After suffering that injury, Mangold did have some issues in terms of preventing penetration and sustaining his blocks, but he's such an integral cog that the fact he was out there at all was important to the team locking down the win in the second half. It was still only 14-10 when Mangold got hurt.
While his injury seemed to limit him so he wasn't his usual consistently dominant self in the second half, Mangold still had some great blocks, mostly before he got hurt. Perhaps his best moment saw him controlling his man at the point of attack to create a big lane on the first touchdown. Mangold also worked well in tandem with both guards to anchor the line which seems to be coming together nicely.
As an interesting side-note, on the only snap Mangold missed, emergency center Dakota Dozier saw action on his first offensive play in the NFL. On that play, the Jets scored a touchdown. That sounds pretty unique, but actually the same thing happened to Brian Winters on his first offensive snap in the NFL - the game-winning touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes against the Bills in September 2013. In each case, that would be their only snap of the game. Yesterday, Winters was the only active lineman not to see action on offense until the last two minutes.
Yes, that means Brent Qvale got into the game earlier than that. He replaced Willie Colon at right guard with two minutes left as the Jets were running out the clock but also came in at left tackle on a goal line play - with D'Brickashaw Ferguson moving to tight end and declared as eligible on the play. I wonder if the Jets will try and get Ferguson a touchdown at some point this season.
For Colon and right tackle Breno Giacomini, it was good to see a disciplined performance with no penalties. On the basis of yesterday's evidence, I think Colon is going to have a much better season in the running game this year. He actually had a rough start, but got stronger and more consistent as the game went on. It was good to see him hustling across to make a screen block on Desmond Bryant, but Bryant actually lowered his shoulder and knocked Colon flying as he tried to light him up. That's perhaps a reminder that Colon's physicality is not where it once was, but at least his consistency in the running game was good. Giacomini allowed a couple of guys to get off his block to make a play, but did make some good second level and edge-setting blocks.
At left tackle, Ferguson got beaten a few times in the running game, but did make some key contributions as well, staying on his block on the edge a few times and driving his man downhill on a short yardage conversion.
The newest starter, James Carpenter, made the most impact blocks in the running game and also had a great block on a screen play that went for a first down. His ability to make blocks on the move, turn his man to seal him off on the interior and drive his man downfield creates some huge running lanes. While he had a couple of plays in space where he wasn't able to make his block cleanly and also was stood up at the line a couple of times to see runs bottled up at the point of attack, you'll usually find him making a key block on any run that pops to the second level.
In terms of pass protection, the Jets will be happy that Fitzpatrick wasn't sacked and didn't have to deal with much pressure.
Fitzpatrick was under pressure a couple of times from some unblocked rushers off the edge but was able to get rid of the ball quickly. Otherwise, the Jets prevented any interior pressure by doing a good job of picking up stunts and delayed blitzes. There was one play where Ferguson got driven upfield on a stunt and Fitzpatrick ended up getting hit and another where Giacomini was beaten to the inside. Ferguson did give up a couple of pressures, although something he doesn't get enough credit for is his ability to recover. On one play, he lost leverage at the snap and this would usually result in a clean hit on the quarterback, but he managed to stay on his block and ride his man upfield to give Fitzpatrick the ability to avoid getting hit and get rid of the ball.
On balance, I'd say the Jets won the battle upfront, but I was impressed with the Browns who have definitely upgraded since last year, so hopefully this wasn't a case of them beating up on a weak opponent.
Next up...the Jets backs were able to exploit some of the blocking mentioned above...