Surprise: O-line ranks third in NFL

Even the most devout Jets fan might find this hard to believe, but the Jets fielded one of the premier offensive lines in 2012, according to the stats-based website ProFootballFocus.com.

According to PFF, the Jets' line finished third out of 32 teams in its statistical analysis, behind only the 49ers and Patriots. The Jets ranked seventh in pass blocking, third in run blocking and third in penalties, per PFF.

Somewhere, Dave DeGuglielmo is smiling. Well, maybe not smiling, but muttering under his breath, "I told you so." The offensive-line coach, who made his utter disdain for the media quite clear in his three (count 'em, three) group interviews over the course of the season, was sensitive to the criticism heaped upon his unit. Ironically, he railed against stats-based websites for having no clue as to how to grade linemen.

Well, now one of those websites is patting him on the back, basically exonerating the line for the offense's problems. DeGuglielmo's reaction? Don't know; we'll have to wait for the next hurricane. (Inside joke.) The kicker here is that his job is hanging by a thread, with a chance he might not be retained.

Anyhoo, here's PFF's analysis of the Jets' line:

Stud: There were plenty of contenders here, but given some of the guys he kept in check, credit to D'Brickashaw Ferguson (+23.5) for a fine year.

Dud: The run blocking of Matt Slauson (+2.5) left a lot to be desired.

Summary: Everybody wants to poke fun at the Jets, and for some reason the offensive line got caught in the crossfire. It wasn't quite its dominant self in the early weeks of the season, but they finishing playing as well as any team. Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore played angry, while Austin Howard found his feet as an NFL tackle. Still, a line can only do so much to put skill players in position to do good things, and in that regard the Jets are sorely lacking.