Florham Park, NJ – It’s no surprise, after the Jets 31-12 loss against Jacksonville that something needs to change on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets came into the season hopeful with a plethora of offensive weapons, including the additions of Terrelle Pryor and Isaiah Crowell, but it seems like through week four, the offense has vanished.
After he exploded with his first 1,000-yard season in 2017, Robbie Anderson has been an afterthought in an offense where the ball rarely travels more than 20 yards.
His lone touchdown this year came from a 41-yard-deep route against the Lions. Since then he has caught seven balls for 67 yards. Anderson represents a key part of any offensive gameplan, which includes having the ability to take the top off defensive coverages. Darnold looked Anderson’s way for a deep ball in week four but was not able to connect. Anderson was a sparkplug in last years offense, so there’s no doubt that more looks his way, especially to extend the field would do some good for Gang Green.
The most dynamic player on offense is arguably Bilal Powell. Though Powell is 29, he still possesses great agility as a runner and awareness as a pass catcher. Through the first four games Powell is six yards behind Crowell for the team lead in rushing yards while he ranks second in catches among wideouts.
Powell also stands just three yards behind Anderson for third in receiving yards. Whether it was Shonn Greene, Matt Forte or Chris Ivory, Powell has come into the season expected to be the number two tailback. In each of those seasons he outperformed and was often underutilized within the Jets offense. Powell is as consistent as they get and its about time Jeremy Bates understands that.
One of the bigger additions to this Jets club in the offseason was supposed to be Pryor. At 6’4” 228lbs, Pryor is a freak athlete who towers over most cornerbacks. His disappointing season in Washington opened the door for the Jets to sign him with one thing on their mind, red zone production.
Pryor’s ability to go up and get the ball makes him dangerous in the red zone, but after four games he has eight catches for 158 yards and zero scores. Granted the Jets do not need Pryor to be the chain mover like Quincy Enunwa is, but he must be a big part of the gameplan when New York steps into the 20-yard-line. As of right now he’s projected to finish with 32 catches for 632 yards and zero scores, making for another disappointing campaign.
The Jets have weapons, they just are not using them in the right ways. Much of the gameplan has been bubble screens to Enunwa or simple power runs with Crowell through the middle. There’s no spice, no creativity and no disguising. For the Jets to be successful they need to use the whole field with their whole arsenal.
Teams understand how much of a matchup nightmare Enunwa is, so expect the gameplan to be catered towards stopping him first. That should open the door for other guys on offense to get open looks. The Jets sit at 1-3 with Denver coming into town for week five. Another similar offensive performance to week four and the hot seat for Todd Bowles and Jeremy Bates might really start to heat up.
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