The NY Jets were defeated on Sunday by the Miami Dolphins by a score of 24-17, but for the second straight week, Gang Green received an outstanding performance by one of their young rookies.
When the Jets signed free agent Corey Davis in the offseason it was believed that he would be the team's No. 1 receiver. Early on, it appeared that he was given every opportunity to establish himself in that role, but he was never able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Now that the Jets have played 10 games, it has become evident that the current and future number one receiver of the team is Elijah Moore.
Elijah Moore has solidified himself as the NY Jets' WR1
The former standout from Ole Miss was considered a steal by the Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft as he was selected in the second round with the 34th overall pick.
In his final season alone, Moore caught 86 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns. Even more impressive was the fact that he compiled those numbers in just eight games.
Moore was the talk of the summer as he dazzled on a daily basis by showing off a combination of speed, agility, and the ability to catch passes from anywhere on the field.
Unfortunately, a quad injury set him back somewhat during the summer and it may have cost him experience early on in the regular season.
However, as the year has progressed, Moore has continued to take his game to a level that many had predicted for him. It also appears that first-year offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur has figured out from up in the booth the best way to utilize the up-and-coming star receiver.
Against the Dolphins, Moore had his best game so far in the NFL. Moore caught eight passes for 141 yards and scored on a dazzling 62-yard touchdown reception in the second half.
The catch demonstrated everything that Moore can bring to the table as a receiver. Great route-running, quick moves, sure hands, and most of all, a lightning-fast burst after the catch.
For his efforts on the day, Moore became the Jets' first rookie receiver to amass more than 130 receiving yards in a game since Laveranues Coles did it in 2000. Moore also added his fifth touchdown reception in the last five games and was targeted a season-high 11 times.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds, many of the "so-called" experts felt that Moore would project best in the NFL as a pure slot receiver. Though a large percentage of his snaps at Ole Miss were from the slot, Moore has proven that he has the versatility and talent to play almost anywhere on the field.
It would almost be a crime limiting him to line up only in the slot when he can be used as a dangerous weapon on the outside as well.
Against Miami, Moore provided a safety net for quarterback Joe Flacco against the heavy blitz packages of the Dolphins. He was utilized on short outlet passes when needed but also displayed his abilities on the outside and on deeper routes as well.
Unlike Week 10's debacle against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets played much more competitively, and if not for some late-game miscues and penalties by the defense, could have possibly won the game. A more reliable kicker might have helped as well.
This week's game reminded us that there is some hope for the future, and the 2021 NFL Draft with the likes of Michael Carter, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Elijah Moore, may turn out to be one for the ages.
As we continue to search for the light at the end of the tunnel, "Beast of the Week" Elijah Moore shined brightly against the Dolphins.