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NY Jets: Benching Greg Van Roten is not really a viable option

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Greg Van Roten
NY Jets, Greg Van Roten / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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If they could, the NY Jets would possibly consider benching Greg Van Roten.

If they could, the Jets might bench half their team based on their season performance so far, but long-suffering franchises like the Jets don't get that luxury.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report recently released a list detailing one player every NFL team should bench. For New York, Van Roten made the list.

"There are several concerns in the offensive trenches, but the most egregious is the play of starting right guard Greg Van Roten. He's solely responsible for 41 percent of the pressures that Gang Green's offensive line has allowed over the past fortnight. Add in Van Roten's two sacks conceded and a penalty on just 192 snaps, and you are looking at a player who must be benched for this line to have any chance of righting the ship. "

Alex Kay

Kay cites Van Roten's most important stats so we don't have to, and there isn't a doubt in any Jets' fan's mind that Van Roten is, as famous offensive line coach Duke Manyweather puts it, a "liability."

As one of five linemen, Roten's over 40 percent pressure allowance rate far outweighs any other player, so if you had to pick a scapegoat, it would be him.

The offensive line and the quarterback go hand in hand, so Zach Wilson is partially to blame, too. Wilson, who has been sacked a league-high 15 times, has also been pressured on almost half of his dropbacks.

The rookie QB has been criticized (by Van Roten, of all poeple) for not getting the ball out fast enough, and the numbers verify Wilson's slower decision-making.

According to Next Gen Stats, Wilson has completed 45 percent of his passes when he failed to throw the ball in less than 2.5 seconds, and he also leads the league with eight sacks that took at least 4.5 seconds.

NY Jets right guard Greg Van Roten has very bad to start the season

That's something Wilson will hopefully improve upon as the season continues. But Van Roten has already hit his ceiling. The seventh-year lineman can't improve, but he can't very well be benched, either.

Kay claims a player like Dan Feeney should take Van Roten's place, and Feeney will have his opportunity to suit up — should any offensive linemen get injured.

Feeney struggled in the summer and he wasn't able to usurp Van Roten in the starting lineup. As terrible as Van Roten has been these past few weeks, plugging and playing another player doesn't solve the Jets' pass-protection problems, just like benching Wilson wouldn't solve their quarterback issues.

The trope of "consistently bad" follows the Jets wherever they go, and sadly, Van Roten fits the stereotype. Van Roten shouldn't have the starting right guard position, but he does. The Jets shouldn't be this awful in the post-Adam-Gase era, but they are.

To watch Van Roten struggle and flail game after game is to embody what it truly means to be a Jets fan.

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At some point in the season, if the hole gets even deeper than it is, the Jets may have to make drastic changes to the starting lineup, offensive line included. That point isn't now.

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