After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players to look in detail at their performance. We'll wrap up today with the offense:
The Opening Bell
Le'Veon Bell's debut was impressive but the Jets arguably need to be smarter about how they use him. Bell was in the game on every single snap but carried the ball just twice for two yards in the fourth quarter.
This applied in the passing game too. He had just five yards on five targets in the first half but caught five passes for 27 yards including a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the third quarter. However, he wasn't targeted at all in the fourth.
Bell showed what a useful weapon he can be on a few third down conversions where they got him the ball isolated in space on a defender and he beat them to get to the marker, but he needs to be an option within an offense with multiple weapons because there were times where he was too much of a focal point and the defense was keying on him.
When Bell was completed bottled up in the backfield on 4th-and-one but somehow got to the marker, you may have been wondering how he did that. This angle gives a better idea of how he rides the tackle and stays on his feet so he can fall forwards.
Bell did a good job of maximizing the yardage on each of his carries, but 11 of his touches still went for two yards or less, including a handful that were stuffed for a loss. However, on all of these, there was nowhere for him to go and he managed to prevent a bigger loss on several of them.
When the line did create space for Bell, he made some nice gains, breaking tackles, driving players downfield and falling forward at the end of the run.
Bell ended up with 60 yards on 17 carries. Can you guess how many of those 60 yards came after contact? It was exactly 60.
On the whole, it was an encouraging performance from Bell who already showed how he can be a multi-faceted weapon who creates extra yardage through his playmaking ability. If the Jets can clean up some of their blocking - which again, was solid in places - he could have some monster outputs this year.
Osemele-charmed kind of life
Kelechi Osemele's first regular season game with the Jets was uneven, which was to be expected with the interior line not having played together before.
He displayed some good run blocking, including an excellent pulling block to the right to help spring Bell for a nice gain. However, there was also one running play where he whiffed badly on his man at the line and another pulling block that was ineffective, leading to the run being bottled up.
In pass protection, Osemele only gave up a couple of pressures, but there were two plays where he was tossed aside by his man, including this one that led to a roughing the passer call:
Osemele also allowed the pocket to be collapsed on one play that ultimately led to a coverage sack but generally held up well against the bull rush.
The Jets running game will hopefully function better as a unit once they're able to vary up their running attack a bit more.
As for the pass protection, getting reps with the rest of his linemates will help Osemele pick up stunts and blitzes effectively but he also needs to ensure he can sustain his blocks better in one-on-one situations.
Ryan's ton o' hell
Ryan Kalil's first game as a Jet also saw mixed results. He was responsible for four pressures and had an illegal hands to the face penalty in pass protection.
The Bills didn't exactly make it easy for the Jets, regularly lining up with seven men at the line of scrimmage to keep the Jets guessing about who they'd send. On this play, the middle linebacker initially rushes but then drops off and Kalil doesn't have the quickness to transition to pick up the defensive tackle:
Dealing with blitz packages like this and picking up stunts is something that can only get better with more reps together. Hopefully the interior linemen can remain healthy enough to develop some chemistry.
Aside from the above play, Kalil was driven back into the quarterback's lap on a couple of bull rushes and also allowed his man to get upfield on him to flush the quarterback from the pocket.
Kalil's best work in the running game came on some effective combo blocks working with Osemele. However, he also missed a second-level block and had an ineffective pulling block.
One thing the Jets seemed reluctant to do was to get their linemen out in front of a screen pass which is an area where both Kalil and Osemele can make an impact. Expect to see them mix that in over the next few weeks.
PREVIOUSLY: 3-on-D: Jenkins, Roberts, Mosley