Time for a new backup role for Matt Forte
By Michael Pallas
It’s time for the New York Jets to move running back Matt Forte to the back of the depth chart.
For his entire NFL career, New York Jets running back Matt Forte has been the bell cow. From 2008-16, Forte averaged 308 touches per season. Now it’s time for him to take on the role of teacher and mentor from the bench. The Jets need to move him to third string.
Forte can guide Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire still, but not as a do as I do type. He can take the pictures on the sideline and be like an extra coach for the team.
Forte missed the Week 4 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a toe injury, but the Jets running game didn’t miss a beat. In fact, they seemed to perform better with him taking away crucial snaps from them, albeit against the fifth-worst run defense in the NFL.
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The specter of the veteran didn’t hang over them, and they performed. McGuire and Powell each had a touchdown, and they also combined for 371 yards on 37 touches.
It was a statement game for Powell. It was the sixth highest amount of touches in his career, but he set career records in both rushing yards and total yards from scrimmage.
McGuire also scored his first career touchdown and had his first career 100-yard day from scrimmage (falling just seven yards short of the century mark in rushing yards).
Since 2012, Forte has played more snaps than Powell has in his entire career. Additionally, 2,799 touches in his career. The wear and tear are beginning to show.
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The Jets have a 23-year-old rookie in McGuire. In Powell, they have a fresh 28-year-old, because he’s only had 736 career touches in 2,225 snaps. It’s time for the young guys to shine and show what they’re made of more consistently.