Jets O-line not holding up lately

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
5:02
PM ET
The Jets offensive line isn't holding up under pressure.

As the Jets have made their playoff push in the last three weeks, the Jets offensive line has been far from steady, yielding 12 sacks in the last three games. That included the Giants sacking quarterback Mark Sanchez five times in Saturday's game, tied for the most sacks allowed by the Jets this season.

In the last two weeks, the Jets have now allowed nine sacks to the Eagles and Giants, the most in a two-game stretch by an opponent this season. Prior to this three-game stretch, the Jets didn't allow a sack in back-to-back games.

"When you look at the Eagles and the Giants, both those teams did a tremendous job rushing the passer in the game," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "Going into it, they're some of the best pass-rushing groups in the league and they proved it against us. They were putting pressure on us and I think that sometimes makes it difficult."

When evaluating the tape from Saturday, Ryan and offensive guard Matt Slauson pointed to the score in the second half as a big reason why the Giants were able to have their success against the Jets' front five.

The starting line did a great job in the first half of keeping quarterback Sanchez clean, allowing just one sack on the next-to-last play of the half. The Jets led for nearly the entire half, ultimately trailing 10-7 after two quarters, and ran the ball 13 times for 47 yards.

In the second half, though, as the Jets found themselves trailing the entire time and were down double digits at the beginning the fourth quarter, the team simply became fixated on the pass. The Jets threw the ball on 31 of their 47 plays and only handed the ball off nine times.

By not having to respect the running game, the Giants' pass rush found its spots and came up with some key sacks that prevented the Jets from getting into any type of offensive rhythm as they tried to mount a comeback.

Jason Pierre-Paul, Dave Tollefson, Chris Canty and Justin Tuck each recorded a sack in the second half. Canty's sack of Sanchez that resulted in a safety ultimately ended any chance the Jets had of a comeback by giving the Giants a 22-14 lead and the Giants scored on the ensuing drive to ice the game.

Ryan said the Giants put a tremendous amount of pressure on Sanchez during the game and did a great job mixing it up. Coming into Saturday's game, the Giants had just six sacks in their last three games.

"When teams are able to just tee off on you and you're playing from behind, look at the stats throughout the league, that when you're trailing in the fourth quarter of games, that's when you get more sacks and more turnovers and all that kind of stuff and that kind of plays out," Ryan said. "On Saturday, that's kind of how it played out."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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