Running Ahead of the Pack

Bilal Powell: This Week's Running Man

Florham Park, NJ - The run game is all on the legs of Bilal Powell. Chris Ivory, who’s suffering from a hamstring injury, won’t be playing on Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans and we’re still waiting for Mike Goodson’s debut in Week 5. Powell may be the quietest guy in the locker room, but his performance on the field during Saturday’s 27-20 win over the Bills spoke loudly.

“For a guy that is as aggressive as he is as a player, I think you would maybe expect a different personality,” said Coach Rex Ryan.

Powell racked up 149 yards on 27 carries last Sunday, but when he and the Jets face the Titans, it’ll be tough to match those stats. The Titans stand at 2-1 as do the Jets. The Titans finished with a 6-10 record last season, as did the Jets. The Titans defense has been more impressive than expected, ranking 13th in the league. The Jets place in the top 10. Both teams went into the 2013 season with low expectations and both are having a good time proving NFL fans and analysts wrong. The Titans rank just one spot higher than the Jets on the current ESPN power rankings at 17 and 18 respectively. I assume, you’re noticing these two teams are similar, so I’ll stop going on and on.

The Titans have added an average of 5 minutes of possession time on offense this season. They will try to tire the Jets D. Powell, however, would like the reverse to happen this week and have the Jets go “old-school” ground and pound.

“One of the biggest things in this league is trying to be physical (and) continuing to wear defense out late in the game, and finishing (plays) is one of the biggest things,” Powell said this week.

The 24-year-old, who is currently the 7th leading rusher in the league, came into his third season with the Jets ready to rock it. “I just came in more focused this year,” Powell said softly. “I just tried to pick up as much of the playbook as I could and that allowed me to go out there, play more comfortable and play faster.”

As he becomes increasingly more comfortable on the field, Rex wonders if he’ll become a more open personality…not that it really matters. “David (Harris) a couple years to come out of his shell, but now he’s super talkative, so we’ll see,” Rex said. “You don’t need a guy to change his personality, just go out and play. He’s earned the respect of everybody in this locker room.”

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