Heading into this season, the general consensus was that Bilal Powell was finally going to be the feature back in New York. It seems that role has yet to be determined after two weeks of play.
Both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell underperformed in week one’s matchup against the Bills. Powell was expected to receive the majority of the touches, but they seemingly split time in the backfield. Overall, Powell earned 12 touches (7 rushes, 5 catches) compared to Forte’s 9 (six carries and three catches).
Powell was considered a week 2 starter by many, but was ultimately outperformed by Forte. Furthermore, Elijah McGuire presented himself as a candidate to steal touches from them both. Powell ultimately ended the game with 6 carries for only 13 yards and played only 17 snaps. Forte finished with 9 carries for 53 yards, as well as 38 yards on 4 receptions. McGuire, a rookie sixth-rounder, racked up 29 yards on 6 carries.
For the time being, it seems Powell will be the favorite for receiving duties while Forte will be touchdown-dependent to maintain production. McGuire’s level of usage is still to be determined, but the exciting rookie could force himself onto the field as the Jets are facing another lost season.
Jets players have long been unreliable and this year is proving to be no different. Powell has yet to produce as expected, but this may likely be a direct consequence of the Jets’ lack of ability to remain competitive. If they are depending on quarterback Josh McCown then the Jets are in for a long season. Plus the running back situation will not be figured out anytime soon if McCown continues to struggle. Pay attention to this week’s rumblings out of Jets camp. If Forte and Powell continue to split touches while McGuire finds himself on the field again in week 3, then staying away from this backfield may be your best option.