EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Only the replacement players were this bad.
The Jets tied a team record by allowing 11 sacks in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Chargers, the most yielded since a group of replacement players took the field on Oct. 4, 1987, against the Cowboys.
The Jets, regarded as one of the NFL's top offensive lines, had allowed 35 sacks entering the game.
"This wasn't our day," left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said. "We didn't play and execute in a manner that we were capable of. But it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen."
A combination of porous blocking and quarterback Greg McElroy holding the ball too long made it a long day for the passing game. From the first drive, San Diego brought the heat, forcing McElroy out of the pocket on the second play of the game and then chasing him down for a sack on the third. San Diego entered the game with just 27 sacks, ranked in the bottom half of the league.
Ferguson, along with center Nick Mangold, both talked of having to see the tape to break down where things went wrong. They said the Chargers did a good job bringing different twists that were difficult to pick up, that shouldn't lead to 11 sacks against the Jets' veteran line.
"They had 11 quarterback sacks," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in disgust to open his news conference. "That was great on their part and ridiculous on ours."
As much as the Jets' offensive line struggled, McElroy, making his first career start, admittedly held the ball too long. The second-year pro has the ability to stretch plays with his feet and relied a little too much on that, as he tried to keep plays alive instead of throwing the ball away. He did, however, avoid several sacks by managing to get just past the line of scrimmage.
"He's a tough guy," Mangold said. "He took some hits, which is disappointing, but he kept getting back up, which is a good thing. I think he'll be a good player."
When asked after the game if the Jets were caught off gaurd, by anything San Diego did, an exasperated Ferguson repeated, "I don't know."
"They're a good defense and they had a good plan, but it's our job as offensive linemen to provide protection and we definitely need to do that a little more," Ferguson said. "[I] didn't get a chance to look at the tape specifically, but I just know that it wasn't enough."
"I'm going home," guard Brandon Moore said. "I really don't have any thoughts."
For as bad as things were for the Jets' line on Sunday, they have nowhere to go but up against the Bills in the finale.
"I can promise and guarantee you won't see 11 sacks next week," receiver Braylon Edwards said.