After the Jets were beaten by Miami, 34-13, on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium, Bilal Powell expressed shock that this now is a 4-10 football team after the expectations he and his teammates had when they kicked off the season.
“Oh, yeah,” Powell said. “No one wants to be 4-10. You look around and we have a talented team. Hopefully, we can just finish the season out strong.”
Powell is among the few positives emerging from the ruins.
The sixth-year running back is making a case for a larger role. He got his second start of the season, this time in place of Matt Forte, who’s playing through a knee injury, and turned in his second straight big game.
Powell’s tab came to 162 yards of offense. It broke down to 84 yards rushing on 16 carries — good for 5.3 per rush — and 78 yards on a career-high 11 receptions.
His reaction to his night was basically this: The Jets lost.
“You always want to win,” Powell said. “Unfortunately, we had a couple of turnovers and a big play given up and the game got out of hand before you knew it. It’s crazy because you see guys fight every day, fight on the field, and it’s just unfortunate we came out with a loss.”
Powell ran 29 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including the winner in overtime, last Sunday in the Jets’ 23-17 overtime victory over the 49ers.
Forte is the Jets’ leading rusher with 813 yards and seven touchdowns on 218 carries — 3.8 per rush — after gaining 21 yards on four carries in this game. Powell is up to 540 yards and three touchdowns on 94 carries. That’s 5.7 per carry. He also has 53 receptions. Forte has 30.
Powell also played a huge role in the Jets’ five-game winning streak late last season and was missed when he had to sit out the season finale at Buffalo with an ankle injury.
Asked if he’s showing that he deserves more activity, Powell said, “Hey, listen, whenever my number’s called, I just take full advantage of my opportunity. The offensive line did a tremendous job out there opening up holes for me.”
Bryce Petty, making only his third NFL start at quarterback, targeted Powell 12 times.
“I guess Bryce did a good job of looking downfield and checking the ball down,” Powell said.
Petty went 20-for-36 for 235 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and one lost fumble before checking out of the game after Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh sandwiched him on the first play of the fourth quarter. He’s scheduled for a CT scan today to rule out a bruised or punctured lung.
“You hate to see a guy go down, especially a guy like him who comes in every day and works hard and is a great human being,” Powell said. “I really respect [him]. Hopefully he can bounce back.”