BGA: Running Backs – Tough sledding

If you looked at a boxscore, you’d think the Jets’ running game did a pretty decent job in this one. Chris Ivory racked up 98 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries and Bilal Powell averaged 5.4 yards per carry having entering the game averaging just 2.8 yards per carry since Brian Winters became the starter at left guard. Of course, the reality is that these numbers are skewed by Ivory’s 69-yard garbage time run.

While ultimately meaningless, that play does show a tantalizing glimpse of what Ivory can do when you give him some daylight. Other than that play, though, he averaged under two yards per carry.

In Ivory’s defense, it didn’t look like he left many yards on the field. He did have some positive moments — one first down run to the outside, one run where he broke a couple of tackles for a solid gain and a touchdown for the second week in a row. It’s discouraging to see another pass bounce off his fingertips though, even if you could attribute that to a lack of touch on Geno Smith’s part. To be honest though, even with a clean catch, that play was going nowhere.

Bilal Powell actually got the start this week, but again Ivory got the lion’s share of the carries. Powell did play more snaps, but they only ran the ball 25% of the time with him in the game, as opposed to 60% of the time when Ivory was in. Powell was used 10 times as an extra blocker in pass protection and — after struggling with giving up penalties, sacks and pressures over the last month or so — he did a good job of that. Powell had a nice run on the toss play on the first series and burst up the middle for 12 in the second half, but his three other carries and one reception were all stopped for short gains.

Powell had 149 yards rushing against the Bills in week three (on 27 carries). Over the last six games, he has 149 yards rushing in total (on 48 carries).

Tommy Bohanon averages 32 snaps in the Jets five wins and only 22 in their five losses, a sure sign that when they get behind in games and can’t run the ball as much they’re in trouble. In this game, he was only in for 16 snaps. Bohanon did catch two short passes and had one punishing lead block, but there was also a play where he was pushed back into the runner, leading to the play being stuffed.

Alex Green was inactive again.

Up next…Stephen Hill just isn’t getting open. Or is he?