In the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, Elijah Moore scored a 19 yard rushing touchdown on an end around.
This wasn't the only time Moore made a play getting the ball in space on Sunday. In the first quarter he broke a tackle on a catch near the line of scrimmage and turned it up the field for a 13 yard gain.
On closer inspection, though. This probably wasn’t the play that was called. You can see at the snap the offensive line run block. They all move to their right at the snap as though it’s a zone run play. Michael Carter also approaches them as though he’s going to get a handoff.
Most likely what happened here was that Zach Wilson made a presnap read and adjusted the play. He saw Moore on the outside one on one with a cushion and trusted his receiver to make a play.
Now we all know the stories of Moore turning heads in training camp and the disproportionately scant production that has come in the first half of his first NFL season.
Still we can see that he has playmaking ability when you get the ball into his hands. Even if the Jets are still figuring out how to work him into the conventional passing game running routes, he can help the offense when the team is able to manufacture touches in space.
Yet in this game where the Jets struggled so much offensively, they only designed one such play for him. They only got him a second because of the quarterback’s presnap read.
There are no simple fixes with this offense. Generating more touches for Elijah isn’t suddenly going to save the unit.
Still this is another instance where I wonder whether this saga tells us something larger about the issues with the coaching staff. The Jets haven’t been generating much offense all season. Sometimes you just have to try and figure out ways to execute easy things. There’s nothing easier than just getting the ball to a playmaker.
Once this gets on film, and a tendency is built, you can exploit defenses with fakes. They might start flowing to Moore, and it will open up other things.
In moments like this I think back to a classic scene from Seinfeld. Jerry goes out to lunch with his Uncle Leo and is told to his dismay that they should be doing this once a week.
When an offense is struggling like the Jets are and find something simple that works, I think they should be doing it once a quarter.
It’s not always going to work. Surely there will be plays to Moore that go for nothing, but there also will be plays that are positive like we saw on Sunday.
This would at least give the rest of the players and coaches a little bit of a break. They will need to figure out a few less plays each week.