EA: Entering Week 6, Matt Forte is averaging 19 carries a game and Bilal Powell has totaled 17 carries. In the pass game, Powell has recorded six receptions in each of the past three contests and he is third on the team with 21 receptions. Forté ranks fourth in catches with 13.
Despite trailing in each of the past three second halves, the Jets still are No. 13 in terms of rush offense while averaging 104.4 yards per game on the ground.
"I'd like to stick with it a little bit better and like to be able to run it a little bit better, but that comes down to execution and that's what it all boils down to when you get back to it," said offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. "Everything is about execution."
With Eric Decker on injured reserve, the Green & White need more contributions from the collective group. You don't replace a Decker with one player and his contributions will be missed especially in the red area and on third down. The rookie receivers have to step up, but both Forté and Powell are multi-dimensional weapons who Fitzpatrick can count on. They are versatile players who can play at the same time and line up basically anywhere. I would not be surprised to see both backs as key parts of the game plan Monday night against the Cardinals.
EA: Head coach Todd Bowles said this week that he is very happy with the play of the defensive line. Operating out of the shotgun last week, Ben Roethlisberger got rid of the ball quickly and the Steelers opted for max protection at times. The game plan changes every week. Against a mobile passer who is extremely dangerous on the edges, the Green & White schemed to keep Tyrod Taylor in the pocket.
Whether the Jets opt to blitz more this week or just rush four, they have to get home against Carson Palmer. Bruce Arians is known for his vertical passing attack in the desert and Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said it will be a long day if they can't get to Palmer.
EA: Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a pair of catches against the Steelers after rolling his ankle early in the game. He did not practice on Wednesday and was limited during Thursday's workout. Gailey did say that Seferian-Jenkins can get better in the blocking category. Again with Decker being out, the Jets will need a bunch of players to pick up the production. The 6'5", 262-pound ASJ is a talented pass catcher who can create some mismatches against slower linebackers and smaller DBs.
EA: The biggest mistake people make when adversity strikes is they panic. Fans are upset right now because they care deeply about this team and that's understandable. The coaching staff is going to play the people who give them the best opportunity to win. Revis remains the Jets' top cornerback. I don't know if you solve a problem by removing your top cornerback from the rotation and Marcus Gilchrist is the QB of your secondary.
EA: Over the past three weeks, the Jets have been outscored in the second half by a combined 37-7. Despite all the turnovers, they had chances to get back in the game against Kansas City with a pair of key red zone possessions. Against the Seahawks, they entered the fourth quarter down a score with the ball and in plus-territory. Finally in Pittsburgh, the Jets had the ball close to midfield and were trailing just 17-13 late in the third stanza. The scores have indicated runaways, but these games could have been different with a few plays.
It's hard to answer how the offense will adapt to a game that hasn't started yet. The Jets have been chasing lately, but the interesting thing about the Cardinals is they have yet to score a point in the first quarter through five games. If the Jets aren't forced to play catch-up, then the run game would figure to be in play more. And explosive gains — in both the pass and run games — would help the offense flip the field at the very least. The Jets have been good on third down overall as their 43.1% conversion rate ranks T8 in the NFL, but they converted just 2-of-11 in Pittsburgh. It sounds funny, but effectiveness on third down is typically predicated on what you are doing on first and second downs. The Cards' numbers aren't great against the run, but they have tremendous speed off the edge. You can't play behind the sticks Monday night.