The New York Jets failed to hold a fourth-quarter lead for the third straight week. In driving rain Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, running Matt Forte believes the Jets should have run the ball more to preserve that lead.
"I only had four carries this game, so I don't really think we ran the ball enough with the weather being the way it was," Forte said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "I think that kind of hurt us."
While holding the lead in the second half, offensive coordinator John Morton dialed up seven runs to eight pass attempts on 15 plays over three drives. It was only after that lead evaporated did the pass-run ratio tilt to 13-2 (not including spikes), with the final drive of the game consisting of six passes as Josh McCown tried to rally the Jets with just over a minute remaining.
A frustrated Forte believes running the ball more in the rain would have been the correct call.
"You got a wet ball out there," Forte said. "It's rainy. It wasn't like a light drizzle. It was really really raining. If I was a coordinator... (and) I'm obviously biased because I'm a running back -- raining like that, yeah, you would think that we would run it more than we did. But like I said, every game is different. He's calling the plays. He has to call what he sees out there."
While running the ball keeps the clock moving, receivers have an advantage in the rain where defensive backs relying on a quick change of direction to stay with wideouts -- who know where their routes are headed -- are more apt to slipping on the slick surface. Plus, it wasn't the play-calling that caused two missed field goals or a muffed punt that led to three points.
The complaint from Forte feels like a frustrated veteran who feels like he's being underutilized. Perhaps a frustrated veteran who might want to be traded before Tuesday's deadline?