Chris Ivory looked good from the outset in this game, finishing runs strong and demonstrating that initial burst which seemed to have deserted him in the middle of the season. Ivory's 101 yards on 22 carries gave him his first 100-yard game since week six. He did actually surpass 100 against the Bills four games ago, only to finish on 99 when he lost yardage on his final carry (which almost happened again yesterday, as he was able to move the pile to change a potential loss into a short gain).
The Jets have been struggling in short yardage situations over the course of the season. Their power ranking per Football Outsiders was 25th in the NFL entering this week. It was therefore encouraging to see Ivory put his head down and decisively drive to the marker after fielding a Ryan Fitzpatrick pitch with two defenders in position to make the stop in the backfield.
On one play, Ivory was cut down for a loss as the safety crept up at the snap. That was unfortunate because if the safety had stayed back, Ivory likely would have been able to cut back and into the open field as the Jets cleared out that side. On another play in the second half, Ivory probably could have made a big gain if he cut back, but this time just powered up the middle for a short gain. He didn't leave many yards on the field other than that though.
It's definitely encouraging to see Ivory back to something like his best, as he again showed an excellent combination of up-the-middle power and bounce-it-out speed.
For the second straight week, the Jets dumped the ball off to Bilal Powell on third and long deep in opposition territory and Powell took the pass and broke a couple of tackles to take it in for a key touchdown. Powell made excellent contributions once again, racking up 82 yards on eight touches. He added a first down on a screen pass and had two first down runs - one to the outside and one up the middle as he displayed some excellent open field running.
It was a pleasant surprise this week to finally get some contributions from Stevan Ridley, who had entered the game with negative yardage on his 13 touches. While it's difficult to get too excited over a six carry, 23-yard performance, he finally showed an ability to break into the open field, notably as he bounced off one tackle and broke another on a first down run.
Ridley would have produced more had he not slipped over in the open field and had two other positive runs negated by penalties. He also managed to avoid getting stopped for a loss and picked up positive yardage on a couple of plays and picked up the blitz well a couple of times.
Having Ridley making positive contributions should hopefully make it easier for the Jets to keep their other two backs fresh down the stretch. It was especially encouraging to see that after Ivory's longest run of the day, he went to the bench and then both Powell and Ivory had 11-yard runs over the next three plays.
Finally, fullback Tommy Bohanon had some good lead blocks this week, including one in space leading the way for an outside run. He also caught a short pass and did a good job of limiting his mistakes in the running game.
Next up…Brandon Marshall continues to rack up big numbers while Eric Decker is as consistent as you could ever want your number two to be…