If Jets HC Rex Ryan wants to return to the ground and pound, he might just have the backfield to do it. The Jets’ running game emerged in Saturday night’s 25-17 preseason win over the Bengals, and one of the team’s newest weapons shined in the spotlight. Chris Johnson ran for 63 yards on 10 carries in the win.
The Jets displayed the versatility with Johnson that they had shown in training camp, lining him up behind Geno Smith in the pistol formation and out wide as a receiver, and turned it into a successful ground attack.
“We know they have a good football team over there and they pounded us on both sides of the ball last time,” Ryan said, referring to the Bengals’ 49-9 win over the Jets last season. “It wasn’t the case this time, our offense ran it all over them.”
Ryan cited the team’s 124 yards rushing in the first half, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. It wasn’t only Johnson that had success carrying the rock: Bilal Powell ran four times for 41 yards, including a touchdown. The bulk of Powell’s production came on a 32-yard run in the second quarter. Johnson should get a bulk of the carries with Powell getting mixed in as well. Injured Chris Ivory could also be a factor and is shaping up to be the goal line and short yardage back. All will cut into Johnson's value but he still has value in the middle rounds of drafts.