Despite the rough 1-4 of the New York Jets to start the season, the team’s offensive line has been doing their job. When they head to Arizona tonight, they will face their biggest challenge yet against the Cardinals’ destructive defensive front.
Coming into the 2016-2017 NFL season, it seemed as if the offensive line of the New York Jets was going to be one of the team’s most prominent concerns. The unit looked like it was just a mixture of aging veterans, inexperienced young players, and some other below average players.
Through the first five games of this season, the Jets‘ offensive line has played well above expectations as they seem to be doing enough for the offense to succeed each and every week. As the offensive line has been a pleasant surprise, the other major concerns on the team such as the porous secondary and the incompetent coaching have taken up all of the spotlights.
The Jets’ offensive line has seen some pretty good competition thus far going against good defensive fronts in Cincinnati, Seattle, and Kansas City, but their biggest test will come on Monday night. The Jets will be facing Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones amongst others at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Arizona has a 3-4 defense, and on the defensive line, they have two defensive ends who are always playing at a high level. Frostee Rucker has been playing good football since he came to Arizona in 2013 while Campbell has two Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro team to his name.
The problems that Campbell presents can ruin any offense’s day. He is a dominant force in the run game while also being one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL. His size is downright frightening as he stands at 6’8″ 300 lbs, and he will give the Jets a very tough time if they can’t come up with the right game plan around him.
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The other part of the Cardinals’ defensive front that is absolutely terrifying is their edge-rushing tandem. Jones and Markus Golden form one of the most deadly pass-rushing duos in the league as they have ten sacks between themselves on the season.
Jets fans know Jones very well as he played four seasons with the New England Patriots before being traded to Arizona this offseason. He is an extremely athletic edge rusher giving the less athletic tackles in the league major problems. He has recorded an impressive four sacks through this season’s first five games.
While Golden may not be nearly as big of a name as Jones is, he is an extremely gifted player in his own right. Despite his lack of top flight speed, Golden has sacked the opposing quarterback six times this season in what his been a breakout sophomore year. He is another star who has the potential to ruin the game for the Jets.
Along with all of these dominant players, Arizona also has a very versatile and talented inside linebacker in Deone Bucannon. Bucannon has a ton of speed and he excels in coverage against running backs and tight ends. He adds another strong talent to this Cardinals defensive front.
After all of this analysis, it goes without saying that the Cardinals have one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. The Jets’ offensive line needs to have one of their best games of the season if the Jets are going to advance to 2-4.