Mekhi Becton's solid stats in the NY Jets' 2021 preseason opener were a promising sign.
Mekhi Becton, NY Jets, Getty Images

Mekhi Becton highlights the most notable offensive stats from the New York Jets offense

The New York Jets dropped just 12 points on the crosstown rival Giants in their preseason-opening victory, but there were still a number of positive things that occurred on the offensive side of the ball.

And, of course, there were also a few negative takeaways that need to be brought to the forefront.

The following are some of the most notable stats posted by the Jets offense on Saturday.

A short-but-sweet Mekhi Becton outing

After weeks of hearing about him getting wrecked by Carl Lawson in practice, all the world needed to see Mekhi Becton do against the Giants was put together a couple of clean drives against Big Blue’s backups.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Becton pass-blocked on 10 snaps against the Giants and allowed zero pressures. He also helped the Jets average 5.2 yards per carry over five rush attempts to the left side.

The Jets’ running backs were not credited with any broken tackles on rushes to the left side during Becton’s time in the game, signaling that the team’s excellent left-side rushing production was primarily created by the blocking quality of Becton and the offensive line.

Positive results for Morgan Moses

Morgan Moses has also had a somewhat shaky training camp, reportedly taking a good deal of losses against players like Bryce Huff and John Franklin-Myers.

Moses matched Becton’s solidity in the preseason opener. He was also credited with allowing zero pressures over 10 snaps in protection.

In the run game, the Jets picked up 14 yards (gains of 4 and 10) over two carries to Moses’ side.

Dan Feeney sputters

Dan Feeney got a lot of playing time with all levels of the depth chart, ranking fourth on the Jets with 53 offensive snaps. He played 36 snaps at left guard (starting there in place of Alijah Vera-Tucker) and 17 snaps at center.

Feeney failed to take advantage of a matchup against the Giants’ second and third-string units. He allowed three pressures over 31 protection snaps, a 9.7% rate that is more than double the 2020 league average for guards (4.5%). Two of those pressures came over 10 protection snaps with the first-team offense (20.0% pressure rate).

In the run game, Feeney earned a 59.9 run-blocking grade from PFF. That’s not atrocious, but it was the worst mark in the game by a Jets interior offensive lineman on a night where the Jets run-blocked fairly well.

Feeney was the primary reason that the Jets’ first-team offense averaged only 1.4 yards per carry over four carries directed “up the middle” according to the play-by-play. The first-team unit averaged 5.7 yards per carry when attacking left or right.

Denzel Mims puts on a mini-show

Denzel Mims only saw four targets and caught three passes, but he made the absolute most of his opportunities. He picked up 51 yards and recorded a first down on all three of his receptions.

Mims earned an overall grade of 83.5 at Pro Football Focus, which was the best among all Jets offensive players and seventh-best out of 57 qualified wide receivers (89th percentile) in preseason Week 1.

It was Mims’ after-the-catch production that stood out the most. His average of 10.0 yards after the catch per reception ranked third-best out of 57 qualified wideouts (96th percentile). He was also credited with two missed tackles forced, tied for the most among wide receivers.

Mims sorely needed a performance like this to squash some of the negative energy that has been surrounding his name.

So-so outing from George Fant

George Fant played 14 snaps at right tackle and did not visibly stand out in a positive or negative way.

Fant gave up one pressure over only 10 snaps in protection, a 10.0% rate (2020 OT average: 5.3%).

In the run game, Fant earned a decent 64.5 run-blocking grade at PFF. That placed him at the 54th percentile among qualified offensive tackles in preseason Week 1.

Poor job by the skill positions in pass protection

The Jets’ skill position players were responsible for allowing five pressures. La’Mical Perine allowed two, Chris Herndon allowed two, and Austin Walter allowed one.

This is an unusual sight for Perine and Herndon, who typically provide solid pass protection.

Keep an eye on Perine and Herndon’s depth chart movement this week. If they slip a little bit, their pass protection struggles could be the reason why.

Great outing for the wide receiver group

New York’s wideouts combined for an efficient performance. Most of them looked comfortable in Mike LaFleur’s offense, fluidly grabbing short-to-intermediate passes and picking up YAC in the quick-hitting scheme.

The Jets’ wide receivers combined for 15 catches on 21 targets (71.4%), yielding 177 yards (8.4 per target) and 10 first downs (47.6% of targets).

To boot, the unit went without a single drop.

Denzel Mims was the star, but Vyncint Smith deserves recognition, too. Smith grabbed three of four targets for 39 yards and three first downs.

Ghastly performance by the tight end unit

Tight end is easily the Jets’ weakest offensive position on paper. It certainly looked that way on Saturday.

New York’s tight ends combined for five catches on nine targets (55.6%). Those grabs produced only 34 yards (3.8 per target) and one first down (11.1% of targets).

Miscues were aplenty for this group.

Kenny Yeboah had a fumble. Daniel Brown had a drop. Tyler Kroft stumbled on a route to create a Zach Wilson incompletion. Trevon Wesco had the ball batted out of his hands on a would-be third-down conversion. As noted earlier, Chris Herndon did not have a good day in pass protection.

The group was a mixed bag in the run game. Here are their PFF run-blocking grades and where they ranked among qualified tight ends in preseason Week 1:

  • Herndon: 67.7 (83rd percentile)
  • Kroft: 59.6 (59th percentile)
  • Yeboah: 57.8 (48th percentile)
  • Brown: 54.5 (23rd percentile)
  • Wesco: 48.4 (10th percentile)

Wesco played 15 of his 16 offensive snaps at fullback, so he’s not really a tight end in this offense.

The Jets will be relying on these guys a lot, as they will be playing a lot of 12 personnel (2 TEs) and 21 personnel (1 FB, 1 TE), so they need this part of the roster to be more efficient.

It is not necessary for someone to emerge as a consistent receiving weapon, but it will be crucial for this group to both block better and collectively produce better results out of its few pass-catching opportunities.

Not much flexing-out for the running backs

The Jets used their running backs in an extremely traditional fashion. Michael Carter, Ty Johnson, and La’Mical Perine combined to line up outside of the backfield on only two offensive snaps (Carter and Perine each lined up on the outside once).

This isn’t a criticism by any means – just an observation of a stylistic choice. It will be interesting to see if the Jets continue to keep their running backs at home or if the backs will be flexed out more often when LaFleur unleashes the fully fleshed-out version of his offense in the regular season.

Tevin Coleman is the Jets’ most versatile running back in terms of the frequency at which he has been deployed outside of the backfield throughout his career. He missed this game, so we will have to wait and see if the Jets plan to use Coleman on the outside more often than his teammates.

Keelan Cole appears to be an outside receiver in this offense

Throughout his career, Keelan Cole has had a nearly 50-50 split between outside reps and slot reps, showing the ability to fluctuate between an outside-heavy role and a slot-heavy role from season to season.

His preseason debut suggested that the Jets may be planning to primarily use him on the outside.

Cole played 21 snaps and lined up as an outside receiver on 20 of them, aligning in the slot only once.

It would make sense for Cole to handle an outside role in this offense considering the Jets have a deep crew of slot receivers featuring Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, and Braxton Berrios.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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