Jets Receivers MIA

By Zack Cimini

If you take a look at the New York Jets, they look like they are in great shape. A lot of their wins though have been close ones, and it makes you think are they as good as their 6-1 record? Unless they start winning games better, they?re going to be an early exit out of the playoffs like the Kansas City Chiefs are known for.

First off, every offense revolves around the running game. With Curtis Martin that has been going according to plan, as he has been one of the most consistent backs in the league. So far he has 800 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, well on his way to a trip to Honolulu. The Jets still have nine more games to go though, and Martin is already at 175 carries. They have a very talented backup in Lamont Jordan, and it?d probably be wise to start giving him a few more carries. Even though Martin has resurrected his career this season, there is still the age factor that comes into play. The durability of a veteran isn?t there anymore especially for a running back.

Just imagine the Jets if they lost Curtis Martin for a considerable amount of time? If you?re a Jets fan you?re probably thinking, a star player could go down for any team not just the Jets. That is true but if you?re a serious contender like the Jets, you need to have a backup plan just in case the what if does happen. The Jets offense is so run oriented that they?d be in just as bad of trouble as Miami is without Ricky Williams if they lost Curtis Martin.

Chad Pennington has a great completion percentage, but it?s because he isn?t looking down field. He is only averaging 7.5 yards per completion, and his receivers aren?t involved enough. Santana Moss was coming off a monster season, and he was supposed to add to it. Instead he only has fourteen catches for under 300 yards and zero touchdowns. The Jets also brought in free agent acquisition Justin McCareins who was going to be the perfect complement to Moss. So far McCareins stats are similar to Moss?s except that he has one touchdown.

So what is wrong with this picture? Here is a team with one of the best running games in the league, but it hasn?t led to any of the Jets receivers having a breakout game in seven tries. There is a chance of Moss or McCareins having a monster game every week that goes by which drives a fantasy owner nuts. It just doesn?t happen though, and has led to a lot of owners burying them to their fifth receivers. Any other high powered team with a ground game, has at least one receiver having a great year.

My whole point is that the Jets need to open up their playbook in the passing game. I know they like to play the ball control style, and grind it out like the New England Patriots. But when you have the talented receivers you have, you?ve got to utilize them. Pennington has shown that he is capable of spreading out the offense, and reading defenses so let him do it. If something doesn?t change quickly, the Jets will either start to decline at the end of the season or be a first round playoff castoff. Sooner or later defensive coordinators will figure out a way to shut down Curtis Martin and the Jets running game. Once that happens, Pennington will find himself having to throw it more, which will lead to mistakes. The reason why will be because they didn?t throw the ball enough early on in the season, and the chemistry won?t be there.


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