After being sacked 15 times in the first three weeks of the season, QB Zach Wilson has been sacked 3 times in the past two games. C Connor McGovern believes offensive line is beginning to hit its stride.
"We're really starting to communicate well, we're starting to flow together well, we're starting to work as a unit," McGovern said. "Pass protecting in this league is hard. It's even harder when not all five guys are on the exact same page and we've been really working hard to do that in the pass game, the run game and really just gel as a unit, and we all believe we have a really good unit. … The communication has gotten a lot better, the understanding of where I need to be at what time has gotten better and it's a really good feeling when you can look at the film and see some pretty good protection and you don't have to help Zach off the ground very much.
"It definitely feels pretty good. It doesn't feel as good as winning does, but as a unit, we're always trying to be better and we had two [sacks] this last weekend and for us, that's two too many."
McGovern is one of five Jets to take all 309 offensive snaps so far this season along with fellow offensive linemen George Fant, who moved from RT to LT after Mekhi Becton got hurt in Week 1, LG Alijah Vera-Tucker and RG Greg Van Roten.
The Jets rank No. 30 in the NFL in rushing yards per game (74) with their best performance coming in Week 2 against the Patriots (152 yards). Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's offense is predicated on staying committed to the run game and the outside-zone-blocking scheme that the Green & White have implemented. McGovern believes the run game will improve when the team starts faster. The Jets have been outscored by 30-0 in the first quarter and by 75-13 in the first half.
"As an offense, we're not starting fast enough and then we're getting behind," he said. "We're leaving our defense out there too long, we're not playing complementary football enough, especially the first quarter. I didn't even realize how few of plays we were running in the first quarter until we talked about. So, once we get on schedule and can stay on schedule, especially in the first half, first quarter, you'll see better production and more yards come from the run game. But I think that's directly related to coming out and starting a lot faster."
McGovern, who has played with nine quarterbacks in his time in the NFL both at Denver and last season with the Jets, is confident in Wilson. The No. 2 pick in April's draft has thrown for 1,117 yards and 9 TDs while competing 57.3% of his passes. He's also thrown 9 interceptions.
"Everybody believes in him," McGovern said. "When you see the kind of the throws he makes and the plays he's able to make, you know that he has the makings to be a really special quarterback. The way he can see a defense, the way he handles checks and the more complicated pre-snap stuff is phenomenal. He sees the defenses really well. He's a phenomenal talent and you can just see his confidence grow every week.
"The coolest thing I think about Zach is he doesn't let anything affect his confidence. He is a very confident individual and nothing is going to break that confidence. In my career I've seen guys, young quarterbacks, get their confidence rocked and never come back. It doesn't matter, good play, bad play, whatever it is, Zach is extremely confident, he knows he can go out and make the plays that are required to win the football game. I think the Jets organization and fanbase can every week expect bigger and better things from Zach and a guy that's going to be around for a long time making spectacular plays."