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Israel Abanikanda, Will McDonald & Carter Warren Need More Playing Time


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Will McDonald

So, what is left for Jet fans in 2023? There are several winnable games over the last six weeks of the season on the Jets schedule. Most notable are this week’s game against the Falcons and the season finale in New England against the Patriots. The team also has a chance to audition some young players to gauge their potential to be contributors in 2024. In short Israel Abanikanda, Will McDonald and Carter Warren need more playing time the rest of the way.

The Atlanta Falcons are no pushovers. The Falcons lead the NFC South division, albeit with a losing record of 5-6. Atlanta runs the ball for over 139 yards per game, ranking fourth overall. The Falcons are 14th in points allowed at just over 21 points per game. The Jets should find more running room against Atlanta than they did against the Dolphins, should they choose to. The Jets have shown no commitment to the run over the last few weeks, as evidenced by the drop off in carries for Breece Hall.

On defense, the Jets will need to know where rookie running back Bijan Robinson is at all times. The rookie is 8th in the league in rushing yards. Robinson is also a capable pass receiver, notching three TDs thus far on receptions. Robinson can go the distance on every touch. Atlanta has been inconsistent at the quarterback position, dampening some talented receivers’ statistics. Drake London is a speedy wideout in his second year. London has a flair for highlight-reel grabs. Kyle Pitts was drafted with the 4th overall pick in 2021. Pitts is a matchup nightmare possessing tight end size and wide receiver speed.

The Jets will be able to throttle the Falcon offensive attack, but the same is likely true for Atlanta against the Jets offense. The team that finds the big play on offense will win this game. The Jets need to find yards on the ground to open up the play-action pass and take some pressure off Tim Boyle. The Jets should win this toss-up at home in a tight squeeze.

In terms of personnel and making the most of the rest of this season, it’s time for some young, untested players to take the field. I am not sure there is any point in starting Duane Brown or Mekhi Becton the rest of the way. Brown will not be a Jet in 2024. He’s played just 101 snaps, and the team is more than used to taking the field without him. We know what Mekhi Becton can do. If he’s healthy, he is an average to slightly above-average offensive tackle. The Jets need to find out what they have in Carter Warren, Xavier Newman, and Max Mitchell. The last six weeks would provide valuable experience for these young players and give the Jet brass an idea if and how they fit into next season’s plans.

Israel Abanikanda must get some carries as the season comes to an end. Dalvin Cook has not provided what the Jets thought he would, and the team needs to see if Abanikanda can be the backup to Breece Hall in 2024.  The running game needs to be a focus in these last few games with Breece Hall and Abanikanda both seeing the ball more.

Jet first-rounder, Will McDonald needs to see his playing time increase. McDonald was selected to help the Jets defense in one of the few areas they could use additional help – edge pass rushing. McDonald has seen the field sparingly so far, which has been frustrating as he has not been on the injury report for the most part.

The Jets can give these young players valuable minutes while not experiencing a drastic drop-off in quality of play. The team can be competitive with their young talent on the field. It doesn’t make sense at this point not to play these players.

 

 

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Morgan Freeman Reaction GIF by MOODMAN

 

At a minimum, we need to know what roles these guys can play going forward.

Can Izzy be a viable RB2, enabling the Jets to bypass RB in the Draft and simply sign a middle-of-the-road FA to RB3 in March?

Can Carter Warren be a serviceable backup, an OT3 type, and negate the need for overspending on a veteran swing tackle in FA?  Can he at least be better than Max Mitchell?

And, most importantly IMO, can McDonald demonstrate that the Jets can survive letting both Carl Lawson and Bryce Huff walk?  To be clear, I want to see Huff re-signed by the Jets.  But McDonald was intended to, at the very minimum, be a capable 3rd Down pass rusher in 2023 (and hopefully more than that).

All three of these guys were drafted partially to allow the Jets to let some players walk and not be held hostage to overpaying or signing expensive Free Agents this coming March.

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Déjà Vu all over again.  For that last 13 years baring 1, we've been dead in the water half was thru the season.  Time and time again we've all complained...well you might as well play the untested guys.  But as usual our CS of the moment is always too slow and too dumb to oblige.   

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18 minutes ago, Scotty Wooty Doo Doo said:

Jets cut Carter , but work out 4 RB's yesterday lmaooo

Why is this funny? Carter sucked and needed to go. Jets starters are Hall and Cook and now Izzy will get a lot more reps...but they also now have an open spot at RB. 

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Izzy's scouting report read he runs with no power or wiggle,

that's why he lasted till the 5th. I'm not suggesting that he couldn't

develop some. Keaton and McLaughlin were better prospects.

Ty Johnson should have been kept. He dropped a few balls from

the noted accurate thrower Wilson. Otherwise his career showed

decent hands. I remind you  hall has dropped his share of Wilsons

passes. Johnson has developed into a competent blocker

 

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On 11/29/2023 at 10:22 AM, RoadFan said:

Nania tweeted something pretty funny.   Saleh said Izzy’s pass pro isn’t good enough.   Nania showed plays where Dalvin’s was terrible…

Cook let through a couple of free rushers.  I don’t doubt Izzy isn’t as good as he needs to be in pass protection but not many other players apparently are.

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