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Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall both looking to cross 1,000 yards receiving

Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall aiming to become first Jets duo since 2003 to cross 1,000 yards

JetsInsider.com Photo: John Heckman
NEW YORK, N.Y.- It's almost hard to fathom. In today's pass-happy NFL, how can a team not have a 1,000-yard receiver?

Quarterbacks are throwing for 350 yards on a bad week and 4,000 yards every season. It's near impossible to cover as a cornerback. Heck, the game is designed to light up the scoreboard. 

But still, entering this season, the Jets hadn't had a receiver hit that mark since 2007. 

At the end of this season, they may have two. 

In Sunday's overtime victory over the Giants, Brandon Marshall crossed 1,000 yards for the season. If Eric Decker keeps up his pace, he'll join Marshall, and the two will become the Jets first 1,000-yard tandem since Wayne Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson in 1998.

"I think that's always been the goal," Jets wideout Eric Decker said Monday at his charity event, Bowling for Barks. "Some guys will say, 'They play 16 games, 1,000 yards should be easy.' But I think it's still a feat."

RELATED: Detail-oriented Decker thriving with Jets

While Marshall has stolen the majority of the headlines since being shipped to the Jets from Chicago in exchange for a fifth-round pick, Decker has been quietly having a pretty impressive season himself. The sixth-year wideout, who signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free-agent last year, has caught 59 passes for 801 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Decker has found a home in the Jets offense. With Marshall commanding double and triple teams, Decker has been allowed to work against single coverage. He's been lining up an awful lot in the slot, too, a position that takes advantage of his route running. 

"Having [Marshall] has made things easier and allowed more 1-on-1 match ups," Decker said. "It's been a lot of fun."

It also helps, Decker says, having a quarterback lining up under center that's seen, well, everything there is to see. 

Shortly after Jets GM Mike Maccagnan traded for Marshall, he also acquired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a deal with the Texans. New York sent a conditional seventh-round pick over to Houston to acquire the rights to the 11-year vet. On the depth chart, Fitzpatrick was expected to be the team's backup to Geno Smith. In the locker room, he was expected to have a much bigger impact, helping bring along Smith. 

And then came a locker room punch in August, and those expectations were changed just slightly. Fitzpatrick went from backup, to starter

....And hasn't looked back since. 

Fitzpatrick has thrown for 2,866 yards, 22 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 88.1, and a completion percentage of 60.1. Right now, Fitzpatrick is on pace to tie the Jets franchise record of 29 passing touchdowns in a season. 

"Having Fitz helps," Decker said. "He's a guy who's been around the block, played a lot of football. He's smart, reads coverages well. As a receiver, you go out there with the mindset to run to get open. It allows us to play the game and make adjustments throughout." 

When you combine Fitzpatrick and Marshall with Decker, you get a three-headed attack that's putting together arguably the greatest Jets offensive season in over a decade. Everyone on the team's having fun, and that, Decker says, is why the team's winning. 

And while leading the 7-5 Jets to the playoffs is priority No. 1, Decker admitted the stats New York is compiling are nice, too.

"To hear those statistics," Decker said, "Finally getting to 1,000 yards, it's a notable thing just because it hasn't been done in awhile. 

"This is a pass-happy NFL, a pass-happy league, so you see more guys doing it. But to get a couple guys a year doing it? You know you're thing things right."

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Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and Scout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (connor_j_hughes@yahoo.com)


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