On Sunday, the New York Jets welcome the Miami Dolphins in their 2017 home opener. The last time the Jets hosted the Dolphins in their home opener was 2005.After losing the first two games of the season on the road rather soundly, many fans are expecting the type of season for the New York Jets as most in the NFL world predicted.
One thing that has shocked everyone so far has been the brutal play of the Jets defense, which after two weeks ranks last in the NFL in points allowed (66), rushing yards allowed (370) and rushing touchdowns allowed (4).
Despite the struggles of the defense, most fans are confident that their young group of defensive players can improve as the season moves along. However, that still leaves the lackluster Jets offense, which after two weeks ranks 29th in the NFL in total yards (242 per game).
Here are some questions for the Jets offense as they prepare to take on the Miami Dolphins on their own home turf.
Where are the rookie Wide Receivers?
If the Jets are going to be building for the future, why aren’t they giving their 2017 draft picks time on the field?
Instead of Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart getting playing time when the Jets go three-or-four wide, the Jets continue to turn to veteran Jeremy Kerley and second-year pro Charone Peake to handle the load.
Kerley played 44 offensive snaps while Peake took the field for 11. The duo combined for four catches for 17 yards. Stewart played eight snaps and Hansen two. Neither was targeted during their time on the field. How are these guys supposed to improve if they don’t play?
Where is Bilal Powell?
For the second straight week, Bilal Powell was an afterthought in the offense. Powell only saw the ball six times, running for just 13 yards (2.2 yards per carry) and not recording a reception.
On the bright side, he rushed for more yards than Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott.
In Week One against the Bills, Powell was tasked with a heavier workload, but not by much. Powell saw the ball just 12 times, totaling 39 yards (7 rushes for 22 yards, 5 receptions for 17 yards).
Heading into this season, many saw Powell as the Jets’ best offensive weapon. In his last four games of 2016, Powell touched the ball 103 times and averaged 5.3 yards per touch. His 552 yards from scrimmage over those four games ranked second in fantasy points for RBs over that span.
It was that type of production the Jets were hoping to see out of Powell this season. So far, Powell has faded into the background.
Will we see Bryce Petty?
While it’s obvious that Christian Hackenberg isn’t at the same level that Bryce Petty is currently, how long before the Jets decide to give Petty another chance to prove if he might be the long-term answer at QB for this franchise?
Just think about it, Jets. Give the fans what they want to see already!
Will Matt Forte eventually be faded out?
If the Jets continue to lose, will Matt Forte’s role begin to diminish even further? The Jets have already used Forte only sparingly in the first two games, as he has only carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards.
Reduced playing time would mean more carries for Powell and rookie Elijah McGuire, who have been hardly used at all this season.
Who is the Jets long-term answer at WR?
When Quincy Enunwa went down with a season-ending injury in training camp, that supposedly opened the door for a number of young Jets’ WR to showcase their abilities.
However, when the Jets traded for Jermaine Kearse, he immediately took over the Jets’ No. 1 receiving role. Kearse has responded well, leading the team in receptions (11) and receiving yards (123).
Despite Kearse’s emergence, the Jets still are looking for a few of their young WR to step up. So far the hopefuls, Robby Anderson (4 catches for 52 yards) and Charone Peake (no catches) haven’t seized the opportunity.
Will these questions be answered come the end of the fourth quarter Sunday? Probably not. But be on the lookout to see if some of these answers can be properly addressed.
Mark Kelly covers all New York Sports and the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. A two-time Emmy Award Winner and former ESPN Researcher, Mark’s story of surviving cancer has touched many lives. Read more about Mark here or go to CKMagicSports.com and click on KNOCKOUTCANCER.