TOJ – New York Jets Running Back Grade Sheet (Week 9)

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Grading Scale

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
Total Carries: 27
Rushing Yards: 168
Yards Per Carry: 6.2
Total Touches: 28
Total Yards: 179
Yards Per Touch: 6.3
Touchdowns: 1

1. Bilal Powell, D

Best Play: 1st and 10 at NO 46, Bilal Powell took a straight hand off out of a single back, two tight end formation, and ran the ball off left tackle. D’Brickashaw Ferguson delivered a good seal block, and Powell was able to bounce the run outside for a 6 yard gain before he was tackled by Curtis Lofton.

Worst Play: 2nd and 12 at NYJ 19, Bilal Powell took a handoff from Geno Smith out of the i-formation and tried to run behind left guard Brian Winters, but Curtis Lofton was able to use a swim move on Winters and wrap up Bilal after a two yard gain.

Analysis: Bilal bounced back somewhat in this game, as he showed more burst and seemed like a fresher running back. The Jets offensive line made holes for him as well, but where as Ivory was able to hit holes for 10+ yards repeatedly, Powell would gain 3-5. Still, compared to how sluggish Powell looked during the last 4-5 games, it was good to see him with some of the bounce we saw during the first quarter of the season.

2. Chris Ivory, A

Best Play: 2nd and 12 at NYJ 2, Chris Ivory took a handoff from Geno Smith right tackle a, hit the hole created by an ever improving Austin Howard (seriously, just read last week’s TOJ Big Man Report), and showed off the speed that we have been discussing at TOJ ever since the Kraken was acquired for a 4th round pick. Ivory used a straight arm against Jonathan Vilma to gain separation from the Saints linebacker, before really turning on the Jets. Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, showing off really good hustle, was able to chase down Ivory and push him out of bounds.

Worst Play: 1st and 10 at NYJ 33, Marty Morningwheg calls Ivory’s number. Ivory takes a handoff and tries to run it off right tackle, but Hicks and Lofton blew the run up and wrapped up the former Tiffin Dragon for a two yard loss.

Analysis:
Here’s Chris Ivory’s carries over the last four games of the season: 4, 34, 6, and 18. The Jets record the last 4 games? Loss, Win, Loss, and Win. This was Chris Ivory’s best game of the season. He ran decisively, with force, and speed, and he ran through arm tackles repeatedly. On the 52 yard run, Rob Ryan put 9 in the box and Ivory was able to bust out for a huge gain. Kudos has to go to the Jets offensive line, namely Willie Colon and Austin Howard, who created holes that my 67 year old grandmother could run through. Ivory, also, was excellent in pass protection as he stood up a couple of blitzing Saints. Very good all around game by the Kraken.

3. Tommy Bohanon, C

Analysis: Bohanon received no carries but did have one catch for 11 yards. Bohanon had a great day blocking for Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, but Marty continues to limit the carries he gives the rookie.

Team Grade: A
The New York Jets, as a team, had one of their better games running the ground. 168 yards on the ground is going to be a good day at the office as is, but to average 6.2 yards per carry is impressive to say the least. The Saints were allowing 4.8 yards per carry, but the Jets were able to gash them for more than 1.4 yards a carry in comparison to their season average. Yesterday’s victory will be remembered as the Chris ivory show, and rightfully so, but Bilal Powell showed good burst as well and appeared fresh. Bohanon continues to show good hands and great situational awareness; on his catch, he knew exactly where to go to get the first down. In a game where your QB completes 8 passes, you have to make each reception count and Bohanon did that on his one catch. This day belonged to Chris Ivory though.

Like we pointed out when the New York Jets acquired Chris Ivory in the offseason, and during the TOJ film study that broke down his career in New Orleans, Ivory is exactly what Rex said he is: a “punch-you-in-the-mouth kind of runner.” The Kraken is a beast, and its no surprise that in Jets wins Ivory has 70 carries, but in Jets losses he has 22. During the “Murderer’s Row” part of the Jets schedule, Ivory is averaging 19.3 carries for 84.6 yards.

During Bilal’s hot start, he was averaging 17.6 carries for 84.3 yards. The Jets had 2-1 records during both periods. There is a HUGE difference in Chris Ivory runs though; much like a Blake Griffin dunk being different than a Andrea Bargnani dunk, Ivory’s runs break a team’s spirit. Bilal doesn’t do that. This isn’t a knock on Bilal at all. The former Louisville Cardinal is a solid and serviceable running back, but Chris ivory is a game changer. The 7.2 yards per carry is one thing, but 5.5 yards after contact and 6 missed tackles is what demoralizes a defense. Jets right Guard Willie Colon noted how the Saints were arguing with each other after many of Ivory’s runs. That’s what the Kraken does. Chris Ivory presents the New York Jets best chance at turning this season into more than just a rebuild. Until next time Jets fans.

  • KAsh

    Loved Ivory yesterday. He finally showed why we traded a pick for him. But we need him to come out like that for all games, not just the ones that mean something to him. This was a game against the 31st team in average rush allowed behind an offensive line whose run-blocking was supposed to be its strength. I do not expect 52 yard runs every game (though I would not mind it) but a similar level of effort against a team with a better run defense should yield 20 yard runs with some consistency.

