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Jets Q&A: Matt Forte doesn’t start but racks up 91 yards from scrimmage

Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin tackles Jets running back

Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin tackles Jets running back Matt Forte during the first half at the Oakland Coliseumon Sept. 17, 2017. Credit: EPA / John G. Mabanglo

Did Matt Forte get benched Sunday?

It appeared that way. Forte, who gained only 16 yards in the Week 1 loss to Buffalo, didn’t start as the Jets went with a jumbo package, using the quicker Bilal Powell as the starter. Forte did contribute, though, leading the team with 91 yards from scrimmage, including 53 yards rushing on nine carries. Elijah McGuire got his first NFL regular-season carries and picked up 29 yards on six rushes, including an 11-yarder.

“It’s something different,” Forte said of the rotation. “Usually they let you go a couple of series or a series or two. This game, whenever your number is called, you get in there. Still, when you get in there, you have to execute your play that’s called. Not much difference.”

As a group, the Jets rushed for 126 yards, averaging 5 yards per carry, including Josh McCown’s 22-yard scramble.

The No. 2 QB is . . . ?

After the game, coach Todd Bowles said Bryce Petty is the backup and it will remain that way until further notice. In Week 1, Christian Hackenberg backed up McCown and Petty was inactive. Hackenberg was inactive Sunday.

Bowles said Petty didn’t get enough reps in practice leading into the season opener because he was recovering from a sprained ligament in his knee. Petty and Hackenberg shared reps in practice last week, and Bowles gave a hint about his thoughts during the week when he said he would be comfortable using Petty in a game.

“Yeah, it’s validation for that fact that, man, if you work hard and put your mind to something, you’re the only person that can stop you,” Petty said. “I was excited about how preseason went . . . This is Year 3 for me and things are just starting to click on all levels, which I’m excited about.”

Will we see a new punt returner?

In the first two games of the season, Kalif Raymond has muffed three punts, losing one. The one he lost, late in the first half Sunday, was a big momentum-changer, leading to a Raiders touchdown. So instead of being down four at halftime, the Jets trailed by 11. And with that, Bowles hinted a change might occur.

“I think they’re confident in my ability, take my back,” Raymond said. “It was just, like, make up for it, go ahead, do what you can do, man. You’ve got the speed, you’ve got the quickness. They were very supportive, man, but you can’t make that mistake.”

If the Jets make a switch, Jeremy Kerley and McGuire are the backups. McGuire hasn’t fielded a punt in an NFL game. Kerley has returned 155 punts for a 9.1 average in his career.

What happened to Brian Winters?

The starting right guard went down in the second quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return. He was replaced by Dakota Dozier, who was just moved to backup center when the Jets lost Jonotthan Harrison (concussion) last week.

After Winters was replaced, he spent the majority of the second half stretching on the sideline in an attempt to get loose.

What did the Raiders do to mark the Jets’ last visit to Oakland?

As the Jets took the field to start the game, a clip from the movie “Heidi” was played on the video board. “Heidi” was a made-for-TV movie that NBC cut to with 65 seconds left and the Jets leading the Raiders 32-29 in a November 1968 game in Oakland. The Raiders then scored two touchdowns in a nine-second span during the final minute for a 43-32 win, creating an uproar among viewers who hadn’t been able to see it.

(The Jets got the last laugh, going on to beat the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game before winning Super Bowl III.)

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