Brandon Marshall is one of the better wide receivers in the NFL. There really aren’t arguments against that declaration. Despite the fact that he’s considered a truly gifted athlete, the New York Jet is also considered one of those guys who will make a really dumb play every now and then. With that in mind, maybe fans should have seen what has to be called the most ill-advised play of the entire NFL season, at least in the first three weeks.
Fans have to give kudos to Brandon Marshall for trying as hard as he could to gain some yards, but when the wide receiver caught a pass, then tried to lateral it to a teammate that wasn’t there, it bounced off a defender and was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. The play was even worse because the Jets had been struggling with turnovers all day. You certainly can’t blame Brandon Marshall for his team losing on Sunday, but he certainly didn’t help. As SBNation points out, there is an argument to be made that we need to see more laterals. The problem is that Brandon Marshall wasn’t really smart with the time he decided to try the trick play.
As a matter of fact, Sporting News points out the lateral and the fumble meant that Brandon Marshall’s team actually fell behind 24-0. The New York Jets had been battling back all day long since that deficit was forged and they managed to keep the Eagles off the board after they scored. That mistake was compounded by the fact that the Jets also committed an unneccesary roughness penalty on that play that moved the Eagles even closer to the endzone and certainly aided in them taking the wind out of New York’s sails.
While the game stopped being the blowout it was for most of the first three quarters, the lateral might end up being the play that really decided the contest. It may also be one of those plays that shows just how much of a “what have you done for me lately,” kind of league the NFL really is. Brandon Marshall had a fantastic game outside of that fumble. In a contest where the Jets actually put the ball in the air a massive 58 times, Brandon Marshall was able to pull down 10 catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown. The team would certainly have been blown out if he couldn’t put that kind of a performance together. He’s still going to be remembered as the guy who made a really odd decision when he was trying to make the play last longer than it should have.
The biggest problem for Brandon Marshall’s team was that they had to pass that many times to begin with. The previously undefeated Jets were winning at the early part of the season by moving the ball on the ground with Chris Ivory. Ivory had to sit out of Sunday’s 24-17 loss and his absence was certainly felt. Brandon Marshall did his best to fill in that hole, but Ryan Fitzpatrick had his own mistake-filled outing. Despite throwing two touchdown passes, including the toss to Brandon Marshall, he also had three interceptions and a fumble lost. If the story of Brandon Marshall’s career has been a ton of talent and a ton of odd decisions, Fitzpatrick’s career has been filled with turnovers. When you make the kinds of mistakes that Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall were making, the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t even need their starting running back to actually appear in the game in order to win.
[Featured Image by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]