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Chris Ivory is Jets best running back, but he isn’t used like it

(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Ivory was terrific for the Jets during the first quarter, carrying the ball nine times on the opening dirve and ending the frame with 51 yards. But then he was left out of the offense, prompting many to wonder what happened.

Ivory did get a few carries later on in the second quarter, ending the half with 14 attempts for 79 yards total.

It is a head scratcher at why new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg doesn’t rely on him more since Ivory does almost everything well. Among all running backs, Ivory ranked sixth in missed tackles coming into this game (12) and was second (minimum 10 carries) in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating metric, which calculates a runner’s success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers.

He has some breakaway speed: Two of his 33 rushing attempts went for 15 yards or more (88 yards total), a team high.

Ivory can even catch passes out of the backfield. He has been targeted five times and has averaged almost two yards per route run. By comparison, wideouts Jeremy Kerley and Eric Decker average 1.6 and 2.4, respectively.

His pass blocking could use some improvement, but he has not allowed a sack in the seven times he has been asked to protect the Jets quarterback. He has allowed a hit and a hurry over that span but still: not terrible.

The Jets are 1-2, 28th in the power rankings and trail the Lions at the half. Maybe if they played their best running back more things would be different?