The New York Jets find themselves with a 4-5 record, but the poor offensive play calling so far this season has cost them an even better record and a possible spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs. It’s time to end the games and hand the damn football to their running backs.
Before the NFL season started, experts around the NFL predicted that the New York Jets may not even win one game in 2017. Fortunately for the great fans of the Jets, the coaches and players on the team have proved their critics wrong. The Jets find themselves with four wins against five losses, but poor play calling on offense has cost them an even better record and a better record at this point of the season.
After the Jets 25-20 loss to the Falcons, running back Matt Forte, who only carried the ball four times criticized the play calling by offensive coordinator John Morton. He questioned the lack of emphasis on the running game. Forte was correct and this is the same issue that has cost the Jets in their other losses as well. Morton is in his first season with the Jets as their offense has looked good under Morton, but his play calling in certain situations leaves little to be desired. So far during the 2017 season, the offense has been unproductive and often times too predictable.
The Jets are a perfect 3-0 when they run the ball over 30 times, and 1-5 when they run the ball less than 30 times. Quarterback Josh McCown had a season-low 140 yards passing in the Jets 34-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
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Even with the low output of passing yards, many fans would agree that this was the Jets most impressive showing of the year and the commitment to the running game was a huge factor. The Jets ran the ball 41 times for 194 yards, including three of those runs resulting in a touchdown.
A running play that results in a gain of one yard may not be the most exciting play to watch, however, the defense is forced to make a tackle and the team on offense has the ability to allow 40 seconds to tick off the clock.
An incomplete pass forces no tackle to be made, and at the same gives the opposing team 40 seconds of free time. This was what allowed the New England Patriots to have enough time to erase a 28-3 deficit that the Atlanta Falcons had on them late in the 3rd quarter of Super Bowl LI and a big factor in the Jets five losses so far in 2017.
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Running backs Forte, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire are all averaging 3.9 or more yards per carry. So why aren’t these three getting more carries? Just hand them the damn football and let them run wild over opponents. Hopefully, this big win over the Bills proves to Morton that this offense can be a potent one if they stick to what works and commit to establishing the run week in, week out.