Despite the fact that Sam Darnold has been running for his life for the past three weeks, Todd Bowles has elected to take a glass half full approach with the Jets offensive line.
To be blunt, New York’s offensive line play has been brutal. Darnold is forced to make quick decisions or else he will wind up on his back or scrambling. Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell have not had many holes to run through and it’s a miracle that New York’s rushing attack has been halfway decent given the porous blocking up front.
Bowles does not see it this way, though. In fact, the head coach has seen New York’s offensive line improve with each passing week.
“They have done some good things,” Bowles said after practice on Friday. “There’s some plays that we would like to have back, but overall they’re making progress and they’ve been steady.”
It’s hard to see where the offensive line has made any kind of progress through the first three weeks of the season. Pass protection has been non-existent and run blocking has been below average.
Things are not going to get any easier for New York’s offensive line in Week 4 as they travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. With the likes of Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell up front and Dante Fowler Jr. rushing off the edge, it will be a tall task for the Jets O-Line to turn in a solid performance against one of the best defensive fronts in all of football.
“Every team is going to have good players up there, so it’s a challenge every week,” Bowles said. “There are different types of challenges, so this is just the latest of the ones that are coming.”
The challenges New York will face up front against the Jaguars surpass any of the challenges they have seen in the first three weeks of the season. If the Jets offensive line wants to start taking steps in the right direction, it will likely have to wait until they’re going up against a less talented unit.