This offseason, the New York Jets sent a fourth round pick to the New Orleans Saints for running back Chris Ivory, hoping to make him the featured back on their offense. Ivory had dealt with some injuries and been mostly ineffective this season, but he broke out in a big way Sunday. Ivory downplayed the extra motivation of facing his old team all week, but he clearly had something extra in the Jets’ 26-20 upset victory over the Saints.
Ivory ran for 139 yards and a touchdown on just 18 carries, averaging a ridiculous 7.7 YPC. Ivory broke several long runs, including one for 52 yards. He was very rarely brought down by the first tackler, and he overpowered the Saints’ defense all game. The offensive line deserves a ton of credit as well, as they cleared huge holes for Ivory, Bilal Powell, Josh Cribbs and Geno Smith all game, and the Jets ran for 198 yards.
Ivory was the star of the show though, and it must have been extremely satisfying to have such a big game against the team that traded him away. This is the exact type of performance the Jets were envisioning when they traded for Ivory, and they hope that it is a trend that continues for the remainder of the season.
The run was crucial for the offense today, as Smith only completed 8/19 passes for 115 yards. However, the Jets seem to be most successful when they have a strong run game to pair with their outstanding defense, and that is exactly what they used in this victory. Going forward, it appears that Ivory has clearly taken over as the Jets’ No. 1 running back, and he should continue to be their workhorse.
The Jets are still trying to put together their first winning streak of the season, having alternated wins and losses each of their first nine games on their way to a 5-4 record. They are sitting in the final Wild Card spot, and they will need to continue their strong run game in order to hold that position.
Today’s performance gives the Jets and Ivory a huge amount of confidence going forward, and they will continue to pound the ball and look to control games and wear out defenses. Ivory made sure the Saints realized what they lost on Sunday, and the Jets couldn’t be happier that he is now on their side.