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Jets vs. Packers: It Feels Like an Ivory Game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the opener Chris Johnson got 13 carries. Chris Ivory got 10. The Jets have indicated the workload for their backs will vary week to week. In this particular game I wouldn't be surprised to see Ivory carry a heavier load and perhaps not seeing a whole lot of Johnson.

ESPN Packers writer Rob Demosvky had the following to say about Green Bay's opener.

Of the 28 teams that have played in Week 1 so far, only one missed more tackles than the Packers did in their 36-16 season-opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks.


According to, the Packers whiffed 18 times against the Seahawks.

Is this necessarily an indication the Packers are a bad tackling team? Not exactly. Last year Football Outsiders had them missing a tackle on 5.6% of their defensive snaps. That was 18th best in the league, not great at all but hardly catastrophic. Two years ago they were actually second best in the league with a broken tackle on 3.4% of defensive snaps.

Is this something the Jets should do their best to test out after a rough Week 1? I think so. The new collective bargaining agreement has limited the time teams spend in full pads in training camp so it isn't unusual to see rust on some teams in early season games. They are still getting used to tackling.

Where are we going with this? Ivory is quite adept at running through contact and creating missed tackles. Last year according to PFF Ivory was only one of four backs in the NFL to average at least 3 yards per carry after contact (with 25% of his team's rushing attempts). Despite having under 200 carries, Ivory was also rated in the top ten for backs in the total missed tackle forced on rushes category with 37.

These broken tackles lead to open field situations, where Ivory is dangerous. I think some folks might not appreciate that Ivory is the biggest homerun threat this offense currently has. Maybe his running style gives off the impression that he's a plodding between the tackles runner, but 43.5% of his yardage last year came on carries that went over 15 yards. That was third highest in the league per PFF.

Ivory's style can eat for lunch a defense that struggles tackling. I know there has been a lot of talk about the Jets using the run game to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. That certainly has merit, but they also should use a healthy dose of Ivory in this game to test this defense. If Green Bay has not corrected the tackling issues, Ivory has potential to make the kind of big plays the Jets will need to keep up with Rodgers.