Who needs Brandon Marshall?
From the looks of last night’s debacle in Detroit, all the Jets needed to do to upgrade their receiving corps was hold on to Greg Salas—and throw him the ball a lot more. Salas, who caught all of eight passes for Gang Green last season, torched the Jets defensive backfield, which we’re told is now one of the best in the NFL after being one of the worst in league history in 2014.
Yes, new GM Mike Maccagnan made significant upgrades to the unit with the signings of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, Marcus Gilchrist, and, if I’m not mistaken, Deion Sanders and Lester Hayes, who has apparently lost some of his speed at age 60 but is compensating for that by showering strictly in stickum. And I know, new head coach Todd Bowles wasn’t playing his front-line guys for most of the night, although Sheldon Richardson did get in for a few plays, and, remarkably, didn’t run afoul of the law on any of them.
But still, Salas wasn’t exactly playing alongside top-flight talent either. Second-stringer Kellen Moore puts about as much heat on the ball as Phil Niekro used to, and third-stringer Dan Orlovsky, well, he can’t even beat out Moore. Yet the receiver made his old team look awful. Can you imagine what Megatron would’ve done if he was active at Ford Field on Thursday?
Moore and Orlovsky may not be much, but either would give the Jets a much better backup than the guy they’ve currently got behind new starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rookie Bryce Petty may have thrown for 12 million yards at Baylor, but he showed last night that he’s an awfully long way from being a competent NFL quarterback. Petty’s passes were anything but precise, and what should’ve been a simple handoff to Daryl Richardson instead became a high-wire act, resulting in a fumble—the Jets’ lone turnover of the game. Would’ve it have been weird—and/or legal—for Maccagnan to make one of Detroit’s reserve QBs an offer right on the field?
Gang Green’s relative sure-handedness was one of the few good things that could be said for them in the 23-3 defeat, which somehow wasn’t as close as the score suggests. The home team registered 26 first downs to the Jets’ six, racking up 428 total yards to the visitors’ 123. While Salas ran past the Jets D, rookie running back Ameer Abdullah ran through it. Fantasy footballers, draft this kid. He’s got elite moves and an extra gear you rarely see in a such a stout RB. If he stays healthy, he’ll be special.
Hopefully the Jets’ starters play a heck of a lot better than their second team when the time comes. And hopefully the Jets GM will either bring in a seasoned vet to back up Fitzgerald, or at least outfit the Amish Rifle in a suit of armor.