When the Jets face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, their potential success will primarily come down to Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. Or rather, one would expect Todd Bowles to give Powell and McGuire priority.
But he might go the obvious route and bet everything on Matt Forte, which is unfortunate. The NFL Betting odds for Jets games do not reveal much about the opinions surrounding Matt Forte.
But one assumes that people are catching on to the folly of placing too much faith in Forte. Bowles has always said that he likes to ride the most productive running back when it comes to distributing the rock.
If that is the case, then Bowles has every reason to stick with Powell and McGuire for the next game. Matt Forte will probably have the physical capacity to participate in the Cleveland game, and one cannot deny the fact that he has a contribution to make on the team.
In fact, no one is denying the fact that Forte is a talented athlete with plenty to offer to the Jets. However, he shouldn't be the one guy Bowles is looking to for the Jets' success.
No one can deny the presence Forte has in the locker room. However, his presence on the field is far more muted, especially when it comes to the offense. More importantly, you do not generally associate Forte with big plays.
There is no reason to heap so many expectations on an athlete that hasn't run longer than 68 yards in the 2,276 carries on his record. Powell and McGuire, on the other hand, went 75 yards and 69 yards for a touchdown respectively last Sunday.
So it only seems sensible for Bowles to feature McGuire and Powell in the backfield. Such matters do not require any particular rationalizing, especially not by a Jets team that is 2-2.
Bowles has suggested in interviews that he understands the importance of making sure that McGuire and Powell keep getting the ball. He knows that the backfield plan has plenty of kinks that require working out and that McGuire and Powell could be the answer to all his problems.
For all their issues, the Jets seem to make progress in each game. They are slowly learning to make effective use of their two big guns. They have a powerful weapon in the shape of a 3-headed monster that has shown the potential to deliver immensely.
Unfortunately, making plans is easy. Execution is where most teams stumble. Forte, McGuire, and Powell need to develop a working rhythm. There's no reason to not have Forte in the mix so long as he isn't at the core of Bowles' plans.
Something about Forte makes him stand out. He is hardly the most talented athlete on the field. And yet Powell always becomes a second thought whenever Forte is on the field.
Powell and McGuire only got the chance to show their stuff because Forte was sidelined by an injury. The offensive staff needs to bring a more critical eye to the game. Powell is the guy they should be pushing on the field.
Forte looks good every once in a while but he isn't going to do anything of note for the future of the Jets.