The Jets turned to a trifecta at running back against the Raiders in Week 2, a formula that could be emulated for the foreseeable future.
"Yeah, I think you saw we did a good job with the backs, all of them playing," offensive coordinator John Morton told the media Thursday. "That's the way we want to do things. Guys have specific plays, specific roles and that was another encouraging thing that we saw – Eli (McGuire) coming in and doing some good things, Matt (Forté) doing some good things and even (Bilal) Powell. If we can just keep that going and play by committee, that's a good thing."
As a unit, the running backs averaged 4.5 yards on their 21 carries in The Black Hole. Forté led the charge with 53 yards on the ground and a 34-yard reception, followed by rookie Eli McGuire, who received his first regular season carries. The 2017 sixth-round pick gained 29 yards on his six attempts and reeled in a seven-yard pass. Powell, who averaged the NFL's second-highest yards per carry last season with 5.5, had 13 yards on six rushes.
"It was fun, man, but at the same time, I was a little nervous," McGuire said. "I didn't know what to expect in a real NFL game. The only thing I knew was that the speed of the game was a lot faster. My first carry was an outside zone and my mindset was to just get to the outside. It was fun to get that first carry, to get my feet wet with the starters."
Forté said he thought McGuire played well and liked that he protected the ball. The 10-year vet said he he's never been a part of a three-back backfield, but believes it could provide him with an ability to stay healthier for longer.
"It worked well," Forté said of the committee approach. "We were all pretty productive. Obviously it wasn't good enough because we didn't win the game. He's (Morton is) the OC and has the decision to make on what guys he wants in on specific plays and stuff like that. I felt pretty fresh during the game, so that's an added positive. I know Bilal probably felt the same way, too."