Jul 26, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Austin Howard (77) walks out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets' Offensive Line Makes it Difficult for Geno Smith Week One

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Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) waits to snap the ball during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28 to 9. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of positives on Sunday afternoon in the Jets’ win against the Buccaneers. We have talked about them at length, the defensive line, Geno and his decision-making, and others. There is a lot to be happy about as we progress towards Thursday night and the game against New England.

One element of the game that was a concern, however, was the offensive line. They will get better, but week one was not good. There were no holes for the running game, Geno was sacked five times, and was running for his life a lot.

It showed in the grades from our friends at Pro Football Focus.  Lineman grades take into account factors such as QB hurries, sacks, …etc.  In a big surprise, you know who had the worst day of anyone along the line?  This guy:

Jul 26, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle D

He of former Pro Bowl fame, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, had the worst day of anyone. In the passing game, he was held responsible for five quarterback hurries. His grades were -1.9 in run blocking, -0.4 is passing blocking, and -0.5 in penalties, for an overall grade of -2.8. Not the type of performance we want from our tackle on the blind side of the quarterback.

Less surprising, but not less disappointing, was the play of Vladimir Ducasse. Vladimir was responsible for one sack, and two quarterback hits. Although he committed no penalties, for 0.3 rating, his run blocking grade was -0.9, and his pass block grade was 0.1, for a total grade of -0.5. Vladimir worked hard, to his credit, to earn the playing time, he had better work harder in order to KEEP it.

One lineman excelled on Sunday, and actually posted a grade that topped every Jets’ offensive player on the day, not just every offensive lineman. Who was it?

The man discovered last year, right tackle Austin Howard. His grade for the overall game was 5.2, which was the highest for any player on the offense, and it wasn’t close. He allowed one hit and one quarterback hurry. Austin posted a 1.1 grade in pass blocking, actually posted a positive grade of 1.0 in screen blocking, and a whopping 2.6 in blocking against the run. A 0.5 in penalties (one called, none accepted) was the final mark in an excellent game by Austin Howard.

Nobody else on the line recorded a positive grade of higher than 1.0. Not good, and must get better if the Jets are going to make a move on anybody in 2013.

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