T.J. Yeldon: Finding running room even when it’s hard


T.J. Yeldon had a difficult game against the New York Jets in Week 9.

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Actually, every running back had a difficult time in that game.

In a matchup that featured two stout running defenses it isn’t shocking to hear that Chris Ivory and Yeldon both struggled. Ivory managed just 26 yards on 23 attempts as he was stuffed again and again. He also managed to get in the end zone twice, which was exactly what the Jets needed.

Meanwhile, Yeldon managed 64 yards on 14 carries. 45 of those yards came on one big run that threatened to break the game wide open. That run in the fourth quarter put the Jacksonville Jaguars, then down 16-21, in a position to pull ahead and maybe win the game…which led to a fumble by quarterback Blake Bortles.

The momentum shifted, but none of it was Yeldon’ fault.

In a season that is overshadowed by just how dominant wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have been, T.J. Yeldon is making plays. He’s busting out in some of the most difficult parts of games, proving that it isn’t just the passing game that can be relied upon for the Jaguars.

45 yards is a big run, especially when you’re averaging just over 2.0 for most of your carries in a game. It’s even bigger that the coaching staff knows the running game isn’t going anywhere and trusts the talent more than the trend to try just one more rush to see what happens/

Yeldon continues to reward the Jags for taking a chance on him early in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s proving he is able to play at a high level for this team. With another big gain in a game that looked like the run game should be abandoned, Yeldon is asking for more opportunities from this offense.

Next: Mistakes mar Jaguars and chances at victory

I say the Jaguars should give it him. Even when Blake Bortles and the passing attack can put up 380 yards in a game, Yeldon’s ability is worth more than just 14 attempts in a game.