New York Jets: Texans game highlights deficiencies of offensive line

Kelvin Beachum #68 of the New York Jets (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the New York Jets (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Though the New York Jets fought hard against the Houston Texans on Saturday, the performance really showed the offensive line deficiencies.

Saturday afternoon saw the New York Jets put in a valiant effort against the Houston Texans. We know they lost, 29-22, but the effort was strong. They were up in the game late and Sam Darnold put in a solid showing, probably the best of his young career.

If you were rooting for the tank it was your dream scenario.

We talked about how well Sam Darnold performed. He looked a good defense right in the face and, at times, made them look bad. The future is bright.

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There was something else that came to light as clear as day. We already knew it, but the performance on Saturday reinforced it.

The offensive line has many deficiencies. They have to get better, and the numbers on Pro Football Focus show us in great detail.

First we look at the breakdown of Darnold’s day. He dropped back on 45 plays against the Texans. He was under pressure on 19 of those drop backs.

The three sacks against him came when he was under pressure but not blitzed. The Texans blitzed ten times with no sacks.

For one, that shows us that Darnold was under pressure on nearly half of his drop backs. In other words, he was under duress all day.

We also see that although they picked up the blitz relatively well, they had trouble with J.J. Watt and company in basic sets. When the defense can get home with a 3-4 man rush, the situation is bad.

In theory there are more blockers than rushers in a four-man rush situation. That shouldn’t be too much for a professional offensive line.

Next. The Sam and Jamal report. dark

Now let’s look at some of the individual marks for the men up front on the offensive line.

So nobody played a completely clean game on Saturday. The whole group contributed to Darnold having to run for his life all afternoon. That’s a problem.

The fact that Sam didn’t throw an interception, however, is remarkable. The type of pressure he faced on Saturday would make any quarterback make mistakes. Darnold didn’t make a single one. He didn’t turn the ball over once.

The young man is improving very quickly and right before our very eyes. We are in for a special ride with Sam Darnold.

But, the work has to be done to overhaul this offensive line. Darnold will not survive playing a whole lot of games like they did on Saturday.

He must be protected.