The New York Jets’ 206-yard rushing performance against Las Vegas was a team effort spearheaded by Mekhi Becton and Connor McGovern.
The New York Jets ran for a whopping 206 yards against the Raiders, their best performance on the ground since posting 323 rushing yards against the Broncos in Week 5 of 2018.
Two players in particular were instrumental behind the phenomenal production – Mekhi Becton and Connor McGovern. Becton earned an 81.8 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus, third-best among left tackles in Week 13 (prior to Tuesday night’s game) and his second-best of the season. McGovern earned a season-best run blocking grade of 82.8 that stands as the second-best among centers this week.
When running to Becton’s left side (any carry directed to the left of the center), the Jets picked up 112 yards on 17 carries (6.6 average). McGovern helped to lead a strong interior rushing attack, as the Jets picked up 147 yards on 20 carries between the tackles (7.4 average).
Let’s dig into the film behind the excellent run blocking showcased by these two crucial long-term pieces on the Jets offensive line.
Becton cleared the edge with ease all afternoon. While Clelin Ferrell had Becton’s number in the passing game, Ferrell simply could not hold the edge against Becton in the running game.
With the Jets running a split zone featuring jet motion, Becton kicks out and quickly engages the 5-technique defensive end (Ferrell), explosively firing his hands into Ferrell’s chest and moving him outside. Becton reestablishes his hands, getting his inside hand onto Ferrell’s inside shoulder to maintain the block and keep Ferrell at bay. Josh Adams gets an enormous B-gap to run through and picks up 25 yards.
Nice work by Pat Elflein on the 3-tech, using the defender’s momentum against him by allowing him to charge through the A-gap and then pinning him to the back side. Adams makes a man miss in space and picks up even more than what is blocked for him.
On this next play, McGovern shows some impressive power as he creates plenty of downfield movement and maintains his block for an extended period of time. McGovern delivers the snap and takes on the slanted 1-tech (Maurice Hurst). On the inside zone play, McGovern takes wide lateral steps and carries Hurst outside before engaging. Once engaged, McGovern maintains contact and drives Hurst down the field both laterally and vertically, opening up an enormous cutback lane that Ty Johnson uses to pick up seven yards on second-and-10.
Smart and athletic block in space by McGovern here. On the draw play, McGovern works up to the linebacker (Cory Littleton) at the second level. Rather than being overly aggressive looking for contact, McGovern stays patient and allows Littleton to define the running lane, a savvy decision. Once Littleton commits inside, McGovern attacks, digging his hands into Littleton’s hips and riding his momentum. This makes Ty Johnson’s life easier, presenting him with a clear-and-obvious lane. Instead of having to make a decision, Johnson is given an easy read that he can make instinctually without having to waste time thinking. Johnson runs behind McGovern on the way to 12 yards on second-and-2.
Watch this all day. In the draft they talk about size, 40 speed, arm length. What impresses me in these clips are his hands and feet. The big man has hand strength, and he uses it. The term dancing bear is used, Mekhi’s feet never stop moving, gets him into position. Get this man a good Left Guard and run all day long. Both Johnson & Adams ran Left and their chemistry seemed to improve with Becton as the game went on. Hope.