New York Jets Need Shonn Greene Now More Than Ever

TOJ on the importance of Shonn Greene continuing to assert himself as a true lead back down the stretch

Shonn Greene still has not truly asserted himself as a full time lead back for the New York Jets, yet he is slowly moving in that direction. His continued movement in that direction will go a long way to determining whether or not this football team will make the playoffs.

Greene has taken slack for not being durable but so far he has missed only 3 quarters of football this season and is currently playing effectively through a rib injury. LaDainian Tomlinson is banged up with knee issues and Joe McKnight has a hyperextended elbow. Rookie running back Bilal Powell didn’t look ready to be a contributor when he received a chance earlier in the year. Without question, it is looking like the Jets are going to need Greene to carry the load like the lead back they talked him up to be all off-season.

Against Washington, he finished with 88 yards on 22 carries with 3 touchdowns and also added 3 receptions for 26 yards, including a huge third down conversion late in the game. Greene has quietly improved substantially as a receiver, pulling in 23 catches so far this year.

This past Sunday was the fifth time in six games that he averaged at least four yards per carry as he continued a career trend of improving as it gets deeper in the season. We all know the Jets offense thrives when they are working off a power rushing attack. It will be Greene who has to answer that call with 18-22 carries each week now with Tomlinson and McKnight’s health being a question mark.

A strong finish will go a long way to the Jets deciding to commit to Greene long term as their number one back, instead of exploring other options via free agency or the draft. Greene is carrying both his future with the team and their playoff hopes in these next four games.

Grading Out Jets/Redskins

TOJ grades out the Jets week 13 win over the Washington Redskins

TOJ’s grade report for the New York Jets week 13 win over the Washington Redskins

Quarterback (B) – Mark Sanchez had the kind of performance that would have the national media lavishing praise on him if he was a religious quarterback playing in Denver. It wasn’t a pretty 3 quarters but when the Jets needed a touchdown with under five minutes to play, Sanchez made two huge plays. He converted a third down to Shonn Greene over the middle and then right after hit Santonio Holmes on a beautiful slant and go for the go ahead touchdown. Right now the Jets need wins, no matter how ugly they look, and Sanchez is delivering them.

Running Back (B+) – One of Shonn Greene’s better games in the past couple of years, as he finished with 88 yards rushing, 26 yards receiving, and 3 touchdowns. LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight are both banged up now, so the Jets need Greene down the stretch more than ever.

Wide Receivers (B) – Santonio Holmes did it again, continuing to build on his reputation as one of the most clutch players in the game with another huge fourth quarter touchdown. Outside of that play, it was a fairly quiet day for the Jets receivers.

Tight Ends (D) – The only impact Dustin Keller and Matthew Mulligan had in this game were on penalties.

Offensive Line (A) – Zero sacks on Mark Sanchez for the second straight week and a strong push in the running game. They need to keep getting better each week because every team they are playing the rest of the year has a strong defense or pass rush.

Defensive Line (C+) – Recovered from a terrible start to put together a pretty good all around effort. Sione Pouha led the way with 4 tackles.

Linebackers (A) – I have ripped them all year but Bart Scott and Calvin Pace put together very good games, particularly Scott who had a key pass defensed and 2 tackles for a loss. Jamaal Westerman took back his starting outside linebacker spot with a sack and two tackles for a loss. Aaron Maybin continued his unbelievable season with another sack and forced fumble.

Secondary (C) – The wide receivers were taken out of the game by the cornerbacks but Fred Davis ate up the Jets safeties and nickel backs.

Special Teams (H) – H…for “how the hell did this team muff another punt?” There shouldn’t be another person all season returning a punt outside of Jim Leonhard.

Coaching (B) – I wasn’t crazy about the Wildcat and the clock management was a problem yet again. But Rex Ryan made nice adjustments at halftime as the Jets completely shut down the Redskins offense in the third and fourth quarter. Brian Schottenheimer made a timely call with the slant and go…now let’s see it more often.

