Much was made about Jets running back Le'Veon Bell missing last Sunday's game against Miami due to the flu, but Bell was able to turn in one of his better performances of the season on Thursday night, albeit in a 42-21 loss to the Ravens.
Bell carried the ball 21 times for 87 yards, his highest rushing total of the season, despite a short week of practice and coming off his illness.
"The guys upfront did a great job of moving guys off the ball and giving me some lanes. Coach gave me some opportunities today, so it was overall a good feeling for me coming out of the game healthy," Bell said afterwards.
"I felt good. Breathing felt fine. Coaches did a good job of still getting me out of the game every now and then. I'd never pull myself out, but personnel things and changes, getting me out of the game and getting me a breather, kind of protecting me from myself, so you've got to give credit to Coach (Adam Gase), he did a good job today."
Bell's 21 carries tied for the most he's had in a game this season, with the other occurrence coming back in Week 2's 23-3 loss to the Browns.
Bell said that getting him more carries helped get him into more of a rhythm.
"I think when you get the ball sporadic, rather than like sprinkled around and you get it in doses, it allows you to kind of feel the defense out," Bell said. "Your O-line gets to feel themselves out. You get in a rhythm with the O-line, then that's when special things start to happen. I think we got a little sense of that today, and that felt good."
Lamar Jackson led the Ravens' high-powered offense on six touchdown drives, and while the Jets were without some of their key pieces on offense, such as tight end Ryan Griffin and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Bell and company did their best to hang in the game.
Ultimately, a failed fourth-and-one conversion, a Sam Darnold interception, and a missed field goal cost the Jets, which Bell said the team simply couldn't do against a great team like the Ravens.
"Any time you're moving the ball and you don't put the ball in the end zone, it gets a little frustrating," Bell said. "I think we had a field goal blocked too, so it's like points that we missed out on, but you've got to take the good with the bad. We didn't play nearly a perfect game. You've got to credit the Ravens, those guys played better than us today and that's why they got the W.
"I don't feel like we had to play perfect, I just feel like we had to play better than we did today. I think the biggest difference is they had two takeaways and we didn't have any, well, we had the punt block at the end, but at that point, it's kind of like over. We were down by three or four touchdowns, but over the course of the game when it's a two-possession game or one-possession game, we've got to do a better job protecting the ball, and we've got to do a better job getting turnovers."
Bell and the Jets will have 10 days between now and their next game, a meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium, as they look to regroup from Thursday's loss.