Running Game Looking Good For Jets

You know you’re getting old when you’re charged a Senior Citizen’s price and you’re under 60.

You also know you’re getting old if you know the Jets’ running backs in their Super Bowl appearance.

Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer was about as best as it could get. And don’t forget Bill Mathis.

From there, the Jets had a handful of backs who made a prominent difference – John Riggins, Freeman McNeil, Johnny Hector, Curtis Martin, and Thomas Jones.

There were others who may have been noteworthy, but those guys certainly made an impact.

Martin’s Hall of Fame performance ended in 2005. That’s 14 years of basic mediocrity in the backfield.

Enter 2019 and La’Veon Bell.

Sure, the former Steelers standout and unquestionably one of the game’s best in recent years missed last season in his holdout. 

Yet, Bell will begin training camp in almost three weeks with 5,336 career yards on his 27-year-old chiseled frame.

He’ll begin the year as the Jets’ third all-time leading rusher behind Martin (10,302) and McNeil (8,074).

Bell has 35 career touchdowns in 62 games with a 4.3 yards per attempt, and he has caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards.

Yes, run and catch the football.

Despite all the talk of Bell already being an old, worn running back at 27 as well as being labeled as a malcontent for holding out last year, the Jets need him.

Let’s hope all of the debris from last year is gone.

With Bell, the Jets have a formidable running game for the perfect balance to Sam Darnold’s ever-evolving passing game.

They also added Ty Montgomery as another free-agent pickup, and the former Raven has the versatility and speed to be a hybrid back/receiver threat.

Maturing and promising Eli McGuire is back from injury, as well as Bilal Powell, who was resigned after his early exit due to an injury last season.

Throw in a lot of returnees, and the Jets have a solid core.

Bell is the key, but the depth around him makes it very interesting.

You have to go back to Martin’s days in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s as the last time the Jets had a dominant running game.

Bell and his running mates should make that presence felt again this fall for the first time in 14 years.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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