The Jets offense has shown some signs of life in recent weeks, but one area where it is still lagging behind is running the ball.
The Jets are 30th in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 76.3 yards per game. They have rushed for 100 yards just once this season, all the way back in Week 2.
The lack of a rushing attack has stalled out the offense and is not helping a hurting defense that could benefit from some long offensive drives.
“Obviously, we want to run the ball more than we are,” running game coordinator and offensive line coach John Benton said. “A couple of things come into play, too. You want to extend drives with the run game and have the confidence to do it. At the same time, if you get down a couple of scores then you’re kind of out of your run game, so it’s a double-edged sword in how that’s worked. That’s where I’m seeing improvement. We’re opening the game better in the run game. We’re not lighting it up by any stretch but we’re getting in manageable third downs and that type of thing.”
There have been some good flashes from rookie running back Michael Carter as well as Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman. But overall the rushing attack has not been a factor. The Jets’ longest run this season is 19 yards, and that is from wide receiver Elijah Moore. The longest run by a running back is 18 yards by Carter.
The rushing attack has been hurt by the loss of left tackle Mekhi Becton, who is a devastating run blocker. The linemen feel like the Jets are on the verge of breaking out, though.
“I think we’re close,” tackle Morgan Moses said. “When you look at Michael Carter’s performance, finally getting [Tevin Coleman] back healthy, they’re explosive runners. Mike doesn’t go down on the first hit. We’ve got to find a way to run the ball when we’re hot. When you’re averaging three, four yards a carry, whatever the case is, you’ve got to keep that thing moving, you’ve got to keep the chains moving. That’s the most important thing with this offense. You can’t get behind the sticks.”
The Jets made a move to acquire guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif two weeks ago in a trade with the Chiefs. With right guard Greg Van Roten struggling, the Jets have to be considering putting Duvernay-Tardif into the starting lineup. Coach Robert Saleh did not go that far, but he sounds encouraged by what he’s seen from the former Chief.
“He’s been getting some valuable reps out there and he’s learning the offense and trying to pick things up,” Saleh said. “He’s moving along good, so we’re excited about him.”
The Jets elevated DE Ronnie Blair and FB Nick Bawden from the practice squad for Sunday’s game.
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