Powell's play in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins opened up a lot of people's eyes to see what kind of impact player he can be for the Jets. He tallied 10 carries for 45 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards.
Given the fact that Shonn Greene has been struggling to give consistent production to the Jets (only 2.8 yards per carry and two catches for nine yards through three games), Powell's name is being brought up as a possible fix to the Jets woes on offense. After all, he did play in 44 percent of the Jets' offensive snaps in Miami (h/t the Star-Ledger's Conor Orr).
For now, Ryan says:
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Every week we look at things, how we approach different opponents and things like that...Anything we think can help, if it’s that Wildcat, (or anything else), we will look at all possibilities going into a game. Is that going to happen? I don’t know, but we will look at everything. (per Orr's report)
At this time, Greene remains the No. 1 running back for Rex Ryan's offense, but if he continues to struggle, Powell is going to continue shouldering more of the burden.
The Jets are desperate to make positive strides on offense. The running game has been in shambles since the beginning of preseason, and I guarantee you that—if Powell continues to put together solid performances week in and week out—he's going to get more and more opportunities to play.
And that will come at Greene's expense. Powell's ability to make big plays in the passing game (three catches for 40 yards, an average of 13.3 yards per reception) makes him a greater threat out of the backfield than Greene (7.1 yards per reception average throughout his career).
Will Bilal Powell become the No. 1 RB for the Jets this year?
At worst, I see Powell becoming a solid third-down back.
At best, I see Powell taking over for Greene full time by Week 6.
If you have room on your bench to keep him on the back burner for a few weeks, claiming Powell on waivers right now could turn into pure fantasy gold towards the end of the year.
He's likely to continue seeing his playing time increase if Greene struggles, and given the sad state of affairs on the Jets offensive line, the team will need a strong running game to protect Mark Sanchez.
Powell is on the rise, folks, and the smart play is to get him before everyone else wants him.
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