Jets expecting Elijah Moore’s light production to increase

Garrett Wilson already has unveiled his big-play capability with two touchdown receptions in his second NFL game, while veteran Corey Davis added a 66-yard scoring burst late in the Jets’ victory last week over the Browns. 

There are only so many targets and touches to go around with the additions the Jets have made at the various skill positions, but second-year receiver Elijah Moore mostly has been quiet by comparison entering the home game Sunday against the Bengals. 

Moore, who finished his rookie season strongly with 34 of his 43 first-year receptions coming in the final six games, has totaled just 90 yards on eight grabs (12 targets) through the Jets’ 1-1 start. 

“Elijah’s a guy that can take a game over at any moment. Just because he hasn’t been as productive as some say he should be or would be, that doesn’t mean he isn’t out there doing what he’s supposed to do,” Davis told The Post after practice Friday in Florham Park. “His opportunities just haven’t come yet. 

“They will, I’m sure they will, especially with that type of talent. It’s coming, for sure.” 

Elijah Moore has had a slow start to the season.
Charles Wenzelberg

Davis, a six-year NFL veteran in his second season with the Jets, added that “everybody has to stay patient” as offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur sorts out the weekly game plans around backup quarterback Joe Flacco — and eventually starter Zach Wilson, once he’s ready to return from the knee injury he suffered in the preseason. 

Moore finished the game against the Brows with three receptions for 41 yards on five targets from Flacco, compared to 14 targets for Wilson (8-102) and four for Davis (2-83). 

“It’s really the way the ball [goes]. When you’re dealing with offense, especially with our rhythm and timing system, you’re gonna have a young man No. 1 or No. 2 in progression every single snap, which Elijah is for the most part,” head coach Robert Saleh said before practice. “The defense dictates where the ball’s gonna go and the quarterback’s got to get it to where the defense tells him to throw it. 

“So in that regard, Elijah is involved.” 

Indeed, Moore actually was on the field for 61 of 70 offensive snaps (87 percent) against the Browns, while Davis played 55 (79 percent) and Wilson played 43 (61 percent). 

“It’s definitely about [patience]. That’s been my understanding, don’t get too frustrated,” Davis said of the receiving corps. “One week, it’s gonna be someone’s game, the next week it’s someone else. You never know with the kind of team we have. We have a lot of talent out there.” 

Moore was not in the locker room during the allotted media availability Friday after practice, but Saleh believes the 2021 second-round draft pick’s contributions are bound to increase. 

“He’s out on the field, he’s definitely been an early part of the progressions, but it just hasn’t come his way,” Saleh said. “I think with his relentlessness and the way he works, eventually he’s going to blow up. 

Elijah Moore at Jets practice on Friday.
Elijah Moore at Jets practice on Friday.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“But it’s not going to be because we’ve forced it. It’s because he did exactly what he does every week. He plays his absolute tail off. He prepares his tail off. And the ball’s gonna get to him, and he’ll create explosive plays from it.” 

LaFleur similarly said Thursday that he doesn’t believe Moore has to change much in the way he’s playing for his production to increase. 

“I’m going to sound like a broken record, but just keep doing what he’s doing,” LaFleur said. “He ran a lot of really good routes, he was number one in the progression in so many of our first-half plays and really in the second half. 

“Just like I’m going to tell all of these guys, just keep plugging away, keep blocking in the run game, the better you block, the better the run game’s going to be, the more they’re going to put pressure to stop the ball, which is going to open up your lanes in the pass game. The ball will find you, just keep working.”

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