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20.09.2018

Jets embracing not having 1 go-to guy at receiver, running back.

Even the most ardent Jets fan had to wonder and worry before the season began: — Who’s going to be the No. 1 receiver? — Who’s going to be the No. 1 running back? Outside of quarterback Sam Darnold, the No. 3-overall pick in the draft, the Jets — on paper — did not look like a...
Time: 04:34     Date: 14.09.2018
Last US Sport News: Jets embracing not having 1 go-to guy at receiver, running back. NY Post 24 - US News

— Who’s going to be the No. 1 receiver?

— Who’s going to be the No. 1 running back?

Outside of quarterback Sam Darnold, the No. 3-overall pick in the draft, the Jets — on paper — did not look like a team loaded with skill-position players who keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night as they entered Monday night’s season opener in Detroit. You know what they say about paper in the NFL, though?

It doesn’t catch passes, run for touchdowns or win games.

And collectively, that’s what running backs Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell and receivers Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson and Terrelle Pryor did against the Lions on Monday night. They ran the ball, caught the ball, scored touchdowns and won the game — 48-17.

No, the Jets don’t have Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, the Giants’ clear-cut No. 1 receiver and back.

Their receiving corps does not have an Antonio Brown, Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins to blow the roof off opposing defenses. There’s no Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell (yet) in their backfield to carry the ball 30 times a game.

The Jets have no No. 1 at receiver or running back, and that’s just fine with them at the moment. Who, after all, is going to argue with a 48-17 victory with a half-dozen skill-positions players contributing?

“You can’t win with one player,’’ Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Thursday. “We need every man that’s dressed to contribute. If everyone shows their talent — and it’s our job as coaches to showcase what they do best — then it takes a team effort and you get a team win.’’

Enunwa, who missed all of 2017 with a neck injury, led the Jets in receiving against the Lions with six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Pryor, an offseason acquisition, caught three passes for 49 yards. Anderson touched the ball only once and it went for a 41-yard TD catch.

On the ground, Crowell, an offseason acquisition, had 10 carries for 102 yards in his Jets debut that was highlighted by his 62-yard TD run, his second score of the game. Powell rushed for 60 yards on 12 carries.

“It’s just production,’’ coach Todd Bowles said Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s an advantage or disadvantage [to have a No. 1 at receiver and running back]. We’ve got guys that can do different things. You like to spread the ball out regardless of who you have — and that’s what we’re trying to do.’’

Josh McCown, the Jets veteran backup quarterback, said he looks at the Jets lack of a No. 1 at receiver and running back “as a strength, because it speaks to what we’re about in this locker room — all hands on deck.’’

“I’ve never met a receiver that doesn’t want to catch the ball on every play, but they all root for one another and want to see the Jets do well,’’ McCown said. “That’s why I believe it works. That’s what’s good for us.’’

It, too, has been good for the Patriots, the most dominant team of this era. Through most of their run of five Super Bowl wins, the Patriots have treated running backs and receivers, essentially, as interchangeable parts.

Jermaine Kearse, the senior member of the Jets receiving corps who missed the Detroit game with an abdomen injury but is expected to play against Miami, said, “I feel like we’ve got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. We’ve just got playmakers — guys who, when the ball is thrown their way, make plays.’’

Crowell said he feels like he and Powell “are both very talented,’’ adding, “It’s good how we broke it down [on Monday night].”

“It’s nice when the opposing defense doesn’t know where the ball’s going,’’ guard Brian Winters said. “It spreads the offense out and they don’t just lock in on one person. It keeps everyone guessing on who we’re going to.’’

Enunwa said he believes spreading the ball around among skill players “can be an advantage.’’

“Being No. 1 doesn’t really matter,’’ he said. “A lot of times when you have a No. 1, the ball doesn’t get spread around a lot. I would love for everybody to get the ball and for us to win. It worked on Monday, maybe [it] can set a trend.’’

Sport

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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