NY Jets: A tale of two offenses


The NY Jets need to stick to what works and not try to have two different styles of offensive game planning.

After suffering a disappointing loss to the Eagles in Week 3, the Jets rebounded to defeat the Dolphins 27-14 in London’s Wembley Stadium. Although it is far too early in the season to draw any substantial conclusions, the Jets (3-1) currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the AFC. This is a pleasant surprise for a team that was expected to implode after the Geno Smith injury.

Since the Jets have only played a quarter of their regular season games, however, the question remains if they are a legitimate playoff contender. To answer this question, let’s break down the Jets past two games.

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In Week 3, the favored Jets suffered a major letdown in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Although the Jets defense was not particularly effective (forcing only one turnover), the real culprit behind the loss was the Jets’ offense.

The Jets reeled against the Eagles, falling behind 24-0 in the second quarter. As a result, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was forced to do too much. He attempted an astounding 58 passes, many of them thrown in the direction of Brandon Marshall. Without reliable slot target Eric Decker and bruising back Chris Ivory, the Jets lacked the offensive firepower to complete the comeback. The team fell to the Eagles 24-17.

The Jets entered their Week 4 matchup as a completely different team on offense from what we saw previously. Both Decker and Ivory returned to action. Although he clearly was not at 100%, Decker provided Fitzpatrick with another proven wide receiving option. Decker made an immediate impact, hauling in 4 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.

If Decker is a interesting footnote to the Jets’ win over the Dolphins, then consider Ivory to be a book. The back had a monster game, grinding out 166 rushing yards and a touchdown. When you contrast his numbers with the pitiful 47 combined rushing yards the Jets put up against the Eagles, the impact that a healthy Ivory has on this team is obvious.

Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets receiver Eric Decker (87) is defended by Miami Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi (55) in Game 12 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One final observation from Gang Green’s Week 4 win, unlike in their loss to the Eagles, the Jets jumped out to an early 13-0 lead against the Dolphins. Considering the Jets’ offense is not particularly dynamic (Fitzpatrick has struggled greatly with the deep ball), it is imperative that this team not fall behind early.

So are the Jets a playoff team? It depends. If the offensive triumvirate of Marshall, Decker and Ivory stays healthy, and if Fitzpatrick isn’t forced to lead massive comebacks, then yes. This is a team that can defeat anyone in the NFL.

However, if the Jets suffer key injuries, or if the defense struggles early in games, then the path to the playoffs may be much more difficult.

Moving forward, here’s hoping we see more of the good Jets that stick to what works and establish their ground game right from the start.

Next: Fantasy Football: Top 5 sleepers for Week 4

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