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Jets’ grades: Not too bad all around

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell celebrates

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell celebrates next to San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea after scoring a touchdown during overtime of an NFLgame in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. Credit: AP / Ben Margot


Bilal Powell proved just how underrated he is. With No. 1 back Matt Forte (knee) sidelined, Powell injected life into the Jets’ offense and wound up winning the game for them. He rushed for both of their TDs, plus 145 yards on 29 carries. Bryce Petty’s game wasn’t always pretty, but the quarterback didn’t panic. More important, he didn’t quit. He picked up right where Ryan Fitzpatrick left off — throwing an interception on his very first pass attempt. But his slow start and six sacks didn’t faze him. “I’m going to fight until there’s zeros on the clock,” said Petty, who went 23-for-35, for 257 yards in his second career NFL start. His clutch 26-yard completion to Robbie Anderson (single-game high 99 yards on six catches) extended the critical overtime drive that ended with Powell’s game-winning 19-yard TD. Anderson’s 99 receiving yards are also the most by a Jets rookie in a single game 2008 (Dustin Keller, 107). Brandon Marshall (three catches for 33 yards) became the 25th NFL receiver to pass the 12,000-mark for receiving yards in his career (12,017) and only the eighth to accomplish the feat in 165 games or less.


Carlos Hyde (17 carries, 193 yards) ran all over the Jets, but the unit’s fourth-and-2 stop with 12:51 left in overtime was the game-changer. “Our front seven prides itself on stopping the run. We didn’t take it lightly,” Leonard Williams (half-sack) said of Hyde’s big day. “When we came out in the second half, we took it into account.” There was plenty of bad tackles, missed assignments and miscommunication, which contributed to two quick scores by the 49ers and an early 14-0 deficit. But the unit also made adjustments as the game wore on. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started hot — 7-for-7 for 95 yards and a TD — but he completed only 4 of 11 passes for 17 yards in the second half. Rookie Jordan Jenkins and Marcus Williams each had a sack.


Nick Folk connected on all three field goals, including a game-tying 50-yarder 38 seconds left in the fourth. Four of Lachlan Edwards’ six punts were inside the 20. Nick Marshall returned one of his kickoffs 24 yards.


Like it or not, Todd Bowles is playing to win every game. And this time, his team dug deep, gave maximum effort down the stretch and kept clawing back. “I’m proud of them for fighting,” Bowles said.

New York Sports