The New York Jets ran Chris Ivory into the ground in 2015. He had 247 carries and 30 receptions. While he was productive, it proved to be costly, as he was ineffective in the final game against Buffalo.
In addition to the New York Jets giving running back Chris Ivory the football too much, they used him more than they should have. According to Sporting Charts, running back Ivory played in 48.3% of the Jets’ snaps last season, which was 16th in the NFL among all running backs.
Being in 16th may not seem high. However, when you take into account that only three of the fifteen running backs ahead of him were on NFL Playoff teams, it’s worth looking at. At 31-years-old, and with running back Bilal Powell at their disposal, the Jets need to learn from their mistake of 2015 and stop using Matt Forte so much.
Forte already has 59 touches in 2016, and he’s being productive. However, according to Sporting Charts, he’s played in 78.8% of the Jets’ snaps in 2016. That’s third on the team among the players not named Ryan Fitzpatrick or on the offensive line. On the other hand, Powell has the fourth lowest usage rate on the team. He’s played in 23.3% of the snaps, and he only has eight touches. The Jets need to get Powell more involved to prevent Forte from wearing down.
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At 31 years old, Forte is no spring chicken. Even though he’s used to carrying the load, which Ivory wasn’t, everyone’s body has a limit.
As the common phrase goes, Father Time is undefeated.
The Jets can’t risk Forte wearing down like Ivory did toward the end of last season.
Otherwise, they may be on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.
In other words, Powell needs more playing time, period.
He was even underutilized last season playing in only 33% of the team’s snaps, thus, Ivory wearing down, after a career high in carries.
From 2013-15, Forte has 993 touches and played in 78.2% of the Chicago Bears’ snaps. On the other hand, Powell has played in 37.6% of the Jets’ snaps in that timeframe, while only having 414 touches.
Forte also has a total of 2,581 touches in his career. Powell is fresh despite being 27-years-old. To sum it up, keeping Forte healthy and utilizing a fresh Powell will be the difference between playing football or golf in January.