Without Eric Decker in the lineup, Brandon Marshall led a young group of receivers into the Jets' Week 4 battle with the Legion of Boom. Matched up with frequently with Seahawks Pro Bowl CB Richard Sherman, Marshall hauled in four receptions for 89 yards with his first touchdown of the season. But the star receiver thought he left some plays out on the field in a 27-17 loss to Seattle.
"I definitely need to make more plays, it starts with me," he said. "More of the guys need to make more plays and need to be put in position to make plays. It's a team thing: coach, player, execution. It's on all of us."
Marshall described his matchup with Sherman as a "fight all game." He bested Sherman in the first quarter, squeaking past him for a 41-yard catch-and-run that set the Jets up in plus territory. The reception was the longest offensive play for the Green & White during the team's 1-3 start. With 30 seconds remaining in the first half, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ripped the ball to Marshall's back shoulder near the pylon with Sherman in coverage, cutting Seattle's lead to 14-10.
"It was a simple go route. I gave him a move at the line of scrimmage, he bit for it," Marshall said. "I had him by a step or two and just caught the ball."
The score was Marshall's 80th career TD as he moved into the top 25 all-time for touchdown receptions. Marshall is now one of 15 wide receivers in NFL history to amass 800 receptions, 11,000 receiving yards and 80 receiving touchdowns for his career.
Sherman would eventually have the last laugh, collecting two interceptions in the fourth quarter. On the first play of the final stanza, Marshall fought through a Sherman pass interference infraction up the home sideline and caught a 17-yard pass. On the very next play, Fitzpatrick went right back to Marshall on Sherman. This time, the 6'3", 195-pound Sherman jumped the route and came up with the game's first takeaway.
"He made a great play," Marshall said. "We've got to watch film to see what happened. We hit him the play before. He's a smart player. We felt like we could hang the ball up there a little bit and let me jump ball. The timing was right, he just came off me. I think he may have had some help over the top, so he played the back shoulder. There's nothing you can really do about that. He's a really smart player."
Sherman's second pick came in the waning moments of the fourth quarter to seal the victory. It was a marquee matchup and both players won their battles. But Marshall, a team leader in his 11th season, is disappointed in an offense that has totaled just 20 points over the past two weeks.
"I am shocked. I expect more out of our offense. Every year is different," he said. "It's a little deflating. You think you're really close and right when you think it's going to be easy, whether in sport or life, you get slapped in the face and humbled. It's disappointing but that's just the story of life. It's never easy. This is hard. Football is hard and it's not for the weary."