A week after running the ball just 22 times in a 25-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the New York Jets totaled 194 rushing yards on 41 carries in a 34-21 win over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday at MetLife Stadium.
New York's three-headed attack of Matt Forte, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire combined for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Josh McCown, who was 14-for-20 passing for 140 yards and a throwing touchdown, had a 10-yard scramble for a touchdown in the first quarter.
"We played to what we do best, and our offensive line likes to come off the ball straight ahead and hit guys in the mouth and wear guys out like that," Forte said, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins. "I think we started to wear on them as the game went on and you saw some runs pop here and there."
Forte, who criticized offensive coordinator John Morton for the Jets' pass-heavy play-calling on Sunday, had 14 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which came after a Tyrod Taylor fumble that gave New York a 31-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"We had some difficulties and frustrations, and on a short week, addressed them on Monday," Forte said, according to the Associated Press. "And to come out on a Thursday and run the ball like we did and throw the ball like we did as well, we did a great job. Kudos to coach Johnny Mo for sticking with the run, like he said he'd do."
The Jets averaged 4.7 yards per rush and threw the ball just six times in the second half, including just once -- a screen to McGuire -- in the fourth quarter with New York holding a multiple-possession lead.
"At the end of the day, if we got someone hot, keep with it, and I think we had a chance to do that in the run game," left tackle Kelvin Beachum said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "We've got to find a way, as an offensive line, to make it very apparent for our offensive coordinator to keep doing that. So we got to do our job up front and do it more consistently."
Powell had nine attempts for 74 yards, including a 51-yard run to set up Forte's first touchdown midway through the third quarter. McGuire had 13 rushes for 30 yards.
"The fact is," Beachum said, "we had a chance to run the ball effectively today, and we did."
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The Jets had some constant success in the running game, ending up with 194 yards and three scores on the ground. After griping about only having four carries in the last game, Forte had fresh legs for this one, perhaps by design. He ended up with 96 yards on 18 total touches and scored twice. Many are writing him off for next season, but his salary next year is only $3 million, so if he can still produce like this, perhaps the Jets should consider retaining him.>> Read more about the rushing attack and performance of the rest of the offense in the BGA...