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New York Jets: Running to Set Up the Pass Might Not Be Right Move

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With a pair of good backs and a below average albeit vastly improved group of receivers, some are suggesting the Jets might be looking to become an offense based on the run game. The Jets did run the ball a lot relative to the rest of the league last year. On some levels this does make sense. Geno Smith might be the starting quarterback, and one way to protect the quarterback is to run the football effectively. It gets the quarterback into better downs and distances, forces the defense to simplify keying on the run, and sets up play action.

For the Jets, the last part of that equation might not be as promising as you would think. According to Pro Football Focus, the Jets ran play action with Geno on over 20% of passes. He completed only 54% of his passes and averaged 6.3 yards per attempt. Those were both 26th out of 27 qualifiers. He was actually much more efficient dropping straight back, completing 56.2% and averaging 7.0 yards per attempt. The completion percentage was the lowest in the league, but the yardage tied for 11th.

This obviously doesn't mean everything. There is room to improve. It does stand to reason that a quarterback who spent his college years running a pass happy shotgun spread offense might not be comfortable with play action. That could lead the Jets to tailor their offense a little bit if he remains the starter.