Jets’ Crow­ell looks to build off record-set­ting per­for­mance

Greenwich Time - - SPORTS -

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Isa­iah Crow­ell kept hit­ting the holes cleared by the New York Jets’ of­fen­sive line and ran.

And, ran some more. All the way into the fran­chise record books.

Crow­ell rushed for a whop­ping 219 yards on just 15 car­ries in the Jets’ 34-16 vic­tory over Den­ver last Sun­day, set­ting the team mark for yards rush­ing in a sin­gle game.

“Ev­ery time I got the ball, it was like at any given time, it could be a big play,” Crow­ell said Fri­day. “That re­ally was be­cause of my of­fen­sive line. I feel like they did their part, so I’ve got to credit them.”

Big rush­ing per­for­mances are usu­ally the prod­uct of great O-line play. But Crow­ell also de­serves some ku­dos for his big day.

Af­ter all, he be­came the fourth player in NFL his­tory to run for 200 or more yards on 15 or fewer at­tempts, and his 14.6-yard av­er­age was the high­est by any player with at least 15 car­ries.

“It hasn’t been like that since high school,” a smil­ing Crow­ell said. “In high school, I think I ran for 300 yards or some­thing like that and five touch­downs in a play­off game, but not since then. Each level, you progress and the tal­ent level pro­gresses, so it hasn’t been like that since then.”

Crow­ell broke the Jets record of 210 yards rush­ing pre­vi­ously set by Thomas Jones in 2009. He was se­lected the AFC of­fen­sive player of the week and also won the league’s weekly award for FedEx Ground Player of the Week.

That’s quite a week for Crow­ell, and one that will be tough to top Sun­day against In­di­anapo­lis.

“When you do some­thing like that, you’re kind of un­sure like, dang, how’d that hap­pen?” Crow­ell said. “You’ve just got to move for­ward and try keep pro­gress­ing as you go and just know that ev­ery game is not go­ing to be like that.”

Crow­ell has been nurs­ing an an­kle in­jury this week, and is listed as ques­tion­able on the Jets’ in­jury list. He sat out prac­tice Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, but re­turned on a limited ba­sis Fri­day — a promis­ing sign. Still, coach Todd Bowles said the run­ning back would be a “Sun­day de­ci­sion” as to whether he’ll play.

Af­ter scam­per­ing all those yards last week­end, it’s no won­der Crow­ell’s an­kle is a bit sore.

“We’ll work him out Sun­day and see where he’s at,” Bowles said.

It’s ex­pected that Crow­ell will be ready to roll by the time the game kicks off. Whether he’ll come any­where close to the per­for­mance he had last Sun­day is an­other story.

He had 21 yards on three car­ries in the first quar­ter. On his first hand­off of the sec­ond quar­ter, Crow­ell ran for a 77-yard touch­down that was the sec­ond-long­est scor­ing run in team his­tory — 1 yard shy of Bruce Harper’s record set in 1983.

Crow­ell has scored on runs of 77 and 62 yards in his first five games with the Jets, join­ing Leon Wash­ing­ton as the only play­ers in team his­tory to have two TD runs of 60 yards or more.

He had a 54-yard run in the third quar­ter, giv­ing him nine plays of 50 yards or more to lead NFL run­ning backs in that cat­e­gory since 2015.

As he ap­proached the team mark late in the game, run­ning backs coach Stump Mitchell pulled him aside to let him know he was on the verge of some­thing spe­cial.

“He was like, `You can get it since you’re so close,“’ Crow­ell re­called. “That’s what I was chas­ing. When I did get it, he told me and I was happy about it, but it wasn’t like a goal or any­thing. It just hap­pened.”

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