Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

November 01, 2018 at 1:38 am.

–There was a flurry of activity at Tuesday’s trade deadline that made it look as frenzied as the other three major professional sports. The Jets were content to watch other teams make moves even though some needs could have been filled.

Some things they could have used are a productive pass rusher or a big-play receiver (Dante Fowler and DeMaryius Thomas for example).

Instead, the Jets watched Fowler go to the Rams for a third-round pick in 2019 and a fifth-rounder in 2020.

For one thing, if the Jets placed a phone call to Jacksonville, they might have realized at some point Fowler’s two sacks might not have made much of an impact.

Another is they only have six picks in the upcoming draft after trading up to get Darnold. And finally, Fowler is a free agent and cap space will be abundant for the Jets.

As for Thomas, age and finances likely kept them on the sidelines. He’s 32 and would have resulted in a $14 million salary cap hit next season.

“We didn’t make any deals, so there’s nothing to talk about,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said.

–It was not so long ago that the Jets ran wild on the Denver Broncos, rushing for 323 yards.

Since Oct. 7, the combined rushing yardage total comes nowhere close to matching 323. The Jets rushed for 107 against Indianapolis and then dipped to 71 and 57 respectively in the last two games.

This would seem to be a good week for the Jets to restore some semblance of a run game since Miami is allowing 143.1 rushing yards to tie for 29th in the league.

In their 323-yard game, Isaiah Crowell rushed for 219 yards. Since then his rushing totals are 40, 29 and 25 and a foot injury has impacted him.

“That’s a good question,” head coach Todd Bowles said Monday. “I didn’t think it was good at all (Sunday). I thought they beat us up front and they beat us to the punch. I thought we missed some assignments that we have to correct, but we have to keep grinding at it. We can’t be up and down. We have to be consistent at it if we want to throw the ball consistently. We have to be able to run it consistently.”

So what gives?

Like many declines in rushing attacks, offensive line play can be a cause. Center Spencer Long is nursing a finger/knee injury and his backup Jonotthan Harris struggled to open up the running lanes with his blocking.

–Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson are still recovering from ankle issues and were among the 14 players who either did not practice or were limited on Wednesday.

So naturally, the question for the Jets is who’s catching the ball from Sam Darnold.

Last week one answer was undrafted rookie Deontay Burnett, who caught four balls for 61 yards.

Besides Darnold’s former USC teammate, the Jets are hoping another answer is an established one in Jermaine Kearse. Kearse had three catches for 39 yards last week. He has 19 catches for 195 yards this season in seven games, highlighted by nine receptions for 94 yards in Week 4 against Indianapolis.

It’s not as if the Jets are ignoring him on passing plays. Kearse could have caught more since he was targeted 10 times.

Perhaps against a lesser defense, Kearse can turn those targets into actual catches.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2/3 – Percentage of Isaiah Crowell’s rushing total this season that has come in two games. Crowell is 11th in the league with 484 rushing yards, but 66 percent of those yards have come in two of the Jets’ eight games. He had a franchise-record 219 yards in Week 5 against the Broncos and 102 Week 1 in Detroit, both Jets victories. In the other six games, the 25-year-old has carried the ball 69 times for 163 yards (2.4 per carry).