Jets lose offensive glue with Eric Decker injury
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
Things just keep getting worse for the New York Jets as they’ve lost wide receiver Eric Decker for the season.
We’ve speculated for weeks when we heard that star wide receiver of the New York Jets, Eric Decker, had a torn shoulder labrum. This is the same injury that put both Mark Sanchez and Jace Amaro on the shelf for the season.
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While hope was held out by the front office and coaching staff, ultimately Decker’s fate was the same as the others. So what have the Jets lost with Decker out of the lineup? Well, they lost the glue of their offense.
While some point to what he did as the No. 1 receiver for the Jets, he really reached his full potential when wide receiver Brandon Marshall joined the team a year later.
With Marshall in the lineup, teams had to make tough decisions. Well, apparently they picked wrong more times than not because the Decker/Marshall combo became one of the most lethal duos in NFL history last season.
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The offense hasn’t looked the same without him. Much of that is because Decker takes away attention from the rest of the Jets’ offense.
In the past, we’ve joked about the Batman and Robin analogies with Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. But Decker is truly the Robin to this offense. He’s underrated and often underappreciated, but the Jets coaches know just how important he is.
So far this season, they’ve sorely missed his ability to be a chain mover on third down. Plus another thing Jets fans know quite well is the affection that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marshall have for each other.
We saw it play out during the offseason from texts and video conversations. That relationship has transitioned to the football field. Look at the numbers as they’ve been great. But it also can be a detriment, especially this season.
Fitzpatrick often gets his eyes locked in with Marshall and despite the double or sometimes triple coverage, he still throws it up there. Which has resulted in a ton of interceptions and many poor decisions. The problem is the defense knows about the connection and they’ve been focusing on taking Marshall completely out of the game.
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The young receivers will have to step up after this critical injury. But losing Decker has hurt the offense, we’ll have to see if head coach Todd Bowles can adapt on the fly.