In a highly emotional game against his former team, Chris Ivory led the New York Jets running game as Gang Green pulled off the upset against the New Orleans Saints. Finally healthy, Ivory tallied season high stats en route to the 26-20 win.
Gang Green came out of Sunday with a much needed win against a tough New Orleans Saints team. The now 5-4 Jets will head into their bye week enjoying some much-needed rest following a triumphant home win. Chris Ivory made the most of his chance to faceoff against his former teammates; showing off his talents in the 26-20 win at MetLife.
“I think I did well with the opportunities I had today,” said Ivory. “I went with my role today and we won. You guys want me to say that (this win meant more), but that’s just not how it feels. I really look at it just like another game.”
The fourth year veteran was acquired by New York in a trade this offseason to provide depth in the backfield and support rookie quarterback Geno Smith. For the early part of the season, Ivory was limited to minimal reps, while nursing a hamstring injury. With injury always looming over Ivory like a black cloud, the Jets were willing to take the risk on the talented running back. This high risk came with high reward, as Ivory continues to lead the Jets in their running game.
Ivory went into beast mode on Sunday tallying a season high 139 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown. The first year Jet had two big runs in the game, the longest being a 52 yard run off the right tackle, to set up a Nick Folk field goal in the second quarter. The Tiffin graduate plays a hard-nosed style refusing to go down after first contact. Driving the pile for extra yards and keeping drives alive, Ivory gave the Jets a fighting chance to hold off Drew Brees and the Saints.
“You just have to knuckle up,” said Jets’ offensive lineman Willie Colon. “We understand Chris (Ivory) is a big back for us. If we get him going, the sky’s the limit. We take pride in him and he takes pride in us.”
For Rex Ryan, the ground and pound game seems to have been rejuvenated with an emerging Ivory. Since the days of Thomas Jones, the Jets’ running game has never been the same, until now. When Ivory is healthy, he can be a game changer, as he has shown in the past.
"We know if he’s healthy, this young man has the ability to be a punch-you-in-the-face type of back, said Ryan of Ivory. “He has speed, he has vision, and he runs with power. To compliment him with Bilal Powell, those two guys really do a great job for us.”
Bilal Powell has been getting less carries each week since Ivory’s coming out party in the Week 7 win over New England. If the trend continues and if Ivory can remain healthy, look to see No. 33 take the role as the starting running back for the remainder of the season.