Could the New York Jets dive into their bag of tricks in 2023?
“Yeah, it was awesome man. Even today he threw me a pass. I just thought to myself like wow man I just caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers,” Tomlinson said. “That is legendary stuff right there. Probably didn’t get it on film but just going home to be able to tell my daughter that one day, it’s going to be a true story.”
Could Jets History Repeat Itself in 2023?
I tweeted out the clip of the interview and I asked the Twitter universe in the caption if we could see another Jumbo Elliott moment in 2023.
The massively sized 6-foot-7, 308-pound hog molly played for the Jets for six total seasons in two separate stints.
His signature moment came during the 2000 season in the Week 8 home game versus the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
With 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Jets were down 37-30 and they needed a touchdown to tie the game.
Veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde went into his bag of tricks and tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to offensive lineman Jumbo Elliott.
That play helped tie up the game after a lengthy review process because Elliott bobbled the ball three times before eventually securing it. After the touchdown was confirmed the team successfully converted the extra point to make it 37-37 with 42 seconds remaining.
Color analyst Dan Fouts called it another trick play or rather a “situationally appropriate play” live on the ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast.
The game eventually went to overtime and the Jets pulled it out 40-37.
Gang Green scored 30 points in the fourth quarter and beat their bitter rival on a national stage.
Although the victory wouldn’t have been possible without the sure hands of a certain offensive lineman in a key situation.
Elliott responded to my tweet, “On that night although I had serious spine issues coach wanted me ready to handle in case. I didn’t expect a TD throw. LOL!”
Could we see Jets’ history repeat itself in 2023?
The Jets do play on Monday Night Football in Week 1 to start the season. They also are scheduled to play against a bitter rival (Buffalo Bills). Are you saying there’s a chance?
Tomlinson Is a Big X-Factor to the Jets’ Upcoming Season
While a trick play to offensive linemen is always fun, Tomlinson needs to make sure he gets back to basics.
New York invested over $40 million across three seasons to lure the big man to the east coast during free agency.
Things didn’t go according to plan in year No. 1.
Tomlinson had perfect attendance starting in all 17 games, but the quality wasn’t quite up to snuff.
Pro Football Focus graded him 56.8 overall, 70.2 pass block, and 46.9 run block for the 2022 season.
It was an inexplicable result. Tomlinson came from the San Francisco 49ers, the same scheme the Jets ran in 2022. He played the exact same position at left guard even forcing the Jets to flip their rising star Alijah Vera-Tucker to right guard to help with the transition.
Despite that, the big man looked like a shell of himself. Rivka Boord of Jets X-Factor said Tomlinson played like a “bottom-10 guard” in 2022.
The Jets are betting that last year was a fluke and doubled down on their investment this offseason. Field Yates of ESPN said that the Jets restructured Tomlinson’s contract.
If Gang Green moved on from the veteran offensive lineman in 2024 they’d have to eat $10.7 million in dead cap after the alteration to his deal. The Jets don’t plan to do that and expect the big man to have a huge bounce-back after an uncharacteristic season.