The offensive line series is back for its final weekly appearance of the season! How did the Jets’ banged-up front close up against the Pats in Massachusetts?
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, W15-HOU
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 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. Team pass attempts + sacks)
- Penalties (Total accepted, yards lost, and declined penalties)
First off, here are the numbers for the Jets against Green Bay in Week 16, since I missed last week’s post over the holidays.
Here are the numbers for the Jets against New England in the Week 17 finale.
I really liked what I saw from Chris Herndon in the Patriots game. While his development as a receiver has attracted the most attention in his direction this season, he’s come along as a blocker as well. Herndon made a couple of mistakes early in this game, but I loved how he bounced back. He was beaten by Trey Flowers twice, once on a run play that resulted in an Elijah McGuire fumble and another time on the edge as Flowers dipped outside for the quick pressure.
Herndon shook off those two blunders to have one of the best blocking performances I’ve seen from a Jets skill position player this season. He pass protected on a total of 8 snaps, allowing no other pressures following the Flowers loss. He racked up a total of four rushing assists - the Jets only had five “positive” runs in this game, and Herndon was an instrumental part of creating four of them.
Here, nice job by Herndon (#89) holding the edge against Deatrich Wise (#91) to help create a gigantic cutback lane for McGuire.
Below is another one of Herndon’s impressive blocks from the game. He quickly gets out on the edge and eliminates J.C. Jackson (#27) from the play to open up a clear path of green grass for McGuire. Great finish, as he drives Jackson from inside the numbers almost all the way to the sideline. Herndon is getting much better at closing in on and finishing his targets in the run game.
Herndon’s surge coincided directly the Week 11 bye week. I credited him with a marvelous 15:3 assist-to-stuff ratio in the six games following the bye, compared to the 10:14 ratio he earned over the first ten games of the year.
Here are my final blocking numbers for the 2018 Jets!
It was a decent, but not spectacular pass blocking year. The Jets posted a respectable, above-average pressure rate, mostly thanks to the bookend performances of Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell. The interior group struggled mightily though, combining for a whopping 21 sacks allowed. That’s an abysmal number. The league’s best interior units give up sack totals in the low single digits over the course of the year. The pass protection between the guards was a major detriment to the offense this year.
Run blocking was a mess across the entire offense throughout the year. The Jets were an atrocious running team across the board - 29th in total rushing yards per attempt, 30th in rushing DVOA, 32nd in estimated points added in the run game, 32nd in adjusted line yards per carry* and 32nd in percentage of running back carries resulting in no gain or less.
*- Adjusted Line Yards is a Football Outsiders stat that adjusts running back yardage to devalue bigger plays in an attempt to more accurately gauge the contribution of the offensive line in producing rush yardage.
Without a doubt, the Jets need to address this unit intensely in the offseason, specifically on the interior.
Thanks a lot to everyone who kept up with both the offensive line series and the coverage series throughout the 2018 season! It’s a ton of fun to work on! Definitely let me know if you have any feedback on either series - things you’d like to see, things you don’t really need to see, tips for improvement, or whatever your thoughts may be!