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Is Jermaine Johnson the key to the Jets Disrupting Josh Allen?

NFL: NOV 06 Bills at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL off-season is an absolute drag, but we finally have a game to look forward to. A game that matters, a game that won’t decide anything but may go a long way to proving our credentials.

We’re starting to look at the keys to the game, and one of the most obvious ones is stopping Josh Allen. The Bills superstar QB is healthy having managed an elbow injury through the second half of the 2023 season, and stopping him will be priority #1.

We’re going to break this all down over the week, but I wanted to focus on one potential matchup the Jets will be feeling good about.

We can talk about the lack of weapons for Allen outside of Diggs in the receiving core, and how reliant the Bills will be on production from the TE position with Dawson Knox and rookie Dalton Kincaid, but there is one matchup that catches the eye straight away.

Bills right tackle Spencer Brown vs. Jermaine Johnson. That’s the one I’ve got circled. Let me just be clear that it won’t just be JJ as the Jets will rotate JFM, Bryce Huff and JJ at that left defensive end position with Carl Lawson and Will McDonald working the right side.

I think all three of the Jets' left defensive ends could cause problems for Spencer Brown. JFM has the power, Huff has the get-off and bend, and Jermaine Johnson has a combination of both. He’s also got the speed to run down Allen in the open field, as he proved last year with that notorious shoestring tackle.

Brown is the clear weak link on the Bills offensive line. drafted out of Northern Iowa in the 3rd round of the 2021 draft, Brown hasn’t been able to replicate the work that Dion Dawkins has done on the left side on the right side.

Last year Spencer allowed 4 sacks and 42 pressures with a pass-blocking efficiency of 95.6. To put that into some context, if you use 500 blocking snaps as a minimum, Brown would be rated 59/66 in terms of pressures allowed and 58/66 in terms of pass-blocking efficiency.

Part of his issue is that he’s 6’8 and can often lose the pad-level battle and while he has quick feet for his size, he can overset and be susceptible to countermoves. So if you’re a pass rusher who has speed and power, who can go inside or out, you’re likely going to give him some issues. Enter Jermaine Johnson who’s returned for his 2nd year in tremendous shape.

In his one match-up with the Jets last year, Brown allowed 7 pressures (season-high) with a pass-blocking efficiency of 89.4, which is absolutely woeful.

This is one of the key matchups of the game and certainly one to watch.