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Offensive Line Comparisons - Buffalo
Good morning ☕
It’s been 239 days since the Jets trudged off the Hard Rock field having fallen 10-7 to Miami, ending their season on a 6-game losing streak.
Now we’re officially back to game week, with expectations that we’ll be playing well into January. This week it’s all about Buffalo, as we prep for our first game and first primetime game of the season.
I woke up this morning realizing I’d made a scheduling error. Next Saturday I head off to Spain on holiday, meaning posts may be a little inconsistent next week, hopefully, we’ve all got something to celebrate with a Buffalo Bills victory.
💰 Randall Cobb was fined $13,899 for his blindside block on Bobby McCain. I miss when that would have been deemed. a good physical play by the receiver.
📢 Vinny Testaverde had some encouraging words for Zach Wilson - "I told him to keep asking Aaron questions, and when he's tired of you asking questions, ask more," Testaverde said, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. "You can learn a lot from that guy. He's been through it all. He's one of the best. The nice thing is Aaron seems like he's willing to help him. Zach needs to take advantage of that because one day he'll be in there playing."
🎾 Aaron Rodgers took in the US Open yesterday with teammates Randall Cobb and C.J. Uzomah. Continuing to love life.
🔵⚪ Jason Pinnock was talking about being cut by the Jets last off-season - “That was my dream team. I was a Jets fan growing up, from Connecticut, was a Revis fan, went to Pitt,’’ Pinnock told The Post. “So, the disappointment from getting cut was the little kid in me, but I understand it was a business decision. No hard feelings. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because I fell into a scheme that fit me and ran with it. It was about being able to get an opportunity. That’s it, that’s all I ever needed was getting an opportunity to run with the [starters] and show what I could do and show what I am.”
❓ I still find it incredibly strange that Greg Senat does not have a new team.
🏆 Joe Douglas spoke with the media about expectations heading into the year: "We've got a lot to prove," Douglas said. "We're in a good place moving forward. I think one of the first checkpoints is getting through training camp, having a productive training camp and staying healthy. We've been able to do that. Then the next step is going out there and proving it on Sundays, winning games and winning division games. So we're jumping right into the fire first game of the year."
Football games are won in the trenches, that’s a very old belief, but one that I believe is as true today as it was 50 years ago.
The Jet’s season unravelled last year thanks in large part to a number of injuries on the offensive line.
Over the course of the pre-season, the only thing that kept me up at night more than our offensive line was my 4-month-old daughter.
But…that worry has turned to excitement. The line we thought would start the season, will start the season, the only concern is their lack of playing time together.
How does our offensive line stack up against Buffalo?
This year during the week I want to spend a little more time focusing on the opponent. Everyone who reads TJW will know a lot about the Jets, you have to if ou choose to read a daily newsletter dedicated to them.
It’s easy to have tunnel vision sometimes, believing we’re the only team facing issues. Maybe it’s because there is a queue of people waiting for us to fall flat on our faces, or maybe we just believe it’s more important to focus in-house.
Jets: Duane Brown
Bills: Dion Dawkins
Having not seen Duane Brown all pre-season, it’s hard to project how he’ll start the season with his surgically repaired shoulder. Dion Dawkins on the other hand is one of the best tackles in football and is entering his prime having turned 29 a few months ago. Last season Dawkins allowed 3 sacks and 30 pressures on 626 pass-blocking snaps and was a top 13 rated tackle in terms of his pass-protection abilities. However, his run-blocking is average and he does have a penalty issue. Last year he was flagged 15 times (12 accepted), and the year before that he was flagged 12 times. Brown on the other hand allowed 1 sack and 23 pressures on 450 pass-blocking snaps, but was way below average in terms of his run-blocking. With all things considered, I’d give Dawkins the edge based on the context of Brown’s return from injury.
Jets: Laken Tomlinson
Bills: Connor McGovern
Buffalo made a concerted effort to improve their interior this pre-season, and part of that was bringing in Connor McGovern from Dallas on a 3-year $22.3 million. McGovern was a good pass protector for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, allowing just 2 sacks and 22 pressures last year, but he was one of the lowest-rated run-blockers according to PFF with a 42.7. He played as part of one of the best lines in football, so it’s going to be interesting to see how he transitions to another unit in Buffalo. Laken Tomlinson experienced a down year last year but if you look at their careers in parallel, you’d be hard-pressed to make an argument for Connor over Laken. McGovern is slightly better in terms of pass protection, but Laken’s history of run-blocking in the outside zone makes him a significantly better run-blocker. We’ll see.
Jets: Connor McGovern
Bills: Mitch Morse
I really thought that Joe Tippmann would be starting for the Jets, but a late injury in pre-season put an end to that. I still think he’ll be starting by Thanksgiving, but right now we’ve got Connor. You know what you’re going to get, and that’s pretty average centre play, and that’s not supposed to be a criticism. Mitch Morse is a good pass-protector having allowed 3 sacks and 17 pressures last year on nearly 500 pass-blocking snaps, McGovern on the other hand allowed 5 sacks and 24 pressures on 712 pass-blocking snaps. There’s one thing that Mitch has in his pass protection that Connor doesn’t, and that’s consistency. According to PFF Connor McGovern was rated as the 11th-best centre last year, whereas Mitch was 26th. I think Connor is a little too high there and Mitch is a little too low, but this is largely a wash.
Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker
Bills: O’Cyrus Torrence
The Buffalo Bills headed to Florida in the 2nd round of the draft to pick up Torrence and early signs are positive. He allowed 3 pressures over 50 pass-blocking snaps in the pre-season but I’ve read some positive reports from Bills camp, mainly on his ability to move people on the ground. The Bills line is set up to protect Josh Allen as expected but Torrence brings a little nasty on the ground. His issue is that his foot quickness is lacking, and if you have quick interior linemen which the Jets do, he’s likely to struggle early in his career. Before his injury, he was showing signs of being the dominant run-blocker he was drafted to be. AVT is an outstanding guard, but. he needs two things. One is to stay healthy, the other is to find some consistency inside. He’s certainly the better of the two options.
Jets: Mekhi Becton
Bills: Spencer Brown
Brown is far and away the weakest link of this Bills offensive line, and if we’re talking pure talent, Becton is lightyears ahead of him. Brown struggled through last year and was targeted by defences, including the Jets. In the one game he did play against us he allowed 7 pressures. On the season, he was tagged with 4 sacks and 42 pressures despite missing multiple games. He’s also been called for 14 penalties over his first two seasons in the league and if he’s facing the likes of Huff, McDonald and Johnson off the edge, chances are he’ll struggle again. As long as Becton is healthy, this is a Jets win all day. But Becton hasn’t played in two years, so when the lights turn on and the intensity increases, it’s going to be interesting to see how he does.
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