- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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In two games, the Jets' pass protection has been abysmal. Check out these numbers: In 56 drop-backs, they've allowed 12 sacks. The starting unit has surrendered five sacks in 20 drop-backs. At that rate, Mark Sanchez will be a regular in the ER.
After breaking down the tape from Saturday night's horror show, the thing that jumped out was that all three sacks allowed by the first-team offense came on four-man rushes. The Giants didn't trick it up. It was their vanilla versus the Jets' vanilla, and we all know who had the best ice cream. You'd like to think that O.C. Tony Sparano would've made adjustments in a regular-season game, providing help with a tight end and/or running back.
The weak link was RT Wayne Hunter, who allowed 2.5 sacks -- and it would've been 3.5 if it weren't for a Giants neutral-zone infraction that had nothing to do with the play. Truth be told, there might have been another sack; Hunter stumbled while blocking Justin Tuck, but Tuck got tangled up with him and couldn't make a play.
Analyzing the sacks:
1. Jason Pierre-Paul beats Hunter. This was a basic four-man rush vs. a five-man protection. Hunter will get the blame for the sack, as JPP tossed him aside and dropped Sanchez, but LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson also played a role. He got beat by Osi Umenyiora on an outside rush, forcing Sanchez to step up and into JPP.
2. Tuck/Umenyiora beat Hunter/Ferguson. Once again, the Jets' five-man protection got beat by a four-man rush. Once again, Hunter got beat to the outside, this time by Tuck. Ferguson did a good job on Umenyiora, but Umenyiora changed direction and cleaned up from behind when he saw Sanchez step up in the pocket. Sanchez should get some blame because he held the ball too long (the play took 4.8 seconds). On the plus side, Sanchez protected the ball with two hands as he navigated the traffic. He didn't do that consistently last season.
PENALTY: Tuck beats Hunter. He beat Hunter, but the Jets caught a break because the sack was nullified by offsides on Umenyiora. The Jets went to an empty look for the first time, and their five-man protection didn't hold up.
3. Pierre-Paul beats Hunter. This was pretty simple: Hunter got bull-rushed by JPP. It was a four-man rush against a five-man protection.
4. Adewale Ojomo beats Austin Howard. This happened at the start of the fourth quarter, when both teams had their backups in the game. Howard, playing left tackle, actually got called for holding as he tried to fight off Ojomo, but Ojomo beat him anyway. QB Tim Tebow didn't help matters by holding the ball too long.
5. Will Hill beats air. This was one of the few times the Giants actually blitzed. Hill was unblocked on a backside blitz and he dropped Tebow, his former college teammate, from the blindside. Tebow was visibly frustrated, perhaps with RB Joe McKnight, who leaked out of the backfield on a pass route instead of picking up Hill.
Hey, look at the bright side: Vlad Ducasse didn't get mentioned once in this post-mortem.