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Despite being loaded with talent at the skill positions and having one of the best offensive lines in football, the Jets have been inconsistent at best at moving the football and scoring points. Despite strong individual starts by LaDainian Tomlinson and Braylon Edwwards, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer must focus on getting the ball in the hands of Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes more often.
As TOJ good friend, Jeff Capellini pointed out on Twitter this week, here is a look at LaDainian Tomlinson’s yards per carry the past four games:
- Week 5 vs. Minnesota: 4.7 yards per carry
- Week 6 at Denver: 3.4 yards per carry
- Week 8 vs Green Bay: 3.4 yards per carry
- Week 9 at Detroit: 3.7 yards per carry
In comparison, here is Shonn Greene’s:
- Week 5 vs. Minnesota: 5.7 yards per carry
- Week 6 at Denver: 4.8 yards per carry
- Week 8 vs Green Bay: 3.7 yards per carry
- Week 9 at Detroit: 4.6 yards per carry
I think we have a situation where Shonn Greene started the season a little overweight and unprepared to be the Jets top back. Meanwhile, LaDainian Tomlinson started the year off like a man on a mission to prove to the world he wasn’t finished yet. Yet, now that we have 8 games in the book it looks like the 25 year old in his second year is starting to hit his stride, while the 31 year old in his 10th is starting to wear down a little bit.
I am not saying that Tomlinson is going back to his 2008-2009 production level in San Diego but he will if the Jets aren’t smart with his touches. The Jets need LT as close to 100 percent as possible for December 6th in New England, December 12th vs Miami, and December 19th at Pittsburgh: the three games that will ultimately decide where this Jets season is headed. It is time right now to get him down to 15 touches a game, while letting Greene get closer to 20 so he can keep building momentum for the stretch run.
Ideally, you will have a fresh Tomlinson and Greene hitting his stride as December starts up. The Jets absolutely cannot afford to have Tomlinson get hurt or become ineffective down the stretch, considering we don’t have a capable #3 running back (yes, I am looking at you Joe McKnight).
Over at receiver, we got a glimpse of the damage Santonio Holmes could do last week with his 5 receptions for 114 yards. He has the ability to take a simple square in and turn it into a 52 yard reception at a crucial moment. Beyond that if Sanchez didn’t underthrow him on his interception, he easily would have had a 50 yard touchdown.
Teams have to continue respecting Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller because of their production, which is going to leave favorable match-ups for Holmes. Brian Schottenhiemer and Mark Sanchez have to get the ball in #10’s hands in one on one situations.
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