Despite outperforming the expectations of just about any football observer last season, the Jets have received quite a bit of unwarranted negative attention from the national media yet again. While the Jets absolutely still need to prove they are worthy of positive commentary and praise from national pundits, they do have much more talent and upside than writers who might not have paid much attention to them last year would give them credit for.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked the team’s skill position group 32nd – a ranking that is proven downright absurd with a simple 5 minute look into the numbers. Perhaps the most undersold group on the Jets’ offense is their running back stable, which quietly has the potential to be a very solid committee attack.
Here are a few reasons you should be on the lookout for the Gang Green rushers this year.
The Efficiency of Bilal Powell
As he has seen more and more touches late in his career (a career high 13.4 touches per game in 2017), Powell has gotten more and more efficient, to the point where he has become one of the league’s most efficient rushers.
Among the 22 backs with at least 300 carries over the past two seasons, Powell ranks second in yards per carry at 4.83, behind only Mark Ingram. He has also averaged at least 4.2 yards per attempt in each of the last four seasons – again joining him with Mark Ingram as the only backs to achieve that feat.
He also takes good care of the football. Powell has only two fumbles over the past two seasons, for a very solid 0.51 percent of his touches (the average high-usage RB fumbles about 0.85% of their touches).
2017 was Powell’s third career season with over 900 scrimmage yards while not fumbling more than once. That’s the most such seasons under the belt of an active RB – and the second most all-time behind Warrick Dunn.
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