In a season filled with disappointments and letdown, one name on the offensive side of the ball could be coming into a major role for the foreseeable future. Sophomore runningback Elijah McGuire proved last week he’s capable of handling larger reps with an increased role within the offense.
Let’s face it, the Isaiah Crowell experience has not panned out the way the Jets have liked. He has been consistently plagued with injuries, including a concerning reoccurring foot/toe injury that has hindered him from reaching his potential. Not to mention the off-field toilet paper endorsement issue that caused a stir, and the simple reality that Crowell is not getting it done on a regular basis.
With Crowell ruled out for Saturday’s contest, McGuire gets another chance to prove himself. He carried the ball 17 times for 60 yards and a score last week against a stingy Bills’ defense. In addition, his touchdown on fourth and one helped seal the Jets victory in the waning moments of the fourth.
That was huge for McGuire to say the least. With the game on the line the Jets opted to run, instead of pass, something you don’t often see. The trust instilled in their second year back to punch it in can help propel him even further.
This week McGuire faces another difficult test. The Texans enter Metlife allowing the fifth least rushing yards to opposing teams (88.2). If Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates can stay committed to a balanced attack of both rush and pass, then McGuire should have plenty of opportunities to make plays.
Right now nobody really has a safe job on this Jets team, including anyone in the backfield. With Bilal Powell’s tenure presumably done due to a major neck injury, and Crowell’s inexpensive, expendable contract, it certainly would not be out of the realm to see McGuire at the top of the chart coming into next season.
If the Jets decide to go the Leveon Bell route, they know they have a solid, cheap back behind him for the coming years. Either way, through a crowd of disappointment, the improvements from McGuire have to be one of the best stories to follow going into next season.