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Bilal Powell, Eli McGuire have long touchdown runs as Jets win in OT

Bilal Powell on way to 75-yard touchdown

Bilal Powell on way to 75-yard touchdown run during the first half of Jets' overtime win over the Jaguars on Oct. 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Lee S Weissman

Bilal Powell began running, jumped a linebacker heading low and splattered on the MetLife turf after a gain of 7. But he didn’t feel any of the Jaguars touch him, so he got up and kept on going, sprinting to the end zone for his longest dash in seven years of carrying footballs for the Jets — 75 yards.

“I can’t run as fast as I used to,” Powell said. “But it’s just exciting to still be able to go a little bit.”

That happened in the first quarter Sunday. In the third quarter, Eli McGuire burst through the middle, made a man miss and kept on going, too. The rookie sprinted to the end zone for his longest dash in four games with the Jets — 69 yards.

So what was the feeling like when he got past the front seven?

“You can cancel Christmas,” McGuire said.

The two running backs delivered an early present for the Jets, a ground game that worked exceedingly well despite Matt Forte being sidelined with turf toe. Powell and McGuire teamed to rush for 256 yards and the two scores in the Jets’ 23-20 overtime victory Sunday.

That broke down to 21 carries for a career-high 163 yards by Powell and 10 carries for a career-high 93 yards by McGuire. Throw in their combined six catches for 65 yards, and the veteran and the kid contributed 321 yards of offense.

“That’s two dynamic backs,” McGuire said. “That’s what you want, great production out of two great running backs . . . It was great, man.”

This was the first time in franchise history that the Jets had two scoring runs of at least 60 yards in the same game. The line helped make it happen as well.

“As an offensive line, I feel like we moved in the right direction,” guard Brian Winters said.

Powell had his best season last year, running for 722 yards and setting a franchise record with 5.51 yards per carry.

Then the Jets drafted McGuire in the sixth round out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has run 23 times for 156 yards.

“He approaches the game like a true professional,” Powell said. “You can’t really even tell that he’s a rookie just by the way he approaches it. He’s just so explosive, so smart and so coachable, and you saw that out there today.”

The crowd saw McGuire’s first NFL touchdown.

“I scored a lot of college touchdowns,” McGuire said. “But to get an NFL touchdown, man, it’s just different.”

Jacksonville rallied from 10 down in the fourth to force OT. Powell wasn’t ready for a backward pass from Josh McCown, and Myles Jack returned the fumble 81 yards for a touchdown. Then Powell slipped, leading to an interception and the tying field goal.

“It happens,” Powell said. “It’s football.”

The Jets survived the mishaps and are a surprising 2-2.

“Before the season even started, they had us going 0-16, 1-15, whatever it was,” McGuire said. “But we can’t listen to the outside.”

The Jets rushed for a total of 267 yards in their first three games. The two-headed monster of Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire nearly equaled that Sunday against the Jaguars, combining for 256 yards:

POWELL

ATT. YDS AVG. LG TDs

211637.8 751

McGUIRE

10939.393 1

The Jets rushed for a total of 267 yards in their first three games. The two-headed monster of Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire nearly equaled that Sunday against the Jaguars, combining for 256 yards:

POWELL

ATT. YDS AVG. LG TDs

211637.8 751

McGUIRE

10939.393 1

The Jets rushed for a total of 267 yards in their first three games. The two-headed monster of Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire nearly equaled that Sunday against the Jaguars, combining for 256 yards:

POWELL

ATT. YDS AVG. LG TDs

211637.8751

McGUIRE

10939.369 1

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