    Consistency: that is probably the most important need for this talented offense.

  • John C

    Ivory’s 30 Yard run, when the Jets needed to go back up 9, in the 4th quarter (after NO pulled within 6), may have been a bigger run than the 52 yarder. That was clutch.

    I’d give Powell at least a C too, his run that got called back (I believe it was a couple plays after Ivory’s 30 yarder), was, I believe, about a 12-15 yarder, and would have made his stat line that much better

  • Mark Phelan

    Long runs certainly are exciting….and rare. But putting aside the 3 break-outs how did Ivory and the OL perform?

    Chris averaged 1.02 YPC on his other 15 runs.

    The inability to pick up 4-5 ypc almost cost the game with the 3 and outs toward the end.

  • Evan

    Doesn’t this method of grading simply reward players for increased playing time, considering it is a completely additive system? Hypothetically speaking, if we duplicated the exact plays Powell had three times, his grade would increase exponentially. Would that mean he played better? For the role that he was asked to play, he did so very solidly. But because the plays called didn’t feed him the ball, he doesn’t get recognition for the aspects of the game he actually could control? Furthermore, there is no recognition of blocking ability, which Powell has demonstrated time and time again he is a great last line of defense for Geno, yet that goes unnoticed.

    Unless you develop a method of grading similar to that of Pro Football Focus, which grades every play regardless of if the player received the handoff, then the current scoring system simply falls short. Analysis based off of the eye test is better and more representative than a scoring system that grossly misrepresents the contributions made, which is what this is set up to do.

  • KAsh

    @Evan

    This has come up several times before. This grading system rewards bellcow backs and those receiving a large number of carries. It rewards a running back that has his coach’s favor (leading to his number being called again and again).

    Is this the right way to evaluate? There is nothing inherently wrong with it. PFF rewards outliers – they grade running backs on the same scale regardless of their carries, so a change-of-pace back that took five carries for a total of 40 yds is considered better than the bellcow that set up the five carries through pounding the rock for twenty five carries with an average of 3.5 yds. Every grading system is flawed in some way.

  • Lidman

    Kash..just getting back to the Revis thing. I think, at this point, PFF is looked upon favorably by the majority, of prognosticators/experts. So, while you may not agree with their work, it is subjective to the individual ‘grader’, I think you’d have to admit it’s a more accurate read, on player production that the average fan, watching at home, or reading columns, right?

    Here is an excerpt from their ‘team of month, Q2′ piece, regarding our favorite, money hungry, CB:

    “Cornerbacks: Jason McCourty, TEN (+8.3) and Darrelle Revis, TB (+6.3)

    The Bucs might have taken their team figuring out how best to make use of Revis (hint, it’s the blueprint Rex Ryan provided) but that hasn’t stopped him playing extremely well in coverage. Targeted only eight times this month Revis surrendered only 14 yards on four receptions getting his hands to two passes against the Panthers in Week 8.

    So, even if ‘he’ doesn’t consider himself 100%, opposing OCs/QBs want no part of him, whether he’s in zone, or man.

    Again, I understand why he was traded. I just think Idzik misplayed his hand.

  • Lidman

    Further..he grades out the top CB on the year as well:

    “Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis, TB (+13.8) and Alterraun Verner, TEN (+11.7)

    Are you calling shenanigans? A third Buccaneer? Well that just goes to show the lopsided nature of the team with Revis not back to his best, but close enough to lead our cornerback rankings. Verner hasn’t quite maintained his magnificent early season form, but hangs on in with his teammate McCourty, Seahawk Sherman and many more not far behind.”

    Second Team: Jason McCourty (TEN) and Richard Sherman (SEA)

  • KAsh

    @Lidman

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics. :)

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  • Evan

    I understand the fact that all grading system are flawed to some extent, but this one seems to do it to a ridiculous extent. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Bilal Powell only had one carry, but it was for a 50 yard TD. That would still warrant an F grade by this metric, yet his impact would be considered anything but an F. Would a ratings bump be justified in this instance? If so, how would one go about that? What would be the brightline for establishing when to depart from the articulated metric? And how much would you reward Powell for such a big play, and how would that be determined?

    I understand the appeal of a fairly objective performance measurement. I just happen to believe this one blows.

  • Evan

    Furthermore, let’s say Powell made three key blocks in one game that had he not been there would have been sacks. Should that not also be reflected in the rankings? That must somehow be justified as not important in the rankings of how players played over the course of an entire game, which is an argument I don’t believe anyone could convincingly make.

  • Dalbin

    I appreciate all the feedback guys. The grading scale gives me a baseline to work off of and then I can either raise or lower the grade if the guy was really good in pass protection, as a pass catcher etc. Everything a running back does is factored into the final grade, but the scale is used to grade individual carries. Hope that helps. Thanks for continuing to read.

  • Dave2220

    Ivory is pure power, while Powell seemed much faster this week than at anytime this year.

    Remove Ivory’s two huge runs, and Powell would have looked effective. All of the Ivory’s big runs seemed to be to the right. Did Powell run more left… could that be intentional and a breakdown would be interesting.