Jets Offensive Line

Jets offensive line improving after early season struggles

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The New York Jets’ struggling offensive line appears to be settling in – an important sign as they head to Denver.

The current line – Mekhi Becton, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Joe Tippmann and Alijah Vera-Tucker – played their best game against the Kansas City Chiefs’ formidable front seven.  

And analysts noted Sunday the line’s pass block win-rate has improved every week from its horrid debut Week 1 against the Bills.

Week 1: 30% (win rate)

Week 2: 35%

Week 3: 50%

Week 4: 68%

For context, the NFL league average is 56% this year.

Tippman and Tomlinson have led the way through 4 games, with the rookie’s Pro Football Focus grade in that category, 80.1, among the best in the league.

Tippmann ranks 5th.   In an early season surprise, a former Jet who often struggled at the job, Greg Van Roten, ranks first.

Now, the bad news.

The Jets run blocking hasn’t been nearly as sharp. 

Tippman and Tucker have strong PFF run block grades above 75.   

McGovern grades in the 60 range while Tomlinson grades at 53.5.  Becton – a powerful man-mover as a rookie – ranks among the league’s worst at a grade of 49.

It’s worth noting that there’s reason that could improve.  The Jets switched offensive line coaches in 2023, adding former Tennessee coach Keith Carter who brings a demanding but proven scheme.

Carter’s methods turned Derrick Henry into a 1,500 yard plus running back every year he started 15 or more games.

In 2021, he generated 1,000 yards of the ground from D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard after Henry missed 8 games.

The Jets haven’t had that kind of production in years.

To get that, they may need to see a major turnaround from Becton, who has struggled mightily learning a new scheme after 2 years of rehabbing from back-to-back injuries.

Becton leads the team in offensive penalties with 6 in 4 games, most of them false starts, and mostly ones on the home turf.   It shows Becton is still getting comfortable in the new scheme. 

Time will tell if Becton can return to form.

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