I grade each play on a 1 to 5 scale. Loss of yardage is rated a 0, no gain is rated a 1, a gain of 1-3 yards is rated a 2, gains of 4-6 are rated a 3, gains of 7-9 yards or are rated a 4, and gains of 10+ yards are rated a 5. TDs increase your overall grade by 10 points, and fumbles decrease your score by -5. I do it like this to factor in receptions, reward positive plays accordingly, and penalize negative plays accordingly. The total from the grades of each individual play are then converted to letter grades, with As representing (50 or higher), Bs (39-49), Cs (29-39), Ds (19-29), and Fs (0-18) being given out for total performance). Performance of the offensive line and available running space is also factored in.
Running Backs: Bilal Powell, Tommy Bohanon, Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson
Total Carries: 17
Rushing Yards: 75
Yards Per Carry: 4.4
Total Touches: 21
Total Yards: 105
Yards Per Touch: 5.0
1. Bilal Powell, D
Best Play: 1st and 10 at PIT 45, Bilal took a handoff and ran behind left tackle d’Brickashaw Ferguson for 10 yards before rookie V. Williams was able to bring him down. Bilal showed good burst, one of the few times in this game, and was able to reach the second level of the Steelers defense. Good block up front by rookie Brian Winters as well.
Worst Play: 1st and 10 at NYJ 25, Geno tried a screen pass to Bilal in the flats, but the result was a -2 yards loss on what was a great play by V. Williams.
Analysis: Powell followed up his subpar game in Atlanta with another subpar game here against Pittsburgh. You have to wonder if all the carries he received during the first month of the season while Ivory and Goodson were banged up is now starting to impact him. On very few plays did Bilal show the quickness that he showed during the first month of the season.
2. Chris Ivory, D
Best Play: 1st and 10 at PIT 46, Chris Ivory takes a hand off out of an I-formation and, after two good seal blocks from Willie Colon and Austin Howard, is able to get 6 yards before former all-pro safety Troy Polamalu brings him down.
Worst Play: 2nd and 5 at PIT 29, Ivory gets his number called again for the second straight carry, and runs the ball behind Austin Howard for a 2 yard gain. Ivory tried to keep his legs pushing to pick up more yards, but Lawrence Timmons wrapped him up.
Analysis: The C in Run BMC didn’t get many opportunities on Sunday, despite showing very good blitz pickup on passing downs. Ivory even lined up as a lead blocker for one of Bilal’s runs. However, he was averaging 4.0 yards per carry and you would’ve liked to see Marty use him more because of his ability to hit holes harder than Bilal was.
3. Mike Goodson, C
Best Play: 1st and 10 at PIT 41, Goodson lines up in the shotgun next to Geno Smith and takes a handoff around the left end to the Steelers 23 for 18 yards before Ryan Clark and rookie Shamarko Thomas convened to make the stop. Great explosiveness by Goodson on this run, despite the Jets offensive line not doing a particularly great job up front against the Steelers.
Worst Play: 2nd and 10 at PIT 47, Goodson takes a handoff from Geno Smith and tries to cut a run around the left end, but Williams and Timmons set the edge beautifully and are able to stop Goodson after a gain of 2.
Analysis: Goodson displayed very good speed, good pass catching ability, and was able to get away from defenders. He, also, displayed a willingness to pass block. Goodson, also, was great in open space. Marty seemed to realize this, because on his one catch Marty had Mike in the slot. There were not enough opportunities given to Goodson though.
4. Tommy Bohanon, N/A
Analysis: Bohanon received 0 carries and had 0 receptions for the second straight week as his role with the team has begun to be phased out somewhat.
Team Grade: C
The New York Jets, as a team, were able to move the ball okay on the ground against the Steelers, but too many carries went to an ineffective Bilal Powell. Bilal’s the kind of running back the Steelers defense feasts on because, aside from a couple of outliers, he’s not a guy who is going to run over you or make people miss.
Like I stated above, you have to begin to wonder if all the carries from the first month have worn Bilal down because this is now two straight weeks that he has not been able to do much with his opportunities. With Mike Goodson now out for the year, Marty needs to involve Chris Ivory more and let Bilal fill the Mike Goodson role as the 3rd down back and pass catching option, because that’s a role Bilal can excel in. While he is nowhere near as explosive as Goodson, what Bilal can do is allow Ivory to remain healthy and consistently give you 4-5 yards. Plus, Bilal is a cerebral player and is a much better pass blocker than Ivory right now. The Jets get New England next, who are without Vince Wilfork and could be without Tommy Kelly. Ivory’s the guy you want to unleash against that defense in order to have a shot at pulling off the upset.