New York Jets: The Offense will remain broken until the offensive line is fixed

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 16: Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns sacks Luke Falk #8 of the New York Jets in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 16: Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns sacks Luke Falk #8 of the New York Jets in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets offense has been an absolute mess to begin the 2019 season. And unfortunately, the unit won’t be fixed until the offensive line is fixed.

It’s been a challenging few weeks for the New York Jets. The team currently sits at 0-2 and has suffered through more misfortune in two weeks than most NFL franchises deal with in a decade’s time.

But isn’t that a part of the whole Jets fan experience?

Much has been made about Sam Darnold and subsequently Trevor Siemian‘s injury. The team is still without promising young tight end Chris Herndon as he serves his four-game suspension. And starting wideout Quincy Enunwa is out for the season with a neck injury.

Not to mention that they’re still dealing with injuries to C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Jordan Jenkins on the defensive side of the ball on top of starting inside linebacker Avery Williamson‘s season-ending torn ACL.

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The Jets are beat up — that’s for certain. But despite the countless injuries and suspensions facing the franchise, health isn’t the team’s biggest issue.

Instead, it has been the horrid play of the offensive line that has plagued the organization through two weeks.

Going into the season, there was optimism that the line would be significantly improved. Starters Kelvin Beachum, Brian Winters, and Brandon Shell returned but the trio was joined by two new faces in the form of former All-Pro-caliber players.

Left guard Kelechi Osemele was brought over in a trade with the Oakland Raiders just prior to the start of free agency. Osemele was a former two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro but his 2018 season was marred by injury and inconsistent play.

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For essentially the price of downgrading from a fifth-round pick to a sixth-round pick, it was certainly worth the risk. And Osemele has arguably been the team’s most consistent offensive lineman thus so far.

The other notable addition that was made was the signing of former Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil. Kalil, a five-time Pro Bowler, was coaxed out of retirement by general manager Joe Douglas after the team decided it wasn’t wise to go into the season with Jonotthan Harrison as the starter.

Unfortunately, it was Harrison himself who replaced a struggling Kalil towards the end of the team’s Week 2 matchup with the Cleveland Browns. It’s safe to say that the Kalil signing has been a bit of a bust so far.

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Struggles were expected early in the season as the unit had very little time to work together in training camp and the preseason. Kalil didn’t even join the team until August and the likes of Beachum, Osemele, and Winters dealt with injuries throughout the summer.

That led to the starting five making their in-game debut together in Week 1. And as expected, developing chemistry has been a difficult process to this point. The Jets have dealt with countless issues regarding miscommunication up front and it’s limited what the offense could do.

And that’s just it. The Jets offensive struggles don’t come from their depleted playmakers and the fact that they’re starting a third-string quarterback — although they certainly don’t help matters.

Rather, everything boils down to the poor play of the offensive line.

Head coach Adam Gase has received plenty of criticism for his gameplan through the first two weeks of the season — and rightfully so. But a poor line handicaps a coach and limits what an offense can actually accomplish.

With no time to operate, the passing game is relegated to five-yard dump-offs, flat routes, crossing patterns, and quick screens. And with no push up front, the team’s running backs have no room to work.

Le’Veon Bell is doing his best out there but much of his effort has been for naught.

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Some of this is on the coaching staff too as adjustments should be made to aid the team’s struggling players. Beachum was manhandled this past week by talented pass rusher Myles Garrett allowing three sacks in the team’s loss to the Browns.

But a closer look at the tape shows that this was not entirely the fault of Beachum — who was playing through an ankle injury.

Instead of keeping in an extra tight end to block or even chip Garrett, and instead of using Bell or another back to assist Beachum, Gase left him on an island alone by himself.

It was straight-up Garrett versus a hobbled Beachum and that’s a matchup that the former is going to win 10 times out of 10.

Miscommunication, poor coaching schemes, and an overall step-back from a talent perspective have contributed to a disastrous two weeks for the offensive line. And unfortunately, there have been few signs of improvement.

The hope is that the five-man unit could continue to develop chemistry with each other, but the Jets’ offense will continue to struggle while that happens.

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Growing pains were expected, but what we’ve seen through two weeks has been downright horrid. And until the offensive line is fixed, the Jets offense will remain broken.