George Fant
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Three of Joe Douglas‘ offensive line pickups are playing solid football for the New York Jets, highlighted by their respective pass-protection performances against the Chiefs.

Greg Van Roten

Over the first four weeks of the season, Van Roten allowed 15 pressures, most among guards. His pressure rate of 9.3% was the worst among qualifiers.

The Rockville Centre, NY native is turning his season around. Since Week 5, Van Roten has allowed only two pressures over 150 protection snaps, a rate of 1.3% that ranks second-best among 64 qualified guards over that span.

Van Roten was knocked with zero pressures allowed against Kansas City.

On this play, Van Roten shuts down two blitzers. He picks up the safety and passes him inside before turning his attention to the linebacker attempting to rush through the B-gap, picking him up and giving Sam Darnold enough time to find Braxton Berrios for a first down.

The 5-technique defensive end rushes inside against Van Roten, looking to throw an aggressive bull rush. With the DT in the B-gap rushing inside, Van Roten quickly identifies that the 5-technique is his primary threat. Van Roten absorbs the bull rush and anchors down effectively.

Van Roten goes one-on-one with Derek Nnadi, the 2-tech lined up directly over him. Van Roten prevents any quick penetration to keep the pocket clean on a quick-release throw by Darnold.

Outstanding stunt pickup by Van Roten on this play. The linebacker over the B-gap looks to carry Van Roten inside. Van Roten recognizes the stunt action and passes the linebacker off while preparing to pick up a defender looping from the other side. However, Andrews is late to pick up the linebacker from Van Roten. So, Van Roten makes sure to hang on to the linebacker with his inside hand for a bit longer until Andrews can pick him up. Once Andrews finally gets over, he and Van Roten throw the linebacker outside and straight into the looping defender, Chris Jones. Van Roten then moves off the linebacker to pick up Jones and knock him way off the ball. Beautiful job.

Mekhi Becton

Becton was knocked with only one pressure allowed over the Jets’ 36 passing plays. Kansas City’s starting edge rushers, Frank Clark and Tanoh Kpassagnon, combined for zero pressures over 27 rushes from Becton’s side of the line. The rookie was absolutely locked-in as a pass protector, devouring everything the Chiefs threw at him.

On the play where Denzel Mims excited the fanbase with an acrobatic 27-yard grab, Becton played a big part in allowing it to happen with a dominant rep against Clark, he of 43 sacks and 87 quarterback hits since 2016. With Becton shining on the front end and Mims shining on the back end, this play is an inspiring glimpse into the future.

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