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Grading Jets running back Le’Veon Bell’s play through first two games

Le'Veon Bell, Jets

When the New York Jets signed superstar running back Le’Veon Bell this offseason in free agency, the expectations for the franchise around the league skyrocketed. Granted, the playoffs were still considered to be a tough outcome for the Jets, but many thought they would be a competitive football team.

Unfortunately, the Jets have started the season off 0-2 and have lost starting quarterback Sam Darnold to mono.

Despite the 0-2 start, Bell has stayed positive. He actually took to Twitter to share a positive message about the rough start and seems to have bought in to what head coach Adam Gase is preaching. That is a huge positive for the Jets in what has been a negative season thus far.

While the Jets as a team have struggled, we’re going to focus more on what Bell has done from an individual standpoint. He is still considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL, so let’s dive in and see how he has played through his first two games with the Jets.

In the two games the team has played against the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, Bell has been slowed down quite a bit. He has carried the football 38 times for 128 yards and no touchdowns. Bell has caught 16 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, showing he is still a legitimate threat as a receiver.

Those numbers are not the way many expected Bell to start the season. He is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry so far.

His numbers may not look impressive, but he has had a big impact for the offense. With Darnold out, Bell became the security blanket for Luke Falk, who was forced into action when Trevor Siemian went down with ankle ligament tears against the Browns. In that game, Bell caught 10 passes for 61 yards and added another 68 on the ground.

New York fans have reason to be frustrated, but the blame certainly does not belong on Bell’s shoulders.

It’s hard to place a grade on Bell’s performance this season due to the healthy issues the Jets have had. Things are going to be tough without Darnold on the field. Defenses are able to focus more on slowing Bell down until the aerial attack proves that it needs to be taken seriously.

All of that being said, teams rely on superstars to up their level of play when adversity hits. Bell hasn’t been able to have the breakout game that fans are waiting on, so let’s go ahead and give him a grade through the first two games of the season.

Le’Veon Bell’s Grade Through Two Games: B

Explanation: Bell’s grade is mainly due to the production that he has had as a receiver out of the backfield. He has to show more on the ground, but for now, he deserves a “B” grade due to his dual-threat abilities.

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