It’s hard for the average fan to find anything positive when your favorite team goes 4-13 during the regular season.  This is essentially true for Jets fans when they went 2-14 in 2020 and 4-13 in 2021.  Progress is an elusive thing in football and yet if you know where to look, there were some bright spots in the Jets season this year.

Rookie RB Michael Carter stood out this season as a key piece in the Jets offensive firepower.  In his rookie campaign, Carter stepped up when the Jets needed him the most and led the team with 639 rushing yards which moved up to 964 scrimmage yards total as he hauled in 9.0 yards per catch as well.  Averaging 4.3 yards on the ground, Carter also led the Jets offense in rushing first downs with 29 and total first downs with a total of 46.

Michael Carter also marked his first 100-yard game against the New England Patriots in Week Six.  Along the way this past season, Carter had a total of three 100-yard games and became the first Jets rookie to do so since Leon Washington did the same back in 2006.  Carter did actually earn his first 100-yard rushing  game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with 118 yards on 16 carries.  These numbers are impressive given the fact that Carter suffered an ankle injury in the Miami game and spent three weeks on the IR.  One of the best compliments Carter received was his ability to run instinctively and how he fit into OC Mike LaFleur’s offensive play schemes.

In reality, the 2021 New York Jets season was marred by injuries from the get-go and the fact that the roster was filled by rookies from the head coach down to a number of starting position players.  Michael Carter made a name from himself with the Gang Green this year and he represents both the present and the future of the Jets organization.  With time, head coach Robert Saleh, along with players like Michael Carter, are trying to instill a culture change within the Jets: “Another thing Coach Saleh teaches is, OK, do your job, but once you know your job, how far can you expand it to make the big play?” Michael Carter,  January 20, 2022.

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