robert saleh jets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie Jets head coach believes the offensive line improved from Week 1 to 2. Will the unit further develop this Sunday?

The Jets offensive line hasn’t experienced an easy start to the season. New York in Week 1 faced a Panthers defense that’s currently atop the league in both average yards allowed and average points allowed. The matchup played host to six allowed sacks and 10 allowed quarterback hits from the Gang Green front.

No, not an ideal season-opening performance, but the five-man unit did take a step forward in Week 2 when it faced a Bill Belichick Pats defense. The Jets allowed four sacks and seven quarterback hits during the 25-6 loss.

“Coach Belichick, his scheme is always one of the most challenging when it comes to those twists and games, they’ve mastered it. For our offense to take the step that they did in the second game was very impressive,” head coach Robert Saleh told the media Friday. “First game, people are taking notice with how good Carolina is on defense, so it was a challenge. But to respond and play the way the o-line did in the second game was encouraging. Now, it’s having to stack up good days and do it again against another opponent with another defensive mind that’s capable of making life hard.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Jets offensive line (and offensive unit as a whole). On Sunday, New York will need to face a Denver defense that’s currently third in average yards allowed, fifth in average points allowed, and employs Von Miller.

The Jets likely discussed the longtime Bronco a number of times this week — he’s a weapon opposing offenses always need to keep their eyes on.

“He’s a difference-maker,” Saleh said. “You look at players, there are players who you have to game plan for, there are players you have to pay attention to, and then there are players who they’re good players, but he is definitely a guy that garners all of your attention in terms of how you game plan and how you protect the quarterback. He’s been wreaking havoc for many, many, many years and I expect him, and the way he looks right now, he’s got a lot of years left.”

Facing Miller and a talented pass rush is difficult enough…but it’s even harder when your offensive line is dealing with health-related issues. Left tackle Mekhi Becton is on injured reserve after dislocating his knee cap in Week 1, so George Fant is on Zach Wilson‘s blindside while veteran Morgan Moses mans the right tackle position.

Will the Jets offensive line take another step forward against arguably its toughest opponent of the year thus far?

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.