Running back Le’Veon Bell asked for more work and he got it, more than doubling his 11 touches from last week. Bell totaled 121 yards, his second highest output this season, on 25 touches, in the Jets’ 26-18 loss to the Dolphins. Bell carried the rock 17 times for 66 yards and tied for the team-lead with eight receptions for 55 yards.
During the week leading up to Week 9’s contest in South Florida, the sixth-year pro said he talked to head coach Adam Gase about being more involved and the Jets turned to Bell early and often as he had 12 touches in the first half (nine rushes, three receptions).
"We ran the ball really well with him," said QB Sam Darnold. "For me, I felt like when things weren't there, I did an OK job of getting to him when I needed to. But a special player like that, we want to give him the ball and it felt like we did an OK job of doing that today."
The Green & White scored on their first drive for the second consecutive game, but failed to find the end zone again despite Bell’s performance. On their first drive that resulted in a Jamison Crowder 12-yard touchdown catch, Bell carried the rock three times for 11 yards. Their next possession, the three-time Pro Bowler’s number was called on five consecutive plays (three rushes, two receptions) and would’ve been six in a row if not for an Alex Lewis holding penalty that pushed the Jets back to the Miami 39-yard line. Four plays after the infraction, the Jets couldn’t extend their 7-0 lead as Sam Ficken’s 49-yard field goal try was wide right.
Down 21-12 at the half following a safety and a Ficken 52-yard field goal, the Jets opened with a heavy dose of No. 26. They turned to Bell on their first play as Sam Darnold roped a pass to the sideline for a gain of 12 yards. Darnold and the offense would call the 6’1”, 225-pounder’s number on four of the next six plays and eventually cut Miami’s lead to 21-15 with a 40-yard field goal.
The Jets settled for another field goal late in the fourth quarter down two scores with 19 seconds remaining. Bell accounted for 28 yards on the Green & White’s final drive that went 81 yards in 14 plays. Despite his second-heaviest workload this season (31 touches vs. Cleveland), Bell couldn’t will the Jets into the win column as they fell to 1-7 at the season’s midway point.