Matt Forte Questions Jets OC John Morton for Offensive Game Plan vs. Falcons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 29:  Running back Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets runs the ball against defensive end Adrian Clayborn #99 of the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Atlanta Falcons won 25-20. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

New York Jets running back Matt Forte voiced his frustration with the team's decision to focus on the passing game in what was less than ideal weather conditions during a 25-20 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

"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, per the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. "I think that kind of hurt us."

Forte carried the ball four times for seven yards in the loss.

Forte added that Jets offensive coordinator John Morton outlined a strategy for Sunday in which the running game was a focal point of the offense.

"Everybody knows that that was the game plan and that was what we wanted to do," Forte said. "I'm not going to get on the head set and tell somebody how to do their job."

ESPN.com's Rich Cimini shared a photo from field level Sunday morning and noted a "steady rain now falling":

Rich Cimini @RichCimini

A steady rain now falling at MetLife Stadium. Jet weather? #Jets https://t.co/0SxCEvC7sk

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Despite the inclement conditions, Jets players combined for 22 carries, while Josh McCown had 33 pass attempts.

The balance between the run and pass wasn't the only bone of contention Jets fans had with Morton. NJ Advance Media's Connor Hughes was very critical of the Jets' final drive in which they gained 29 yards on six plays over the final 1:07 to end the game:

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

That was the absolutely ugliest drive to end a game I’ve ever seen in my life. No urgency from #Jets, OC John Morton. Pathetic.

Not only was New York's emphasis on the passing game counterintuitive to the general wisdom on a rainy day, but the Falcons also rank 14th in pass defense (215.5 yards per game) compared to 16th in rush defense (112.0 yards per game).

The gulf between the two is slightly bigger according to Football Outsiders, which lists Atlanta 25th in pass defense DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) and 30th in run defense DVOA.

Sunday's game was tailor-made for the Jets to rely heavily on Forte and Bilal Powell. Instead, Morton and the Jets coaching staff might have outsmarted themselves by allowing McCown to attempt his third-most passes this season.

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