Florham Park, N.J.– Without Nick Mangold the Jets offensive line was a horrid mess, but once the All-Pro center returned the offensive line steadily improved to get back on track and it’s hardly a coincidence that the Jets won two of their three games since Mangold’s return. After a few straight weeks of playing with limited practice reps Mangold has good news for Jets fans, he’s well rested, healed and back to full go at practice.
With a healthy enough to play, but not practice, Mangold the Jets offensive line got back to protecting Sanchez and opening holes for Shonn Greene, now that they have Mangold back at 100 percent things should continue to improve as this offensive line starts to gel and get in a rhythm of their own. And the Jets will need Mangold at his best as well as they need the line to be a cohesive unit if they want to continue their winning ways in these next few weeks. With a road trip up to Buffalo to face the surprising Bills and a home game against the hated Patriots a week later (and the Bills again just two weeks after the Pats) nothing will come easy to this Jets team and they will need to be clicking on all cylinders in order to emerge from this stretch of games in pole position for the division. Which is a very real possibility thanks to the Steelers knocking off the Patriots yesterday and bringing the Jets to within a game of the division lead.
With Mangold’s injury as well as some other injuries such as Mike DeVito, David Harris and Kenrick Ellis to name a few, the bye week came at a perfect time for the Jets to rest up, get healthy and prepare themselves for the second half of the season. Mangold definitely enjoyed the timing of the bye as it gave him some much needed mental rest as well as physical rest.
When Mangold was asked if he likes the bye weeks scheduled for right in the middle of the season he said, “They’ve all been usually right around the middle, which is awesome… It’s good to give your mind a break for a little bit. Kind of let all the stress of the season, that wears on you, let that get away and get yourself back in football mindset.”
“Yeah, I just kind of tried to get away for a little bit” Mangold said of his bye week before jokingly adding, “I don’t have anything exciting for you.
“It was good. Got some work done, let it rest for awhile. So that was good to be able to get out there today and practice and it felt good.”
The offensive line got out to a rough start even before Mangold hurt his ankle, but without Mangold the Jets offensive line looked lost and incapable of doing anything productive. Luckily for the Jets that’s no longer a problem and they can get back to playing like one of the best offensive lines in football. A healthy Mangold does wonders to fix a leaky offensive line.