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Jets revisit their running game

Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs away

Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs away from New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) during the second half of a game Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass. Photo Credit: AP / Charles Krupa

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Remember Ground and Pound?

The Jets do. It was what they hoped their rushing attack would be a few years ago.

But a more recent and relevant memory for the Jets going into their game against the Patriots Thursday night was a 31-yard effort against the Broncos on Sunday.

When Geno Smith is your leading rusher with 11 yards -- as he was in the Jets' 31-17 loss to Denver -- you probably need to refocus on your rushing attack.

The Jets must have done that in their short week of preparation for Thursday night's game at Gillette Stadium. Behind Chris Ivory's breakout game, Chris Johnson's strong complementary running and Smith's deft scrambling, the Jets ran for 218 yards in a 27-25 loss to the Patriots.

Ivory had 107 yards on 21 carries, including a 1-yard TD leap in the third quarter. Johnson carried the ball 13 times for 61 yards. Smith ran it seven times for 37 yards, including some key first downs. The Jets led 40:54 to 19:06 in time of possession.

"We did what we wanted to do on them," coach Rex Ryan said. "We were able to control the football, we ran the football, did those things that it takes to win the game. We just made too many darn mistakes."

The Patriots were without injured linebacker Jerod Mayo, but Ryan said that's not why the Jets excelled in the running game. "It had nothing to do with the Patriots on defense without Mayo or anybody else," he said. "Nick Buoniconti. We were able to run the football today and that's because of the people we have, not the ones that they don't have."

The Jets won the toss but chose to kick off, and Tom Brady blitzed 'em for a four-play, 76-yard drive in 1:29. New England took a 7-0 lead on Brady's 49-yard pass to wide-open running back Shane Vereen.

Smith then led a 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with Nick Folk's 22-yard field goal. It included Ivory's 15-yard run on third-and-1 and Smith getting a first down with a 10-yard run.

A would-be 9-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Jeremy Kerley was negated by a holding penalty on left guard Oday Aboushi, who was starting for the injured Brian Winters.

On their next drive, the Jets went 46 yards in 10 plays. The highlight was Eric Decker beating Darrelle Revis for a 24-yard gain. Folk's 47-yarder made it 7-6.

Ditto on the Jets' next drive in the second quarter: 12 plays, 32 yards, a 46-yard field goal by Folk to give the Jets a 9-7 lead.

On that drive, Revis was called for a holding penalty on Decker on third-and-11 to give the Jets a first down. Smith later scrambled for 7 yards on a third-and-5.

The Jets had the lead, but the Patriots had Brady. He led a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Vereen and a 14-9 New England advantage.

"You can't trade field goals for touchdowns, obviously," Ryan said.

One more drive, one more field goal for the Jets. After Walter Powell's 62-yard kickoff return, the Jets went 32 yards in nine plays and Folk kicked a 27-yarder to make it 14-12.

"The offensive line did a great job," Ivory said. "I thought we moved the ball really well. We've just got to score a little more when we get to the red zone instead of taking threes. That's the difference for a win for us."


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