It is hard to dispute that second year running back Shonn Greene has had a disappointing season. The numbers don’t lie, 766 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, 2 rushing touchdowns, a long run of 23 yards. We all expected more from him.
The reasons for his low output vary, including a slow start that was coupled with LaDainian Tomlinson playing better than expected. Greene never really had the reigns handed over to him as the primary back and he was rarely given a chance to get into rhythm by the coaching staff.
Regardless, it doesn’t take a great memory to remember how the Jets got to the AFC Championship Game last year. Greene led the charge on the offense with two monster playoff games.
There is one encouraging stat for Greene heading into the playoffs: 185…that is the number of carries he has received this season, which means he should be fresh for this Saturday night. He flashed a little bit of his 2009 post-season self in week 16 against the Chicago Bears with 12 carries for 70 yards, in a performance that made you wonder what he could do with 20 carries.
There should be nothing left to wondering this week. Greene is built to run north and south at the Colts small defense and average linebacker core. Nobody is saying LaDainian Tomlinson should be completely phased out of the game plan but this is the week to give Greene the 20 carries, let Tomlinson have 12-13 and throw him a few passes.
A 20 carry, 120 yard performance from Greene will quickly erase the memory of a disappointing regular season. I just hope the coaches give him a chance to do it.