The O-Line Must Magically Turn Spectacular
Forty-seven sacks relented a season ago. This is the number of sacks the New York Jets offensive line gave up. Only six teams yielded higher numbers.
In addition, while the Jets rushing attack appeared to finish near the middle of the pack in many categories, it was truly a struggle.
Nineteenth in the NFL in rushing with a 4.0 yards per carry and 106.4 yards per game—the rushing situation is much more depressing. The Jets would have finished 31st in the league with an 81.15 yards per game average if their three top-notch rushing games were taken out of the equation.
- Jets rushing in Weeks 4, 9 and 16: 647 yards
- Jets rushing in other 13 games: 1,055 yards
The Jacksonville Jaguars early in the season and a not-ready-for-primetime Buffalo Bills team on Thursday night allowed the Jets to pick up a huge chunk of their rushing total.
The only possible way New York’s O-line can improve is if one or two of the undrafted and/or newly acquired no-namers turn out as gems.
Due to the fact Mike Maccagnan has yet again passed on drafting a single O-lineman (second consecutive year), the Jets way-below-average O-line will need a push from a couple of the no-namers.
The names are many:
- Antonio Garcia, T
- Austin Gholson, C
- Darius James, T
- Dakota Shepley, T
Spencer Long is replacing the disaster that was Wesley Johnson. Center Travis Swanson is a nice depth piece in the middle, but pressure is needed to make Kelvin Beachum, Brandon Shell, James Carpenter and Brian Winters sweat a little in August.
One or two of those names above must come out of nowhere and push for a starting spot if these Jets have any designs on the playoffs.
If not, this O-line simply isn’t good enough to get it done.
The Perfect Scenario
- Brian Winters returns to full form after an injury-plagued season.
- Spencer Long proves to be a huge upgrade over Wesley Johnson.
- Antonio Garcia emerges as top-flight talent, battling both Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell in August.
- Travis Swanson proves to be that excellent sixth offensive lineman every depth chart needs.