New York Jets: How To Distribute The Carries

How should the New York Jets distribute the workload between Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight

The New York Jets are going to need their running game to lead the way on offense if they have hopes of making a playoff run. Despite not having a true lead back (no, I am not giving Shonn Greene that status yet), they do have enough between their top three runners to put together a quality rushing attack. The key is going to be getting the most out of Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight’s skill set.

Greene is coming off a solid game against Buffalo, where he averaged 6 yards per carry. However, he is admittedly still suffering from a rib injury and looked in pain for most of the game. He only had 13 carries against the Bills. Tomlinson is returning after missing the past two games with a knee injury and should be fresh for the stretch run. Joe McKnight has gradually been becoming a bigger part of the offense and averaged 6 yards per touch against Buffalo.

If the Jets are smart, they will keep Greene in the 12-15 carry range. The rib injury isn’t going to get better with each passing week and he showed he could be effective with that amount of touches last week. Tomlinson can spell him for a few series each half, handle short yardage duties, and be the primary third down back. McKnight should be getting at least 8-10 touches as a runner and receiver. He should be the guy catching most of the screen passes and has the ability to line up out wide. On the Jets outside handoffs and tosses, he should also be the first option.

Between their three running backs, the Jets should be able to hand the ball off 30-35 times a game to keep their offense balanced and set up their play action passing attack.

As Jets Regroup, Time To Consider A Three Headed Monster

TJ on how using a three headed monster at running back could help open up the Jets offense

It might be late in the game for an entire overhaul of the offense. From airing it out, to grounding and pounding, to a recent attempt at balance, the Jets have tried almost everything in 2011. Except for a three headed attack out of the backfield. Which won’t require an arduous rewriting of the playbook on the fly, in order to do so.

BIG PLAYS FROM SPEEDY MCKNIGHT WILL EASE THE HEAT ON SANCHEZ

QB Mark Sanchez is in desperate need of confidence and rhythm. He has to be better. Perhaps using Joe McKnight as a Dexter McCluster type can help. The second year McKnight can give the Jets a chance for big plays both with some extra pitches outside, and bubble screens from the slot position. Going in motion towards a WR position after initially lining up in the backfield. All of which require little from Sanchez, as far as reading defenses and making tough choices go.

LET GREENE HAMMER, BUT USE HIM LESS

Shonn Greene can continue to hammer away inside. However, despite what the Jets brass will tell you when they say that Greene gets going once his numbers INCREASE, a few less carries will limit the potential of the nagging injuries that seem to plague Greene the MORE he touches the ball.

LT IS A VINTAGE CAR, USE HIM WISELY

LaDainian Tomlinson changes the pace in the screen game and in tough yardage scenarios, where both experience and vision become top priority. His recent MCL sprain though, may require the curtailing of any foreseeable heavy work loads. LT will be key in keeping drives alive, but like a classic and effective vintage car, must be used wisely.

NOTHING WILL HELP THE OFFENSE IF THE JETS DON’T OPEN IT UP

The switch to three instead of two won’t solve everything on. The notion of injecting more of McKnight only helps if the Jets ALSO remember to open up their passing game downfield. Stretching the defense has been the very reason why the eternally emerging TE Dustin Keller, has found little room to work in.

The unwillingness to try many deep throws stifles the Jets many quick slants and five yard outs. Predictable routes that have allowed defenses to pack it in, leaving no room for receivers Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley to run after the catch.

SHORT RANGE CAN WORK IF THE BALL IS SPREAD AROUND

After keeping teams honest by going deep, the Jets can take solace in knowing that teams CAN be effective when employing a predominantly short range ideology. Take Denver and Tim Tebow as even the most extreme example. Most plays nowadays in the Mile High city, start with footballs being tossed as options BEHIND the line of scrimmage. Yet it is  anyone’s guess as to which Broncos ball carrier or receiver ends up with it.

GO DOWNFIELD, USE THREE RBs, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

So then, what should come first? Throwing downfield to guys like Holmes in order to back the opposing defenses up? Or should the Jets try to spring a few quick pitches and screens for yardage in order to utilize a Sanchez favorite, the play action, to go deep with purpose? Our answer is, it doesn’t matter which of the two is higher up on the scripted play chart. As long as both are tended to, and a potential threat, throughout the game.

