Perine has also been around, but his offensive plays and touches had been limited in the first six games. On Sunday, his contributions were perhaps most eye-opening: 11 carries for 39 yards, including his veteran-style 5-yard sweep and TD, which he secured by reaching for the pylon with the ball and making the touch before he landed out of bounds.
It was his first pro score as well as the only touchdown in the game.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Perine said. “Just being in the NFL is a blessing, but being able to score a touchdown in the NFL is even better. My hat’s off to my offensive line, man, for just blocking for me and giving me that opportunity to make a play. … It’s a blessing to score my first touchdown. I’m hoping to have many more. But I would’ve loved to get a win today. That would’ve felt even better.”
Just as significant for Perine: He racked up seven first downs in the first half, six rushing and one receiving. Those seven first downs are the most by any Jet in a first half since Bilal Powell had eight in the 2016 home game against the Bills and before that since Thomas Jones had eight in the 2008 home game vs. the Rams. For rookies, Perine is the first Jets player to have more than six in either half since at least 1990. That’s impressive.
Needless to say, having 60 minutes of Perine’s and Mims’ production instead of just 30 would’ve been better.Mims had one target and no catches in the second half, while Perine had one rush for 3 yards and no first downs in the last two quarters.
So much more work needs to be done on offense, but with the rookies contributing not only their physical skills but their anything’s-possible attitude, things may well look better in the final nine weeks of the 2020 campaign, perhaps even starting next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against the formidable Chiefs.
“I just feel like we’ve got to make the plays when they’re there, take what the defensive gives us,” Mims said. “I didn’t know we had 16 plays in the second half. But we’re a much better team than that. And we’ve got to come out next game, second half, and make sure we finish it like the first half.”