Note to the New York Jets: It’s Chris Ivory Time


Aug 4, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets running backs

Chris Ivory

(left) and

Chris Johnson

(right) work together during drills at training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Running back by committee is a useful system. It has its place. Having a stable of running backs, that can all come in and do the job, is quite the weapon. They keep a defense on their heels and tired. It has served the Jets well so far, with the team average 4.9 yards per carry on the ground.

But every committee has a leader. In the business world, someone takes the lead to give the group a direction. The same happens in sports. The same has happened with the New York Jets’ “stable” of running backs. The Jets have begun to embrace this fact a bit, but they need to do it more. The leader of the pack is named Chris Ivory.

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Chris Ivory is coming off of a game where he did lead the Jets in carries. He ran the ball 17 times for 84 yards, including nine carries for 51 yards on the opening drive. I have said it before and I will say it again, Chris Ivory was running like he was mad at the grass. He ran the ball at a clip of 4.9 yards per carry, and like I said, his 17 carries did lead the team. But they have to run it more.

You might say, “Wait a minute! 17 rushes is a big number, and it did lead the team.” Aren’t the Jets already giving Chris Ivory the reigns? No, they are not, at least not enough. You have to look at the context of the game to fully understand how Ivory was used. Every game is different, and they are not just numbers on the page. And the flow of this one dictated that Ivory should have rushed the football more than 17 times. Frankly, I thought that Ivory was on his way to a 25 rush day. You use the guy until they can stop it. Then, run the play action and see a lot more one on one coverage.

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Johnson (21) carries the ball to score a touchdown in the second half against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Johnson is not the same runner he was. Oh, he’s a threat, but not the consistent threat that he was in his younger days. Johnson is rushing for 4.1 yards per carry, which is OK, but if you remove last week’s touchdown run of 35 yards, his average drops to 3.3 yards per carry, which is not good. He shows flashes of the young man’s burst, but it isn’t consistent anymore. This needs to change.

Bilal Powell is a jack of multiple trades. He can catch the ball pretty and can pick up a third down with a rush. But he has never been, and doesn’t seem to be becoming one anytime soon, an every down back. Chris Ivory is getting it done, now give him the ball and keep doing it.

Marty Mornhinweg, I hope you are listening. It’s Chris Ivory time. Give him the rock. Give it to him now. Give it to him later. Give it to him always.