3 Keys to Elijah Moore Turning Around Rookie Season

Elijah Moore has gotten off to a slow start in his rookie season.
Elijah Moore has gotten off to a slow start in his rookie season. / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn

New York Jets rookie receiver Elijah Moore was one of the hottest names in training camp, but the rookie has underwhelmed in his first two NFL games. 

Part of that isn’t Moore’s fault, as Zach Wilson was horrendous in Week 2, throwing four interceptions in the Jets’ loss to the New England Patriots. 

However, Moore hasn’t done much to help his case, making just five catches for 44 scoreless yards. He made just one catch for -3 yards in Week 1. 

Jets head coach Robert Saleh still has confidence in the rookie, but bettors who took a shot at Moore at +2000 on WynnBET to win Offensive Rookie of the Year haven’t been too happy with his start to the season. Moore has fallen back to +4000 to win the award this season after his slow start. 

“He is deliberate, and he wants to be great, he wants to be special and he demonstrates that every day,” Saleh said. “Now it’s just a matter of trusting what you do and take it to the football field on Sunday and go let it loose. I think it’s just a matter of time before that happens.”

There have been some encouraging things from Moore in the first two weeks, and here are some keys for him to turn things around this season with the Denver Broncos on the schedule in Week 3:

Elijah Moore’s Target Share Need to Increase

Moore has seen 12 targets in two games this season, but he’s been behind Braxton Berrios (18 targets) and tied with Corey Davis (12 targets) in the Jets’ offense. 

With Jamison Crowder’s return coming soon, Moore will have more competition in the offense for targets, but Saleh and Mike LaFleur may want to find more ways to scheme the rookie open going forward. 

A positive sign is that Moore led all Jets receivers in route rates in Week 2, which shows the team is committed to him as one of the top targets.

However, until the targets start matching his snap share and the number of routes he’s run, Moore is going to be a tough player to trust, especially as a Rookie of the Year candidate. 

Elijah Moore’s Ceiling Depends on Zach Wilson

Unfortunately for Moore, Zach Wilson hasn’t looked as good in the regular season as he did in the preseason this year. 

That’s expected, but Wilson’s four interception game in Week 2 showed that Moore is only going to be as good as his quarterback allows him to be. 

The Jets’ offensive line is weakened by the injury to left tackle Mekhi Becton, which means Wilson, who is also dealing with a groin injury, is going to have to improve on the fly in less than ideal conditions. 

Moore has a ton of talent as evidenced by the preseason hype, but he won't be able to fully put things together unless Wilson does as well. 

Jets Schedule Gets Much Easier After Week 3

The Jets are facing some juggernaut defenses to start the 2021 season. 

Carolina, who they played in Week 1, is currently the No. 1 defense in the NFL in terms of yardage and points allowed, and the Patriots are fifth in the league in yardage allowed. 

Denver (third in the league in yardage allowed, fifth in points allowed) is next on the dockett, and it’s another tough test for a young Jets offense. Wilson and Moore have to compete against the better teams eventually , but matchups against the Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals in three of the Jets’ next five games will give Moore a chance to really shine. 

Denver’s secondary boasts several Pro-Bowl caliber players in Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan and Justin Simmons, and rookie Patrick Surtain II seems to be on his way there as well. 

A big game from Moore in Week 3 would be extremely impressive, but the breakout for him may have to wait until Week 4 of Week 5.

Can Elijah Moore turn things around this season? Make your pick at WynnBET.