The NY Jets have struggled to run the football the last several weeks and ironically enough, Stevan Ridley has failed to make his debut with the Jets.
The NY Jets (5-3) are currently leading the AFC Wild Card race nine weeks into the NFL regular season, but there have been some struggles. Specifically in the Jets’ backfield over the last several weeks with Chris Ivory and this running game struggling which begs the question, where is Stevan Ridley?
Ridley started off the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform list) requiring him to miss at least the first 6 games of the season. Which made Ridley available for his debut in the Oakland game last week. Ridley was activated but reportedly due to the game getting out of hand so quick was the reason Jets fans had to wait for his debut.
This week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bowles said that he anticipated Ridley playing and he had a few more things to say about Ridley. Here is what he said provided by the Media Relations Department of the Jets in the lead up to the game:
On if Powell’s injury situation makes it more likely Stevan Ridely will get reps…
He’s in the game plan. It’s just a matter of how the game goes, whether he will get the reps or not.
On what has been missing with Chris Ivory and the running game the last few weeks…
They key in on it more. Again, we have to open holes. We have to open holes better. If there’s too many up there, we have to throw the ball some and loosen them up.
On why they weren’t effective running the ball against Oakland…
They jumped out on us number one. Like you said, there’s a point where you have to abandon the running game and try and play catch-up. I don’t think we had the chance to get it going early because of the way they jumped on us with the lead.
On if he would have used Stevan Ridley if the game didn’t get out of hand early…
We may have if it would have gotten to that point. That game didn’t dictate that he really went in the game. If we probably had a running game going, you never know. His number was up. He was ready to go. We just didn’t get him in.
Take this in for a second. Over the first 4 games that Ivory played in, he totaled 460 yards on the ground, over the last 3 games he has amassed only 84 yards. A dramatic drop-off for sure and it has affected the Jets in a major way as they’ve gone 1-2 over that stretch.
Enter Ridley into the equation for the Jets:
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 29, 2015
Ridley made a variety of quotes in this article including the fact he thinks Ivory and himself could make quite the dynamic duo via The New York Daily News by Manish Mehta:
“Chris has done such an exceptional job up to this point,” Ridley told the Daily News on Wednesday. “To complement him in any way could put fear in a defense.”
“I believe that I can be one of the best backs in the league,” Ridley said. “I think in due time I’m going to have my opportunities to show that. But it’s up to me to go out there and show that… I have to come in here and continue just to stay on track. Don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to be anybody I’m not.”
I think that Ridley is a completely different back and could provide a spark to this offense. I mean if Ridley is healthy (which he was) and the reason he didn’t play last week was because of the game getting out of hand, why didn’t Ridley play in this close game vs the Jaguars? This is what Bowles had to say after the game:
Why no ‘Stevan’ Ridley in the game today?
No different, just a game-plan thing obviously Ivory ran certain things and Zac Stacy did a few things. We’re still getting him some practice time.
After listening to the post game press conference, Bowles was only asked one question about Ridley and he sort of avoided it. It appears that Ridley is fully healthy and that perhaps he is only available during certain packages. Who knows if we will finally see his debut on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills, but for the Jets sake they might as well give the kid a couple carries and see what happens.