New York Jets defense will aim to overpower a familiar Baltimore Ravens starter
Recently, I broke down two of the New York Jets’ biggest unit-versus-unit advantages over the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore’s offensive line was not featured in that article. This is because the unit is mostly made up of quality starters who should cause problems for New York’s defensive front.
That is… expect for one starter: right tackle Morgan Moses.
Moses is a familiar face for Jets fans. He started 16 games at right tackle for New York in 2021, taking over a starting spot after Mekhi Becton’s season-ending injury.
While Moses provided a level of play that was better than what most backup tackles in the NFL would have provided over 16 games, the fact of the matter is that he still played like a bottom-tier starter. Sure, he was more effective than your run-of-the-mill backup tackle (like Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott), but that doesn’t mean he was good in comparison to other 31 starting right tackles.
Moses was credited with allowing 49 pressures, which ranked as the fourth-most in the NFL among right tackles and the sixth-most among all tackles. His run-blocking was decent, but it hardly made up for such woeful pass-blocking.
Adding to the juiciness of this matchup for New York is the fact that Moses was substantially worse in road games last season. Moses allowed 4.0 pressures per game on the road compared to 2.3 pressures per game at home. For reference, over a full year, 4.0 pressures per game would have been the worst mark of any qualified tackle in the NFL last season.
This is a player with backup-level production who will be starting and playing every snap for a very good team on Sunday. It’s these rare liabilities on otherwise good teams who leave the door open for underdog teams to steal games.
Moses is ripe for the picking. The Jets’ pass-rush needs to beat him up.
On Sunday, Moses will face some combination of John Franklin-Myers, Jermaine Johnson, Bryce Huff, and Jacob Martin. New York’s top edge rusher, Carl Lawson, lives on the right side of the defensive line, so he’ll contend with Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley. That leaves a rotation of everyone else to battle Moses.
Franklin-Myers will play most of his edge snaps on run downs. In passing situations, it will likely be Johnson, Huff, and Martin who split the pass-rush reps against Moses.
This spells major trouble for Moses.
As laid out in Joe Blewett’s initial scouting report of Moses, his game revolves around power. He’s sturdy and strong, but can struggle tremendously with speed. Some of the weaknesses Blewett listed for Moses include:
- Doesn’t have ideal explosiveness, fluidity and change of direction
- Can struggle with speed/twitchy rushers
- At times too top-heavy
- Lateral movement
Keep in mind that this scouting report was written in July 2021, before Moses allowed his career-high 49 pressures with the Jets. These weaknesses only became more pronounced in the 2021 season.
Johnson, Huff, and Martin are ideally suited to win against Moses, as they each bring loads of speed and explosiveness to the table. Huff and Martin, in particular, have shown they are capable of combining their speed with twitch and finesse.
The Jets have a trio of young edge rushers who are perfectly suited to exploit the weaknesses of one of the NFL’s worst pass protectors from a season ago (who was especially poor on the road). If these youngsters can maximize their mismatch against Moses, they can be the engine of an upset victory.
Baltimore’s offense possesses plenty of mismatches over New York’s defense. It’s imperative that the Jets do not waste this rare defensive mismatch in their favor.