Six days after recording a career-high 179 scrimmage yards against the 49ers, Bilal Powell produced his second-highest career output with 164 yards in the Jets' 34-13 loss to the Dolphins Saturday night.
"Whenever my number is called, I just take advantage of my opportunities," Powell said. "The offensive line did a tremendous job opening up holes for me and we just got into some formations and looks that we were able to execute."
The sixth-year veteran was the feature back against Miami as Matt Forte continues to deal with a knee injury. Powell was a key cog in the offense for the second time in as many weeks, accounting for 50% of the team's first downs (10/20). On the first series of the game, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey dialed up a screen pass to Powell, who took it 22 yards on third-and-11. The drive eventually resulted in a Robby Anderson touchdown, snapping the team's 12-game streak without finding the end zone on their first possession.
Powell's career-high 11 catches (80 yards) marked the first time a Jets RB had at least 10 receptions since Bruce Harper in 1983.
"I guess it was just how it unfolded," Powell said of his role in the pass game. "Bryce [Petty] did a good job of looking downfield and checking the ball down."
Powell was also effective on the ground, bursting through holes and fighting for extra yards. The 5'10", 204-pounder had three rushes of at least 10 yards and six that went for eight or more. Powell finished the night with 84 yards on 16 carries, averaging 5.3 yards per carry and now sits atop the league with an average of 5.7 yards per rush (between players that have 6.25 rushes per their team's games played).
"Bilal has been doing that before I got here from what I've been told," Anderson said. "He's a beast. He goes hard every single play."
Even though his individual performance over the past two weeks have resulted in his two best games since being drafted, Powell doesn't want to be a bright spot in a bad moment.
"You always want to win," Powell said. "Unfortunately, we had a couple turnovers and a gave up a big play. The game got out of hand before you knew it and it's crazy because you see guys fight every day. They fight on the field and it's just unfortunate that we came out with a loss."
As for closing out the season over the next two weeks, it's a simple equation for the 28-year-old.
"Win the next one coming up," Powell said. "We have to move on to from this one and get into New England, which is another divisional game. Hopefully finish the season strong."