(CBSNewYork/CBS Local) — The New York Jets, at 0-3, are not good. And they will continue to not be good until at least Week 5, when starting quarterback Sam Darnold is slated to return from mono. Whether he actually returns to face the Philadelphia Eagles — and in what form — remains to be seen.
At least the Jets can’t lose in Week 4; the team has a bye. And should Darnold’s recovery extend past early October, the team can help backup quarterback Luke Falk, who started the season on the practice squad, find a little success.
According to Inside The NFL analyst Brandon Marshall, “the biggest thing the Jets have going for them with this backup quarterback is their running game.” In other words, take the ball out of Falk’s hands as much as possible. Though he put up 20 completions for 198 yards against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, he managed only 12 completions for 98 yards against the New England Patriots this past Sunday. The Jets offense has scored three total points in the last two weeks.
As Marshall sees it, “you have probably the best running back in football [Le’Veon Bell]. So he needs to touch it at least 25 times per game. Get him involved, and that will settle down the rest of the offense.”
Feeding the ball to your best offensive player certainly makes a lot of sense and should start to pay dividends for the Jets. But it hasn’t worked yet.
Bell carried the ball 21 times for 68 yards against the Browns and caught 10 passes for another 61 yards. That’s a decent outing. His production dropped off against the stifling Patriots defense — 18 carries for 35 yards, four catches for 28 yards.
With the Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Patriots (again) following the break, the schedule won’t let up. Can Falk improve as he acclimates to the offense and relies even more on Bell? Or will he just try to stay alive until the team’s quarterback of the future returns?
The Jets have a bye in Week 4 but return to face the Eagles in Week 5.
You can catch Brandon Marshall along with Ray Lewis, Phil Simms and host James Brown when Inside The NFL airs tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Showtime.