RB Matt Forte is on a scoring tear for the Jets and he continued his hot streak in the team's 27-23 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
In the waning moments of the first quarter, the nine-year vet busted through the left side of the line for a 31-yard touchdown, giving the Jets a 10-7 lead. The 6'2", 218-pounder's eighth TD on the year also marked his longest rush of the season. Forté has recorded a rush touchdown in three consecutive games, the first time he's done so since October of his rookie year.
"Kellen Davis got hurt last week and so Dakota [Dozier] stepped in today at tight end for him on that play, and definitely did a great job sealing off the front side," Forté said of the scoring run. "James Carpenter had a great block up there, and they him actually shot the gap with the linebacker and he was able to come off the down block and do a great job on that. Ben [Ijalana] had a good block on that too. And I think Q (Quincy Enunwa) came inside and sealed off one of the DBs. So when you get a run like that, they just did all the work up front I just had to out run the safety, basically."
Forté had his most productive first half of 2016, racking up 73 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries while averaging 10.4 yards per attempt. His 32-yard scamper in the second quarter eclipsed the earlier scoring run as his longest ground gain in 2016 and helped set up a Nick Folk field goal. The Jets had difficulty converting in the red zone all afternoon, finishing their five drives inside the 20 with just one TD.
"Most of the time in the red zone if we run it a lot more effectively, then we get closer and are able to score a touchdown instead of field goals," Forté said. "I'm not really sure how much we ran the ball in the red zone or how effective we were on first or second down, maybe. And third downs down there are important too. You have to convert on those."
The Jets ran for 110 yards in the first half, but managed just 30 while playing from behind in the third and fourth quarters. Forté, who carried the rock on both of the Jets' first two offensive plays in the third quarter, had five attempts in the second half for 19 yards. Through nine games, Forté ranks 7th in the NFL in rushing (634 yards) and T5 rush TDs (7) respectively. He is well on his way to shatter his career-high for rush TDs in a season as his previous best was 9 with the Bears in 2013.
But Forté, who has yet to appear in the postseason, lamented the missed opportunities and self-inflicted wounds in a divisional game that saw the Green & White penalized 10 times for 77 yards and lose the turnover battle.
"Same thing we've been saying all season. Silly mistakes like penalties and turnovers, we can't win games when we do that," he said. "Giving games away instead of losing and outright getting beat. When you're playing against another team and you're beating yourself as well, it's going to be hard to win."