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Jets Preparing to Protect Against Von Miller: 'A Huge Challenge'

The New York Jets are set to face Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, placing an emphasis on pass protection for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson in Week 3

Zach Wilson's protection has been a topic of discussion since the regular season began.

Can the Jets' offensive line keep their rookie quarterback from getting hit, consistently providing him with extra time to make plays?

That unit took a step in the right direction from Week 1 to Week 2, but New York's third contest of the year presents a new challenge up front. 

That challenge is named Von Miller.

"He’s a difference maker," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said this week. "He is definitely a guy that garners all of your attention in terms of how you game plan and how you protect the quarterback."

Miller has already racked up three sacks through Denver's first two games of the season, wins against the Giants and Jaguars. In fact, he's the only member of the Broncos' defense that's recorded a sack thus far. 

With three sacks already, Miller is poised to put together another solid campaign. He's only had two seasons in his illustrious 10-year career where he's finished with fewer than 10 sacks. 

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Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur understands the assignment, making it clear that Miller won't be the only tough defender to block on Sunday.

"When you go against these elite pass rushers, whatever the team is, they can wreck a game," LaFleur explained. "It’s a talented, well-coached unit. Just because Von’s kind of that big name, all four of them, or whoever’s going to end up being in there is going to pose a huge challenge to our guys and I think our guys are prepared for it."

Wilson was sacked six times in the Jets' opener against the Panthers a few weeks ago. Even without Mekhi Becton, that number decreased to four last Sunday against the Patriots. Plus, two of those sacks came during Gang Green's final drive of the day in garbage time. 

"I thought our offensive line came out and really established themselves on the line of scrimmage," Saleh said after watching film from Week 2. "We rushed for over 150 yards, they did a really nice job in protection, gave time, were very clean in communication and we moved the ball."

It'll take another complete performance from those on offense if New York wants that number to continue to head south. That includes the wide receivers getting open, Wilson making smart decisions with efficiency and, of course, the offensive line creating a pocket for all four quarters. 

Otherwise, Miller is poised to break through for another huge performance and leave his mark on this contest.

"He’s been wreaking havoc for many, many, many years and I expect him, and the way he looks right now, he’s got a lot of years left," said Saleh.

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