Rookie running back Breece Hall was the talk of the NFL community in Week 5 after he accumulated 97 yards rushing and another 100 receiving during the win over the Miami Dolphins.
He’s becoming a true dual threat just five games into his pro-level career and there’s a case to be made that he’s already the Jets’ top offensive weapon at this moment — surpassing Elijah Moore, fellow rookie Garrett Wilson, and even quarterback Zach Wilson.
Heading into the Week 6 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur had a unique player comparison for Hall. What made his selection even more interesting is that this former NFL playmaker suited up for Gang Green.
Mike LaFleur Compares Breece Hall to Matt Forte
During his weekly press conference, LaFleur likened the rookie to Chicago Bears Pro Bowler Matt Forte, who totaled over 14,400 scrimmage yards during his 10-year career in the NFL. The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt shared the unexpected comp, which focused mostly on “body type” and “versatile skill set.”
Forte finished his illustrious tenure with the Jets but did most of his damage with the Bears for eight seasons. The running back was always known as a dual threat and he accomplished seven campaigns with 1,400 scrimmage yards or greater. His best year came in 2013 at age 28, with over 1,900 total yards, although Forte’s top receiving season came in 2014 with 808 yards through the air.
When all was said and done, he had five 1,000-yard campaigns on the ground and three seasons with 500-plus yards receiving. With the Jets, Forte started 13 games in 2016 and put up over 1,000 scrimmage yards, but his numbers declined in year two and he promptly retired after four starts and 674 total yards.
Forte appeared in 146 NFL games, scoring 75 touchdowns and converting 660 first downs for the Bears and Jets combined. If the Green & White get a consistent and durable career like that from Hall, they’ll be very pleased with him as a draft pick.
Zach Wilson Talks ‘Playmakers’
Zach Wilson also addressed the media today on October 13 and he had an interesting quote about this new-look offense in 2022.
“I would say we’ve got playmakers all around,” Wilson told reporters. “You can’t scheme against us and say — ‘hey, if you take away this one guy, they’re not going to have another element in the pass game. I think it just shows, we got the ability to spread the ball around. One guy’s going to go off each and every game and it can kind of change up and we’re slowly finding our identity as an offense as well.”
The second-year quarterback is on the money here and that was always the plan for LaFleur and this brain trust led by general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh. Remember, the latter told Wilson on the phone that this organization would lift him up on draft night.
So far, it’s working as Wilson is 2-0 in 2022 with solid performances over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dolphins. Even with Joe Flacco at the helm, the offense has had strong moments.
Garrett Wilson had the big game in Cleveland, then it was Hall against Miami. Corey Davis has been pretty consistent throughout and so have tight end Tyler Conklin and backup half-back Michael Carter. Throw role players like C.J. Uzomah, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith into the mix and you have a recipe for success.
The only Jets weapon that has gotten off to a slow start by his standards is Moore. If LaFleur and Wilson can get him going, this offense has a chance to become even more dynamic.
“It’s a good thing to have that many guys that can get open,” the young signal-caller concluded. Don’t undersell it, Zach, that’s every quarterback’s dream!