We're going to continue today's analysis with some things you might not have noticed from yesterday's win over Washington:
What has Shell taught us?
Yesterday's game seemed like the best performance so far by the offensive line as a unit, the timing of which is intriguing. There will be suspicion surrounding whether removing Brian Winters from the mix has actually had a positive effect or can we just attribute it to the fact that the gradual process towards gelling as a unit has just started to bear fruit over the past few weeks?
Winters was placed on injured reserve during the week having played hurt for much of the season. While that's admirable, it's something that seems to happen every year and leaves us wondering if someone with better durability would be better to have in there. The much cheaper Tom Compton filled in this week and he started off great, although he was less effective in the second half. It's not the first time Winters has been replaced by a lesser reserve and the resultant downgrade hasn't had much effect on overall offensive performance.
The importance of Kelvin Beachum should not be ignored either. Sam Darnold's best four games have been the four when Beachum was in the line-up and the Jets would have won all four had they not blown that lead on opening day.
The other interesting aspect of yesterday's game was Chuma Edoga's unfortunate injury. Once again, though, Edoga left the game and the team didn't miss a beat when his replacement Brandon Shell came off the bench.
Edoga seems to have been thrown in at the deep end before he's entirely ready, as shown on Ryan Kerrigan's two sacks. Perhaps more concerning, though, is the fact the team seemed to have given up on Shell, who is still capable of being a beast:
The Jets also seemed ready to give up on Foley Fatukasi and Nathan Shepherd earlier in the season and are now probably glad they didn't. If Edoga is going to miss time and Shell gets some run with a line that is suddenly performing better as a group, maybe he will be able to convince the powers-that-be that he's worth keeping after all.
One final observation on the offensive line involved Alex Lewis, who has had his ups and downs since replacing Kelechi Osemele but hasn't been too bad. This is actually a successful short yardage conversion and Lewis makes his block pulling to the right:
What happened here? He let his guy get off the block and in on the tackle and seemed to just give up on the play. Bell just about got to the marker, but would have made it more easily if Lewis tried to stay on his man or just plowed into the back of Bell to give him a Bush Push.
Unless Lewis got hurt there, that's a disturbing lack of either focus or effort. Luckily Bell made it anyway but still...
The Art of being unseen
Here's a detailed gif breakdown of every time Washington threw at Art Maulet...
That's it. That's the breakdown.
Okay, so they did throw at his man on the two-point conversion, but (a) two-point conversions don't count in terms of yardage or catches in the official stats and (b) it looked like he was probably chasing someone else's screw-up across the field because he appeared to try to pass off the crosser to a teammate.
It seemed an obvious strategy for rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins to go after the Jets' inexperienced cornerbacks but he didn't seem to look Maulet's way at all, so Maulet effectively pitched a shut-out without being tested.
Maulet lined up exclusively on the left, so we wondered if Haskins just isn't comfortable throwing to his right. However, his splits so far this year were about the same throwing to his left and to his right, so that doesn't track.
The problem is that we can't draw much of a conclusion on how Maulet played. This is similar to how Darryl Roberts wasn't targeted at all in preseason so optimism was high he'd hold up well in coverage, only for Tom Brady to go at him repeatedly, leaving him exposed.
Let's hope Maulet holds up better than Roberts did if he remains in the starting line-up and finds himself in a similar situation.
Who wore it best?
Who wore it best? Was it Lee Smith?
Or Robby Anderson?
SHEESH: We've lost count
Much more analysis to come later today and over the next few days. Please let us know who you'd like to see us feature in more detail in 3-on-D and 3-on-O.