. The vast majority of the Jets’ passing production came via 4 Quincy Enunwa screens in which Jermaine Kearse was a major part of opening up the space needed on each one. In the run game, both Jordan Leggett and Eric Tomlinson stood out with a trio of assists each. Quincy Enunwa continued to add to his assist collection with a pair in this game, bringing his season total to 4.
- This was a really rough game from Spencer Long and Brian Winters in particular. The offensive line had a somewhat decent first half. However, in the second half, Long and Winters killed the Jets offense. They combined for 9 stuff contributions and 8 total pressures. Long was great in pass protection over the first two weeks but fell apart in this game. Winters was obliterated in the second half in pass protection. All in all, the Jets allowed 11 pressures on 33 pass protection reps (33%), their worst rate so far this season and the second straight week they’ve seen that rate worsen.
- In the first half, the offensive line was actually pretty decent as a whole. The Jets really got the run game going on their two scoring drives, piling up one 7-9 yard gain after another and eventually creating two Isaiah Crowell scores. I thought James Carpenter had a solid bouneback game, looking especially good as a run blocker in the first half. Brandon Shell also had a few key blocks, though he has tiptoed the line a bit in pass protection over the past couple of weeks. He’s yet to allow a deflection, sack or hit, but has allowed 6 pressures over the past two weeks. Luck or efficient bend-but-don’t-break play?
I mentioned the blocking of the skill positions, so let’s look at a few of those plays. Here, Eric Tomlinson stifles Myles Garrett on the edge and Quincy Enunwa controls the linebacker down the field to create an 8-yard gain for Crowell.
Jordan Leggett was drafted for his receiving ability in spite of limited blocking ability. However, so far, he’s stood out much more as a blocker than as a receiver. Here, Leggett holds Garrett on the edge to help create this play for Powell. James Carpenter provides a nice block as well.
More good stuff from the tight ends. Jordan Leggett keeps the defensive back out of the play, while Eric Tomlinson pummels the pursuing linebacker.
Jermaine Kearse hasn’t had an impact as a receiver yet but he had a tremendous game opening up space for Quincy Enunwa. Kearse was removing defenders to create open green grass on 3 of Enunwa’s 4 first down receptions. Here are a couple of those. His hustle and drive consistently shows up with plays like these.
While a bunch of skill position players stood out in the blocking game, one in particular popped out on film in the wrong way: Chris Herndon. He’s having a really rough start in every phase and clearly needs some time on the bench.
Here, Herndon comes in motion and takes Myles Garrett on the outside zone. Garrett flows with the play and Herndon has leverage on him as Garrett finds himself on Herndon’s outside shoulder. He’s got a shot to win this matchup but fails to get any push on Garrett and he gives up the stuff as Garrett hits him with a very impressive inside move.
OK, a rookie tight end got beat by Myles Garrett. Not a big deal (Even though Leggett and Tomlinson had good reps against him). Well, here Herndon gets beat by a defensive back. If he can drive this defender off the line, Powell could potentially have only a 1-on-1 matchup against the linebacker in his way. Herndon’s loss in this matchup blows up the play as the Powell meets his first defender 4 yards behind the line instead of at or past the line if Herndon had won the battle.
Let’s move on to the actual offensive line! Spencer Long had a very clean first couple of games, but took a big dip against Cleveland, most notably on this sack he allowed to Garrett. He’s a tad late to recognize the movement up front and is playing way too high by the time he encounters Garrett.
Brian Winters had himself one terrible game in pass protection, allowing 4 pressures and 1 hit, seen here. Winters has responsibility to get downfield on this screen pass, but can’t afford to let the blitzing defender get a hit on Sam Darnold on an immediate throw like this. Winters literally throws Joe Schobert into Darnold. Schrobert was already creeping in before the snap but Winters clearly did not see it. You’ve got to have better awareness and reactivity than this.
Brandon Shell allowed three pressures for the second straight week, though he hasn’t allowed a sack or hit yet. Here, both he and Brian Winters whiff badly on the slide protection designed to get Darnold some space to roll in the opposite direction.
Winters simply was getting owned in the lateral game, having no answer for the quickness of the Cleveland front.
Here’s a positive play all-around. We see some more physical blocking from Jermaine Kearse as well as some more productive yardage running behind a pulling Brandon Shell. While Shell doesn’t pummel anyone here (it’s tough to ask him to beat a DB to the spot downfield), he executes this assignment plenty solidly to lead Powell to a 7-yard gain on first down. Spencer Long didn’t necessarily impact the play but he laid a pancake downfield. You definitely want to see more of that from him - he’s capable of making these booming blocks on the second level, but also tends to whiff at a fairly high rate.
Here’s what I mean in regards to long. You saw him bounce off the ball and drive straight through the linebacker down the field. He’ll do that here and there. Then, you will see him do something like this.
Can Long become more consistent in the run game?
Here’s a look at how the Jets are stacking up on the year through three games:
What did you think of the Jets offensive line this week? Are they up to the task in Jacksonville?
Who of the Jets starting five offensive linemen worries you the most?
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