Jets News

Ground game of Jets must expose poor rush defense of Buccs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 02: Running back Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 2, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 02: Running back Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 2, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The New York Jets rushing attack has been inconsistent to this point in the season, but they’ll need to get it going in order to get a crucial victory in their Week 10 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coming into the 2017 NFL season, it was a given that the New York Jets would need their running game to be effective in order to be a pleasant surprise. However, there were concerns regarding the age, durability, and overall talent level of Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire.

Heading into Week 10, those concerns have come to fruition to a certain extent with the Jets ranking just 18th in rushing yards per game. Also, Forte is out this week as he continues to nurse a knee injury. With Forte and Powell both on the Northern side of 29 years of age, their durability will continue to be a concern going forward.

Even with the Forte injury though, the Jets have the ability and will need to be very effective on the ground this Sunday. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley is starting a four-game suspension for PED’s while his replacement, ArDarius Stewart, is questionable with a groin injury. This will unquestionably put a damper on the Jets’ already underwhelming aerial attack.

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Taking a closer look at Tampa Bay, their rushing defense ranks 21st in the league allowing just over 116 rushing yards per game thus far.

On top of that, they’ll be dealing with injuries to three of their four starting defensive linemen in Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, and William Gholston. These factors should allow the Jets to have a relatively easy time on the ground and in the trenches generally.

Another important factor to look at is how McGuire will be with Forte’s absence. He’ll be seeing even more carries than usual with the veteran, Forte, on the sidelines. To this point in the season he’s had ups and downs averaging 3.9 yards per rush.

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To summarize the situation, the Jets ground game must play a big role on Sunday as their passing game will be weakened due to losses at the receiver position. McGuire and Powell may be the deciding factors in a game that could decide the outcome of the Jets’ season.

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