Right from the outset, the Jets were on the front foot in the trenches, creating some excellent running lanes and controlling the point of attack. This enabled them to pick up some good yardage between the tackles early on. The running game wasn't quite as effective in the second half, but still continued to grind out yardage, even after Chris Ivory had suffered an injury.
The line fared well in pass protection too, doing a good job of limiting the amount of pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick was under and only allowing him to be sacked once.
While they fared well as a unit, not everyone on the line had a great individual performance. Right tackle Breno Giacomini, in particular, had his struggles. He was beaten for the sack which led to Fitzpatrick's fumble and Jamie Collins's touchdown return, and got beaten a few other times in pass protection. He was also inconsistent in the running game, letting his man get off the block to get in on a tackle or leverage him into the path of the runner on a handful of occasions.
One of Giacomini's better plays saw him come off his man after Brian Winters got beaten to enable Fitzpatrick to get a key throw off. Otherwise, Winters fared well in pass protection, although he did botch a chance to recover that Fitzpatrick fumble. In the running game, Winters was inconsistent like Giacomini, missing some second-level blocks and letting his man shed his block to make a play on a couple of occasions. He did throw a good pancake block on a screen pass though.
You could tell Nick Mangold was up for this game as he came out and set the tone with two early seal blocks leading to good runs up the middle. Mangold had a much more consistent game against the run, making several good blocks at the second level and point of attack. In pass protection, he did get bull rushed into the quarterback on one play and gave up a hit on a stunt.
James Carpenter had a terrific first half in the running game, driving his man off the line a few times and doing a good job of sustaining blocks at the point of attack. In the second half, he wasn't quite as effective as he allowed some penetration, failed to sustain one block and got called for a hold. He did hold up well in pass protection throughout though.
Finally, at left tackle, D'Brickashaw Ferguson had a good game in pass protection, as hardly anybody got close to Fitzpatrick from his side. He also showed some good aggression in the running game, driving his man off the line a couple of times in the first half. He did, however, miss a second level block on a run that was bottled up in the second half and also missed a cut block on a play where the Jets ran outside and got stopped for a loss.
When the Jets met the Bills earlier in the season, Ferguson had one of his better games of the year. The Jets made a slow start that day, especially running the football, but figured it out and ran better after half time. Hopefully both of those trends continue on Sunday, because that will give the Jets a good chance of securing their postseason place.
Next up…Ivory was banged up once again, but for once, the Jets' running back corps didn't miss a beat with him out.