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Offensive line: A true team effort

NFL: Detroit Lions at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the first half of the season, the New York Jets were a good football team. The type of good football team where you can argue which unit deserves the most credit.

In the second half of the season, the New York Jets are a bad football team. The type of bad football team where you can argue which unit deserves the most blame.

Smack dab in the middle of those arguments has sat the offensive line. Early in the year, the offensive line was lauded for performing decently despite a rash of injuries. However, the straw seemed to break the camel’s back when right guard (or right tackle or left tackle depending on the week) Alijah Vera-Tucker was injured in Week 7; the offensive line has since struggled while operating with a backup left tackle, right guard, and right tackle.

While the struggles of the line are undoubtedly attributable to the quality of the players on the offensive line, offensive line play does not happen in a vacuum. In support, a recent tweet highlights the differences in the quality of the offensive line based on the active Quarterback.

As shown, the quality of the pass blocking of the offensive line varies greatly based on the Quarterback. While this does not explain the run game struggles, this may provide some information as to why the offense seems to stall when former #2 overall pick Zach Wilson is inserted as Quarterback. While time-to-throw provides a (in many ways flawed) snapshot into the throwing patterns of a QB, this change in pass blocking quality may be due to the tendency of Zach Wilson to hold the ball for a longer period of time than his peers in the Jets Quarterback room.

So what do you think? Is the offensive line actually decent? Or is this just an example of a statistic missing the forest for the trees and overrating a bad group due to the offensive scheme?