Bryce Huff, NY Jets, Josh Allen, Bills
Bryce Huff, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have a chance to dominate on Josh Allen’s right side

When the New York Jets offense takes the field on Monday Night Football, countless pairs of eyeballs will be fixated upon the hulking behemoth protecting Aaron Rodgers’ right side: Mekhi Becton. The Jets’ starting right tackle has been one of the most intensely scrutinized offensive linemen in the NFL this offseason.

Members of the national media will discuss Becton ad nauseam in the leadup to this game, labeling him as one of the matchup’s most important players. While that’s certainly true, they should be applying just as much pressure on the other right tackle in this game: Buffalo’s Spencer Brown.

Despite all the hullabaloo about New York’s offensive line, Buffalo’s front five is arguably more suspect. In a recent article, Jets X-Factor’s Rivka Boord compared the production of the projected starting offensive linemen from all four AFC East teams. The Bills’ unit ranked third out of the four teams in pass-blocking and fourth in run-blocking. The Jets’ unit was second in pass-blocking and third in run-blocking.

The player who had the largest role in dragging Buffalo’s numbers down? That would be Brown. Coming off a very rough season in 2022, the Bills’ right tackle will arguably be the weakest starting offensive lineman from either team on Monday night.

According to PFF, Brown allowed 42 pressures on 551 pass-blocking snaps in 2022, giving him an allowed pressure rate of 7.62%. That ranked 57th out of 63 qualified tackles. In the run game, Brown ranked 54th out of 66 qualified tackles with a run-blocking grade of 53.7 at PFF.

Few starting offensive linemen in the league were as bad as Brown in both phases. Brown was one of only two qualified right tackles (min. 500 snaps at RT) who allowed a pressure rate above 7.0% and had a sub-55.0 run-blocking grade, joining Giants rookie Evan Neal.

And Becton is the lineman who’s getting talked about the most leading into this game? People seem to be focusing on the wrong guy.

Brown is a massive liability as a starter. Why the Bills decided to keep him in the starting lineup after last year’s performance is anyone’s guess, but the Jets should be thankful for Buffalo’s decision. He will provide New York’s loaded defensive line with a chance to dominate on Josh Allen’s right side.

In fact, the Jets already have an established history of dominating Brown. Across three games against the Jets, he has allowed 15 pressures on 125 pass-blocking snaps – a hideous pressure rate of 12.0%.

Arguably the two worst games of Brown’s career were against the Jets. In Week 18 of the 2021 season, Brown allowed a season-high seven pressures. Brown missed the Jets’ Week 9 win over Buffalo in 2022, but he returned for the Week 14 rematch and he allowed seven pressures once again. That ended up as his season-high – to date, those two games are tied for his career-high in allowed pressures.

Three players will likely get the most chances to beat up on Brown: John Franklin-Myers, Jermaine Johnson, and Bryce Huff. They were the Jets’ three primary left-side defensive ends (pitting them against the right tackle) last season, and all indications are they will retain those roles in 2023.

Franklin-Myers should be particularly excited for this matchup. Back in Week 18 of the 2021 season, Franklin-Myers recorded seven pressures against Brown. It remains tied for Franklin-Myers’ third-best single-game pressure total in his career.

Huff faced Brown for the first time in Week 14 of 2022 and recorded three pressures on just 11 pass-rush snaps. Huff’s 27.2% pressure rate ended up being his fourth-best of the season.

On this play, Huff creates a sack as he beats Brown around the edge with a speed rush to force Allen into stepping up. Quinnen Williams finishes it off and gets the statistical credit, but this sack is Huff’s doing.

Johnson had only one pressure on 13 pass-rush snaps in the Week 14 game against Brown, but Johnson looks like a different player this year and should be more prepared to maximize the mismatch.

Don’t forget about the run game, either. Brown is just as ripe for the picking in that phase.

Brown’s 46.1 run-blocking grade against the Jets last season was his third-worst of the year. Franklin-Myers beats him here to stuff a first-down run.

Even Sauce Gardner made Brown look silly in the run game.

Everyone loves to talk about the flashy matchups that could be featured on a movie poster – Rodgers vs. Allen, Sauce vs. Diggs, et cetera – but it’s often the gritty, thankless battles in the trenches that determine the outcome of a football game.

The Jets have Spencer Brown’s number. If they replicate their past success against him, they will place themselves in an excellent position to win on Monday night.

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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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Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
19 days ago

Just One key in a set to unlock a victory over the Bills on Monday night !!! Keep the reports coming. Love the work you All do !!!