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Breaking down the best way to unleash Matt Forte in 2017

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Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Heading into the regular season, the best way for the New York Jets to unleash running back Matt Forte is using him in a situational role while maximizing his receiving skills.

In his first season with the New York Jets last year, running back Matt Forte had a decent season. As a rusher, he totaled 813 rushing yards, 218 attempts, and seven touchdowns. As a receiving option, he totaled 263 yards, 30 receptions, and one touchdown.

What is interesting is that the year before, when he was a member of the Chicago Bears, he was most effective as a receiving option out of the backfield. Mind you, with a mediocre offense in 2015, Forte totaled 389 receiving yards, 44 receptions, and three touchdowns.

Last season under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, the overall offense of the Jets left much to the imagination. For whatever reason, he didn’t unleash Forte to his true potential and it hindered not only his contributions to the team but the offense in general.

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This time around, many changes have hit the Jets, especially on offense. With a new offensive coordinator in John Morton, expect to see a whole new offense that is ready to push the envelope.

Of course, it all comes down to who wins the upcoming quarterback competition of the Jets but no matter who is under center, Morton would be wise to unleash Forte as mostly a receiving option out of the backfield.

Considering Forte is getting up there in age and tends to deal with nagging injuries, it would make sense to use him in a situational role to keep him fresh all season long. Running back Bilal Powell is more than able to handle starting duties and use Forte as a backup to spell relief for him, especially on key 3rd down conversions. One area that would make sense for the Jets to heavily use Forte in would be as a receiving option to utilize his speed and ability to find mismatches to exploit against a defense.

The Jets could use Forte in such a role which will help keep those chains moving and allow things to open up on offense. If a defense has to also account for Forte’s ability to make big plays as a receiving option, it will keep them on their toes as to what is coming next. Forte would be able to rekindle what made him famous with the Bears if the Jets unleashed him in the role that put his name on the map for all those years in the Windy City.

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