The Importance of the Offensive Line for the Jets in 2012

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A lot of talk is about how Mark Sanchez doesn’t take a lot of shots down field. Mark Sanchez’s game is about a lot of “dinking and dunking”, completing 5-10 yard passes. This is true, but the question is why.

Pass routes take time to develop. Say Santonio Holmes is going to run a 15 yard in route. Between getting off the line of scrimmage, fighting off the bump and run coverage if there is any, getting to his spot and cutting, you are talking about three seconds, approximately. Mark Sanchez has to have the time to drop back and make the throw. He has to have the time to allow the route to develop. If the pass rush is in the backfield within 2 seconds, the only way he can avoid a sack is a dump off pass to an outlet.

Everyone wants the Jets to have more vertical passing. Stephen Hill was brought in to do just that. But again, that has to have time to develop down the field. If you want Stephen Hill to get 40 yards down the field on a go route, for example, Mark can’t get it to him if guys are in the backfield in two seconds. It just won’t happen.

It all breaks down when the offensive line isn’t playing well.

And Sanchez is not the only guy to have happy feet due to pressure. They all do it. Yes, the elite step up in the pocket better than the rest, but they don’t like pressure either. If you think back to the games that the Rex Ryan Jets have beaten the Patriots, how did they do it? Pressure on Brady up the middle. Brady had happy feet on those nights as well.

It all breaks down when the offensive line goes. That’s why it’s the key to 2012.

Let’s look at the running game next.

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