TOJ’s In The Trenches: New York Jets Defensive Line Review, Week Ten

In our weekly In The Trenches series, we’ll focus on the performances of the Jets’ offensive and defensive lines throughout the season. In this edition, Dan discusses the performance of the defensive line in the Jets’ week 10 loss to the Buffalo Bills and preview their week 11 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

Week 10 Summary

The Jets defensive line had a slightly improved but overall still largely ineffective performance agains the Buffalo Bills. Brian Daboll used tons of play action and misdirection to suck the aggressive out of the Jets defensive line and get them to not trust their eyes, but this also just another example of the Jets having significantly more talent on the interior and it basically not mattering.

Run Defense

The Jets gave up 139 yards and 24 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The Bills managed those numbers without a single rusher over 50 yards. The tackling behind the Jets defensive line has been atrocious for over a month now but the defensive line themselves hasn’t done enough to stifle opponents running the ball. The Jets are now ranked 22nd in defensive line run defense (adjusted line yards) according to Football Outsiders and the defense as a whole is ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed per game.

Pass Rush

The pass rush was slightly improved but did not affect the game much. The Jets managed 2 sacks and 5 QB hits overall. The Bills were just too smart on offense, though, and limited the amount of straight dropbacks for Allen. As warned in last week’s In The Trenches, they included a ton of play action, misdirection and screens to take the bite out of the pass rush.

Week 11 Preview

In week 11, the Jets defensive line haas one of the most favorable matchups they have left on their schedule but also one that should really test the mental makeup of this unit and this team overall. Statistically, the Miami Dolphins are one of the worst offenses in the NFL and field one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Their offensive line ranks 31st in run blocking and 24th in pass blocking according to Football Outsiders. They are ranked dead last in pass block win rate according to ESPN. However, they are ranked 7th in run block win rate. This should be the most aggressive gameplan we’ve seen from the Jets all season. They should make Tua’s life hell on Sunday.

There isn’t a single unfavorable matchup for the Jets defensive line this week. They should dominate every single offensive lineman the Dolphins field. I cannot stress this enough. The Dolphins do not have good offensive linemen on the field on Sunday. John Franklin-Myers, Sheldon Rankins, and, in particular, Quinnen Williams need to wake up and take the game over from the start. Don’t let the final score in Miami’s last matchup with the Ravens fool you. The Ravens defense finished the game with 4 sacks and 13 QB hits. It’s time for Saleh’s specialty unit to actually look like the team’s strength again.

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