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Jets Running Game Key to Success


On Sunday the Jets running game finally took center stage as they evened their record at .500 with a 23-20 overtime win.

The Jets knew that the one weakness in a very dominating Jacksonville defense so far in 2017, was stopping the run.

Entering the game the Jaguars defense ranked 27th in the NFL, allowing 135.3 yards per game on the ground and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

After running for just 38 yards against the Bills, the Jets had run for over 100 yards in each of their previous two games against the Raiders and Dolphins. However, their run game was still lacking, as no player had run for more than 53 yards in a game this season.

However, against the Jaguars both Bilal Powell (163 yards) and Elijah McGuire (93 yards) posted career-highs with McGuire scoring his first NFL touchdown. After the Jaguars went right down the field to score a TD on their opening drive, you could sense that perhaps the game could get away from the Jets quickly.

Powell’s 75-yard TD run re-ignited the hope that the Jets could win. That one play turned the entire tide of the game. Later in the second half, McGuire’s 69-yard TD run gave the Jets the lead and solidified their hopes to come out victorious.

Powell was one of the missing ingredients in the Jets offense their first three games. Most experts agree that he is the most talented of Gang Green’s offensive weapons. Through three games, Powell hadn’t been involved in the game plan often. On Sunday, the rest of the NFL got to see just how valuable his game-breaking ability is to the Jets.

With only four games played so far in the 2017 season, most NFL teams still are feeling out what their season with look like. Most people around the NFL doubted the Jets would be .500 at any point in their season, so they have already probably overachieved to some degree.

It is important for the Jets and their fans to understand that wins and losses are only results that can be misleading in many cases. For the Jets the 2017 season is about finding players that they can develop and build around. The fact that they found a way to win on Sunday after giving away the ball twice in the fourth quarter was something that most Jets teams in the past wouldn’t have been able to do.

Who knows where this season will ultimately take the Jets, but seeing them utilize their weapons on offense while developing their young players on both sides of the ball will pay huge dividends for the future.

Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports.  Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.