Hopes for the New York Jets rushing attack were dashed on Monday night, when the team’s running backs saw just 36 combined yards on 16 carries in their preseason matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
That dismal performance came despite the Jets winning the game, as the team saw 209 combined passing yards in their 24–16 win over Atlanta.
Rookie running back Breece Hall, who came to the Jets as the first rusher off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, had a particularly bad night, as he carried the ball 4 times for just 1 yard, averaging 0.3 yards per carry.
The Jets placed their faith in Hall with the 36th overall selection in the draft, but he has thus far failed to show the promise that the team was hoping for through 2 preseason games.
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In the team’s first game, which came on Aug. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles, saw Hall rush 5 times for 15 yards — an average of just 3 yards per carry.
The team’s other rushers have also failed to do much damage so far, with La’Mical Perine leading the team in the backfield on Monday with 10 yards — the only Jets rusher out of 5 to crack double digit yards in that game.
Head coach Robert Saleh, for his part, brushed off concerns about the team’s lackluster rushing play, saying they were using preseason to scout their roster, and help the young players grow into their roles in the NFL.
“You’re looking for continued growth out of your young guys, we’re looking for continued growth out of communication offensively and defensively,” the coach said.
Two Jets quarterbacks, Chris Streveler and Mike White, added another 34 yards on the ground.
Their porous showing thus far in preseason is a worrisome sign for Gang Green, which finished last season ranked 28th out of 32 teams in rushing yards last season.
With sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson figuring to retake the starting job whenever he returns from a torn meniscus and bone bruise, the team will need to rack up yards on the ground if they want to control the clock and not lean too heavily on their young signal caller.