The Jets have prided themselves in the Rex Ryan era for having a strong, stout offensive line that could hold its own with any other group in the league.
Sunday, against San Diego, that group played its worst game as a unit. It tied a franchise-record by allowing 11 sacks in the 27-17 loss.
Those 11 sacks allowed happened just one previous time in franchise history with an O-line composed of replacement players on Oct. 4, 1987. It didn't take much for Ryan to deem the line's play on Sunday the worst he had seen as the squad's coach.
"The 11 sacks and all that, that's as poor as I can ever remember as far as the pass protection was concerned," Ryan said on his conference call Monday.
San Diego brought the heat early on Sunday. A combination of poor play by the O-line and a tendency by first-time starter Greg McElroy to hold the ball too long doomed the Jets.
From the first drive, when McElroy was sacked one play after a one-yard scramble, the Chargers had their way.
The Jets allowed a sack in every quarter and tied the record by allowing three sacks on the game's final drive.
Trailing 27-17 late in the fourth, McElroy was sacked on three straight plays, including a fourth down effort, to give the Chargers the win. Three players had at least two sacks for San Diego, including 3 1/2 from rookie Kendall Reyes.
McElroy admitted after the game that he held onto the ball too long, trying to make some plays with his feet when he needed to be more aware of where the pressure was coming from.
"You get sacked 11 times, there's multiple things," Ryan said. "Yes, the pass protection, the offensive line, you can say that wasn't up to our standards without question. The pickup, the blitz protection which we've done an outstanding job, in particular with our backs, of picking it up wasn't as strong as we've done in the past. Even the drops by Greg probably could have been a little cleaner. There was a multiple of things."