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 are refusing to pay. I guess the Jets are willing to bet the house and their possible AFC East title hopes on the shoulders and cobwebs of Geno Smith. I guess I can see it from their perspective. If journeyman Fitz can pass for 3905 yards, 32TDs, 15 INTs, with a completion percentage of 60%, why not destroy the team’s chemistry.
I guess Smith can post those numbers, it should be easy. He has Brandon Marshall on one side with his 109 receptions for 1502 yards and 15 TDs, and on the other side of Marshall is Eric Decker and his 80 receptions for 1072 yards and 12 TDs. How could Smith mess that up, right? Lets look at what Smith has accomplished through his career. His passing rating, no need to embarrass him any further. Smith is not the man for the job, Let’s hope for the Jets sake the issues between the Jets and Fitz will be resolved pretty soon.
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 is balance and the main reason the signing of Forte may place them in the top 5.
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 season in the NFL. Forte adds another dimension to the Jets offense that honestly only works if Fitz is behind center. Forte is durable as he has only missed 9 games in 8 years.
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 must 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 top 5 without Fitzpatrick.