In the Jets’ first five games, Brandon Marshall caught 37 passes for 511 yards and four touchdowns on 53 targets, with four games of 100-plus receiving yards. The Jets were 4-1 in those games. In the four games since, he has 20 catches for 242 yards and two TDs on 43 targets, with a single 100-yard game. The Jets are 1-3 in that span.
If the Jets are going to make a legitimate run at a playoff berth, they are going to have to find a way to get Marshall back into the games, making the electrifying plays he made in the first five weeks.
“A high percentage of the time they’re doubling him and we’re trying to find ways to keep him involved,’’ Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. “So it’s a chess match of how they play and how we play. Hopefully, we’ll get him the opportunities to get him some more balls. We need him to be involved, to be a successful offense.
“They’re taking him away right now and we don’t have enough other people involved in the passing game to take that away from [the defenses] right now.’’
That’s been an issue. Eric Decker, who has 42 catches and leads the team with seven TDs, has been a big-time beneficiary of the attention Marshall has drawn. But after that, there is a significant fall-off, with no quality No. 3 receiver having emerged.
Marshall owned the #7 PPG average through the first six weeks. Since the double-teams started against New England (Week 7), he has been the #27 receiver on a per game basis. Meanwhile, Decker is the #11 receiver in that span.