Jets’ much-anticipated new offensive line crumbles in concerning debut

Crumple up any piece of paper that listed the Jets as boasting one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.

One game is too quick to pull out the shredder, but all those promising preseason rankings and on-paper forecasts looked awfully premature Sunday when the Jets allowed 11 quarterback hurries and three sacks in a 24-9 season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The pocket-based Joe Flacco was constantly shuffling his feet on 63 dropbacks, including an intentional grounding as he was thrown to the turf.

“If we don’t take advantage of our opportunities when we get in the red zone,” left guard Laken Tomlinson said, “that’s the kind of game you get.”

Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise considering the quintet that started — George Fant, Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Max Mitchell, left to right — had little work together in those same spots during the preseason. Fant started training camp at left tackle, moved to right tackle when Mekhi Becton suffered a season-ending knee injury and Duane Brown was signed, and then went back to left when Brown went out.

“I thought they fought and played really hard today,” Flacco said. “We had some chunks in the run game. When you drop back as many times as we did today, you are going to have some things here and there that leak through.”

The rookie Mitchell is essentially a third-stringer who would’ve been behind a healthy Becton and/or Brown and didn’t emerge ahead of the since-released Chuma Edoga and Conor McDerm