Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/23/12

It has been said by many experts that football games are won in the "trenches". The battle between the offensive line and the defensive line is where games are ultimately decided for better or worse.

To say the New York Jets have struggled mightily on offense would be a gross understatement.

Nine total points over the first two weeks of preseason action is not good for a team looking to get back into playoffs in 2012.

So where do the problems on offense lie? Is it at the quarterback position?

Are the running backs doing their part to rush the ball effectively? Are the wide receivers running crisp routes and getting free from coverage?

To answer any of the above questions would be unfair to those players because without proper protection and gaps being created at the line of scrimmage, how can any skill players execute properly?

After watching the Super Bowl champion Giants' defensive front destroy the Jets' offensive line, it became quite clear that Jets' right tackle, Wayne Hunter, IS NOT the only problem. While Hunter could have performed better and is obviously the weakest link, it seemed as though the protection schemes were not being executed properly, often leaving one-on-ones and clear mismatches across the board.

To be fair, the Jets are returning three Pro-Bowlers from 2011 in Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Moore. While neither have been great so far, they each have enough talent and experience in this league to assess the problem areas and make the necessary adjustments.

Unfortunately, guard Matt Slauson and right tackle Wayne Hunter are not Pro Bowl-caliber type players and probably are better suited as reserves as opposed to every-down linemen.

Slauson in the first two games of the preseason, hasn't been terrible in pass protection but as a guard, his primary responsibilities are run blocking and thus far, there haven't been too many positives in that aspect of his game either. 

Granted, a new offensive system is being installed and you have to give the team time to learn the verbiage and proper positioning. However, at some point, players must be held accountable for their performances.

There is simply no excuse for poor mechanics in the NFL. Poor technique has nothing to do with the offensive scheme or learning a new system, however, it has everything to do with a player not being talented enough to start in the NFL. Simple as that.

An offensive lineman can, in rare instances, get away with poor mechanics versus marginal competition. Problem is, the NFL doesn't have too many average interior linemen but does have bevy of coaches and coordinators who are paid to exploit the opposing team's weaknesses.

Defenses will continue to attack Hunter's side of the line until he can prove he's capable of withstanding the pressure. If Hunter remains the starter, the Jets may have to employ two tight end sets to avoid mismatches and give him the help he needs.

Until the Jets can rectify the problems on the offensive line, blame cannot be placed on Mark Sanchez or Shonn Greene. If Sanchez has time to execute, he can be as effective as was in 2009 and 2010 as he led the team to two AFC Championship games.

On September 9th versus the Buffalo Bills, the real test begins as Mario Williams will be face-to-face with Hunter. Can the Jets solve the pressing quandary that is the offensive line?

I'll bet Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene sure hope so.

 

 

 

 



GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker