New York Jets: Kelvin Beachum has been the stabilizer of the offensive line
By Justin Fried
New York Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum has been playing exceptionally well since his return from injury and has become the stabilizer of the offensive line.
New York Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum has long been one of the most underappreciated players on the team. While his off-field contributions have never been questioned, his on-field play has drawn the ire of Jets fans over the years.
But in 2019, it seems that he is finally receiving the credit that he has long deserved. At least, in recent weeks he has been. But it certainly didn’t start out that way.
Beachum, along with the entire offensive line, got out to a rough start this season. Through seven games, no offensive line in NFL history had allowed more sacks and paved the way for fewer rushing yards in their first seven games.
You could have quite literally argued that the Jets offensive line was the worst in NFL history.
But things began to click for the offensive line beginning in the team’s shocking 24-22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, Beachum would suffer a sprained ankle in that game and go on to miss the next three weeks.
And ever since his return, the Jets offense has been on a roll.
Sam Darnold has regained his confidence playing like one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL over the past few weeks while head coach Adam Gase has breathed life into a previously hapless offense.
But while the quarterback play and offensive gameplan have plenty to do with the offense’s recent success, it’s important not to overlook the play of the offensive line.
And taking center stage of the offensive line’s improvements has been a returning Beachum.
Dating back to his performance in the Jets’ victory over Dallas, Beachum has allowed just three total pressures over his past four games. And in those four games, the 30-year-old veteran hasn’t allowed a single sack or even a QB hit.
Perhaps most telling is the fact that the Jets are 4-0 over the last four games that Beachum has played.
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The former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle is playing some of the best football of his Jets tenure right now and he’s doing so on two injured ankles. While already playing through a sprained ankle, Beachum sprained his other ankle this past week.
Despite this, he returned just a few plays later after getting it heavily taped up on the sideline and is expected to play this week — despite being limited in practice.
On an offensive line that features four different starters from the unit we saw in Week 1, Beachum has remained the sole constant. He’s the one season-long holdover acting like an adhesive keeping the unit together.
And now despite talks that the Jets could look to move on from him in the offseason with his contract set to expire, it’s hard to imagine the team letting him walk. He’s simply proven to be too valuable.
We all know the stories of his off-field charity work and his humble demeanor — and if you don’t you’re doing yourself a disservice — but it’s about time Beachum begins to get the respect that he deserves on the gridiron.
Kelvin Beachum has been an integral part of the Jets’ recent success and he’s accomplished that on two bum ankles and a whole lot of heart.