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It’s that time of the year for teams like the New York Jets where there is nothing to play for except personal pride and to hang on to your current job. One player who is looking to get a promotion for his job is Bilal Powell, who has been making the case to finally become the full time running back.

The Jets have become almost one dimensional since Bryce Petty took over as the starter. They know the running game is needed to be relied upon since the pass won’t do it, and yet Powell has still worked his way above and beyond what this pitiful offense has done.

We all know the Jets quarterbacking problems, that’s been beaten to death. The question for who will be the starting running back is very interesting though, and very worth paying attention to when the Jets take on the Patriots this Sunday. Keep in mind that the Patriots still need to win in order to clinch the home field advantage, so any impressive outing will certainly not come cheap.

Powell has begun his audition for two straight weeks. At New Orleans two weeks ago, he had 2 strong touchdowns in a game where the Jets were totally on thin ice. He followed that up with a 145 yard, 1 touchdown performance at home versus Los Angeles. These were not flukes I might add.

If you’re unaware of Bilal Powell, that’s because he’s never been given the opportunity to be the starter. He has a workmanlike mentality though and you would never see him show anger at it. Powell earns it with hard work, and now, he has the chance to finally be a starter.

Looking at the Jets running back situation, it can’t be any more clear that Powell deserves a spot. Matt Forte has done a fine job during his tenure as a Jet, but the Jets are getting younger. Rookie running back Elijah McGuire really added a nice compliment to the backfield this year, he’ still fit for a 3rd down role though.

That 3rd down role is all too familiar for Powell. Not that this is a bad thing, but I think since Powell is on the lighter side and can catch, he was typecast as that. Bilal brings fluidity to his game, he’s a smooth runner who can of course gain the outside leverage, but also won’t be afraid to run up the middle in the gritty spots. The passing game obviously is where he got the start.

Because of the burst of guys like Alvin Kamara, I believe this opens the case for a guy like Powell. There’s more than one kind of back in this league and Powell has a track record of being successful when given his limited moments of time getting the ball.

It all comes down to whether or not the Jets would like to draft a running back or not. If Saquon Barkley or Nick Chubb were to fall to them than sure, take him and throw him on board. But don’t overlook Powell if there are other holes on the team that the Jets can fix, and there are certainly larger problems than running back.

How come through all the changes in roster over the year’s for the Jets, Powell keeps getting brought back? He has great value that can all be maximized if they put him where he can be best utilized. Changes are coming to the offensive line, so why bring in a new running back during a shift in powers of strength. Let a veteran like Powell work together with the line to achieve it’s goals. Bilal Powell has earned the right to be the Jets starter, he at least deserves a one year shot at it.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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