Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears strong safetyDanny McCray
(29) tackles New York Jets running backChris Ivory
(33) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Ivory was the best running back on the field Monday night, and it wasn’t real close. Ivory was running over and through people, and treating the grass like it had stolen his girlfriend. He was running like a man with mission, and it was exciting to watch.
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But for some reason, when the game was on the line, Chris Ivory was nowhere to be found. The Jets were near the goal line, but we saw Geno Smith running the football. There was no news of an injury, so we wondered, “Where is Chris Ivory?”. We were all told that the Jets would go with the “hot hand” as far as the running back situation is concerned, but that didn’t happen on Monday.
Did Rex Ryan get the hint? Might we see more of Chris Ivory going forward. When asked why Ivory was not used when the game was on the line, Rex did not disabuse anyone of the idea:
I understand where you’re coming from with that, but we do have faith in our backs, in all of our backs. But maybe Chris Ivory will get more time. He is certainly running hard. He is doing a great job out of the backfield. There are not a whole lot of guys that want to tackle him. He has done a great job. I think with Chris Johnson, it is just a matter of time before we get him going. Then Bilal Powell, I think Powell is very underrated. I think at the end of the game, Powell is in there and we feel great because he is a complete back. He can catch the football out of the backfield, he’s a great runner and he is excellent in pass protection. We do have three good backs and will we play Chris Ivory more? That is a possibility, but it doesn’t change the fact that we believe in all three of our running backs.
Could coach Ryan have been just dropping hints to affect the game plans of other coaches coming to face the Jets? Maybe. I am not saying they “must use Ivory more”. All I am saying is that, whomever the hot hand is, ride that. Don’t stick with a committee when one member of the group is having a good game.