Have the Jets Fixed Their Tackling Woes?

Jonathan Daniel

It could decide the game.

During the course of his career, I think Marshawn Lynch has been one of the most overrated backs in the league. He made highlight reel runs, but look at his production and tell me he has been anything other than an average to slightly above average back.

This year, Lynch has finally justified the beast title so many gave him. He has carried Seattle's offense on his back. He has carried a conservative offense with a rookie quarterback on his back. Everybody knows the Seahawks are going to run it. They have played the run all the way. Lynch is still averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Facing a ton of loaded fronts, he has forced 32 missed tackles and is averaging 2.77 yards after contact, both of which put him in the top five for running backs who have gotten at least half of their team's carries according to Pro Football Focus.

Those are crazy numbers when you consider how difficult it is to run successfully when the other team knows it is coming. In their first meeting with the Dolphins this year, the Jets threw a ton of exotic looks at rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. They had Tannehill thoroughly confused. It didn't matter.

Miami almost won the game because the Jets could not stop them on the ground. As has been the case all year, they missed a ton of tackles and allowed a huge day on the ground for Miami's backs. Did the Jets use the bye to correct their tackling? They had better hope so because Lynch has been running through arm tackles all season long. Russell Wilson is more polished than Tannehill right now. If he was taller, he probably would have been picked before Tannehill. He is still a rookie, though, and could be in trouble against fronts he has never seen before.

If the Jets are going to put him in a position where he has to make plays against those exotic looks and take advantage, they will have to be more consistent with their tackling of Lynch.

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