It wasn’t a flashy coming out party, but rookie running back La’Mical Perine showed on Sunday that he has the potential to be a big part of the New York Jets offense moving forward.
Perine was one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills. His numbers don’t jump out: 12 carries for 39 yards with two receptions for 16 yards. But even in the limited touches, Perine showed consistency and flashes of being able to break out plays.
A skillset that is lacking on a dour Jets offense right now.
“That’s what we were hoping for, to give him some opportunities to see if we could get some explosive plays,” Jets head coach Adam Gase said in his virtual press conference following the loss.
“He can also get the tough yards as well. We’re just trying to get him going as much as possible, (to) put him in the best positions possible to where he can keep growing.”
The increased workload comes after Perine had been sparsely used in the past few weeks.
In the second quarter, Perine had a five-yard touchdown run, patiently running around the right side before diving into the endzone. On the play, he showed a good maturity in waiting for the time to spring outside and then athleticism to dive into the endzone, sneaking in past the pylon.
For Perine, it was his first career touchdown in the NFL. The Jets selected him in the fourth round of this past spring’s NFL Draft.
“Yeah, LP did a good job just being very consistent for us running downhill,” quarterback Sam Darnold said after the game. “We’re just going to continue to look for him to make plays but also just stay consistent in the run game.”
With the loss to the Bills, the Jets are 0-7 on the year and 0-3 in the AFC East.