The New York Jets made one of the best under-the-radar moves this offseason by obtaining the services of RB Matt Forte. The Jets offense last season ranked 10th in points but was swept under the rug due to a 10-6 record and another season of missing the playoffs. The passing attack of the Jets ranked 13th in yards and 8th in TDs and this was with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center. The same Fitzpatrick that the Jets were refusing to pay. But luckily both sides came to their senses and reached an agreement because it sure would’ve been a shame to bet the house and their possible AFC East title hopes on the shoulders and cobwebs of Geno Smith.
Forget their record of 2015, lets focus on what’s in store for 2016. The offense will feature Brandon Marshall on one side with his 109 receptions for 1502 yards and 15 TDs, and Eric Decker and his 80 receptions for 1072 yards and 12 TDs. Fitzpatrick already has chemistry with his two receivers but things just got a bit more interesting this offseason.
As prolific as the Jets offense was with Fitz, Marshall and Decker the other player that played a huge role in the breakout was RB Chris Ivory. Ivory rushed for 1070 yards on 257 attempts with 7 rushing TDs. His numbers don’t scream Adrian Peterson but they do say production. The Jets still found time to rush the ball 448 times while passing 604 times, that shows balance and the main reason the signing of Forte may place them in elite status.
This is Forte’s style, this is what he wants. He wants to be a workhorse, not a contributor. Forte is a rare breed of RB, he loves to mix it up, he loves to get in between the tackles, bounce off right side but still has the skills of a WR who has 50+ receptions in 6 of his 8 seasons in the NFL. Forte adds another dimension to the Jets offense that honestly only works with Fitz behind center. Forte is durable, missing 9 games in 8 years, while the signing of Forte may take balls away from Marshall and Decker, it will also give defenses problems matchup wise. There will no longer be a double team of Marshall on the outside, as you will have to account for the skills of Decker but with Forte, it now becomes a chess match.
It’s not taking anything away from the solid production of Ivory but Forte is an upgrade. The signing was a leap towards winning but in order to get there they had to swallow their pride and get the reason this offense was so good in the first place back in uniform. While the connection between Decker, Marshall and Forte is good, there is no mention of an elite offense without Fitzpatrick.