The big talk of the week for the New York Jets is the return of the “Ground and Pound.” It is a sensible move to pull back the passing offense, which has created too many turnovers and moved the Jets away from a successful identity. However, there needs to be some type of happy medium in the offensive game-plan. The running game needs to set up the passing game, hence there still needs to be an existence of some type of passing game. Mark Sanchez does need to throw more than 12 passes on Sunday.
Ideally, he will throw roughly 25 times, which is the number he has averaged in his three career victories over New England. You would like to see Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight (who needs to be involved on offense) combine for about 32-35 carries. That type of consistency in the running game will open up play action attempts down the field, even if the runs are only going for 2-3 yards a pop. When Sanchez does go play action he should find favorable match-ups for Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Dustin Keller.
The Jets also need to expand their screen game. A good way to get Sanchez’s confidence going early is to set up a few screens for Tomlinson and McKnight, along with their receivers. Let him get a few completions under his belt and get into the rhythm of the game before pushing the football down the field. One other comment on the passing game, where is the back shoulder fade to Plaxico Burres down the sideline? In single coverage, that pass is an indefensible way to gain a quick 15 yards. It needs to be worked into the Jets playbook.
In the running game, the Jets need to press the edges and consider giving the Wildcat a few snaps. Jeremy Kerley can be a weapon in the open field, especially if he is working in tandem with McKnight.
Brian Schottenheimer receives his share of criticism but he has come up with a few clutch game-plans in his day. Most notably, playoff victories over Cincinnati and New England in previous years. He needs to come up with another one on Sunday.