As week 1 kicked off, things were more optimistic regarding the New York Jets offensive effectiveness in red zone situations. The performances in the year prior were woeful. Now moving the chains with Chan Gailey’s offence, Eric Decker is proving his worth and showing he is far from a ‘product of Peyton Manning’ and Denver offences, but a true talent in his own right.
This season so far, Eric Decker has shown he can be called upon to make big, important plays, many of which in the red zone. Decker has the most touchdowns amongst his receiving counterparts by totaling seven. Brandon Marshall may only be trailing by one, but what is extremely comforting is our ‘number two’ is plucking out of the sky next to anything Brandon, can’t. Decker, who’s seen 15 receptions fewer than Marshall, still matches his 13.3 YPC and in fact has the more receptions over 20+ yards and the most in the team. It makes you wonder, what has made him so productive?The answer is Chan Gailey. The Jets offensive coordinator may been under fire lately and subject to strong criticisms regarding his playcalling, however his decision to move Decker to the slot early this training camp has warranted its own weight in gold (or maybe the next logical commodity). The 28 year old’s 6”3 and 214 lb physical frame has caused problems for multiple defences. When lining up alongside WR Brandon Marshall, who himself measures a steep 6”4, the duo combine as one of the tallest receiver cores in the NFL, however Decker’s size through the middle is what has helped him flourish just as much as he did on the outside. Recent results have highlighted the significant strength a player like him can have when playing up the middle and against favourable match ups.
Decker, provides the Jets offence with another reliable, important target, one, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, can look to to help move his team up the field. Decker is amongst the highest performing number two receivers in the league. Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns has performed greatly in 2015 with seven touchdowns for 697 yards and Oakland’s Michael Crabtree, doesn’t fall too far behind Decker, with 646 yards and five touchdowns of his own. Both of those receivers have offences piloted by eager, talented, young quarterbacks and as a result they’ve proved to be explosive in 2015. To be keeping up, its certainly positive for Decker.The 557 yards #87 has contributed this year certainly haven’t gone unwanted and is a welcomed surprise. With his preferred counterpart, Brandon Marshall getting most of the first looks from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Decker should look to focus on simply being ready and getting himself open, after all, Marshall has struggled lately with dropped passes, some of which for potential TDs. Decker, can’t be making these mistakes too.
Looking good for sunday after shaking off a knee injury, Decker should keep his head down and hopefully continue to make us see a whole lot more of these..