With the array of all-pro talent that the Jets' offensive line has had to deal with in recent weeks, this game must have come as something of a relief. While Jurell Casey is underrated, the Jets managed to limit the damage he was able to do as each of the starting linemen contributed towards a performance that saw the Jets give up just one sack and rush for 183 yards.
I said earlier the Jets "went through the motions" in the second half and the blocking up front in the running game was one place where that appeared to be the case. After consistently creating big running lanes in the first half, enabling the Jets to average over seven yards per carry, they were held to just 56 yards on 16 carries (an average of 3.5) in the second half.
Center Nick Mangold led the way, controlling the point of attack in the running game all day and doing a solid job in pass protection. The only sack of the day was a miscommunication, as he tried to pass off his man to James Carpenter in order to pick up the man stunting underneath, but Carpenter didn't react in time. Other than that, the Titans didn't have any quarterback hits.
Carpenter did get beaten a couple more times in pass protection, but, like Mangold, made some key blocks in the running game, with the pair often working well in tandem.
After some recent struggles, this was a much better performance from Breno Giacomini and D'Brickashaw Ferguson at tackle. Both of them only got beaten a couple of times in pass protection and didn't really give up much in the way of clean pressure. Brian Orakpo, who mostly matched up against Ferguson in the 66 snaps he played, was held without a pressure for just the second time all season. Each tackle also made contributions in the running game.
Right guard Brian Winters is another player who has had some recent struggles. Winters had one of his more consistent performances, making good blocks at the second level, point of attack and while pulling to the left. He did get driven into the backfield a couple of times, let his man beat him to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick and let his man get off his block to stuff one run, but he had as many negative plays as that on one drive last week.
Once again, the Jets mitigated some of the pressure by releasing quick passes, but they did also provide Fitzpatrick with plenty of clean pockets and did a good job of picking up blitzes.
The offensive line has been inconsistent this season, dealing with injuries on occasion. However, there have been a few games this year when they've dominated. What they haven't been able to do is sustain that, but there's no time like the present. Their postseason hopes may rest on them building on this performance and finishing the year strong up front.
Next up…Chris Ivory had his first 100-yard game in a while, but he wasn't the only back to make solid contributions…