THREE RBs WIDENS THE ATTACK WHILE PRESERVING GREENE, LT

Opening it up downfield is a must. Going with a committed three pronged attack out of the backfield is an idea for an offense that certainly needs a spark. What do the Jets have to lose by widening the line of scrimmage with McKnight? Adding his speed and carries to keep the oft injured Greene, and currently banged up Tomlinson, rested.

In order to survive long enough to even attempt a 5-1 finish, the Jets must get more out of Mark Sanchez AND go downfield already. Yet they should consider how a three headed rushing attack could aid in the process.

New York Jets: How To Make A Run

TOJ on how the New York Jets can make yet another late season run

The first two seasons for the New York Jets under Rex Ryan have been marked by extreme peaks and valleys. They go from looking unbeatable to looking like one of the worst teams in the league. Both years have required the team to string together a run or two to make the playoffs and then to ultimately come within a half or a few plays of the Super Bowl.

Let’s look at those runs and try to figure out if they have another one in them —

2009: 4-6 to 7-6

The Jets were effectively buried after falling to 4-6. They responded with three straight wins over mediocre teams (Carolina, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay). The main factors behind this winning streak were really the lack of quality opponents and an excessively conservative (Kellen Clemens played the last game and a half of this streak) game-plan, which allowed the defense to dominate horrible offenses while the Jets own offense didn’t get in the way. I would expect something pretty similar in the next few weeks against Buffalo, Washington, and Kansas City. Although considering the steps back the Jets running game has taken, they will need more from Mark Sanchez…more as in, complete a few passes over 10 yards and don’t turn the damn football over.

2009: 7-7 to the AFC Championship Game

After losing to Atlanta to end their previously mentioned 3 game winning streak. The Jets won 4 straight to make the playoffs and get all the way to the AFC Championship Game. A major factor in the first two wins was quality of competition, notably an Indianapolis Colts team resting starters in the second half and a Cincinnati Bengals team looking ahead to the playoffs. However, the Jets showed the regular season finale wasn’t a fluke by smacking the Bengals around in their own building in the wild-card round and then upsetting the heavily favored San Diego Chargers the next week. Mark Sanchez played well in these four games, particularly in terms of protecting the football. Shonn Greene also got rolling, which took the Jets running game to another level. The defense was very good and Brian Schottenheimer actually strung together a few solid game plans.

2010: 0-1 to 9-2

After an ugly opening week loss, the Jets won 8 of their next 9, basically an unprecedented streak of success in franchise history. The key here was clutch plays by Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, considering the duo hooked up for the game deciding play in half of those wins, with the defense stepping up at the end of the game in a few others.

2010: 9-3 to the AFC Championship Game

After a pair of brutal losses to New England and Miami, the Jets responded by winning 2 out of 3 to end their regular season and coming up with two more road playoff wins. The key here was the defense regaining their dominant form, most notably in the playoffs against Peyton Manning and Tom Brady along with Mark Sanchez getting his confidence back. The stats won’t bear this out but considering the competition and the timing of the game, the three most impressive games I have seen from both Sanchez and Rex Ryan’s defense were the regular season win in Pittsburgh in week 15 and their playoff wins over the Colts and Patriots.

2011: 2-3 to 5-3

The best six quarters of football the Jets have played this season were the second half against San Diego and the full Buffalo game. In retrospect, neither of those teams are very good. However, you saw a dominant defense and a confident Mark Sanchez, noticing a trend here?

Prospects for 2011 Playoff Run

Considering their next three opponents, the Jets have a very real chance to get their defense rolling against subpar offenses. Yes, I am putting Buffalo in that category after watching them play the past three weeks. If this unit can’t get going against the Bills, Rex Grossman, and Tyler Palko they have even further to go than we already think they do. Outside of one ill-advised throw and a dropped snap, Mark Sanchez played very well against Buffalo a few weeks ago. He must start building himself back-up immediately, with support of the coaching staff/game-planning. Even if the Jets do scrape by in the next three, Sanchez must get much better to win in Philadelphia, beat the Giants, and the suddenly hot Miami Dolphins.

He will need support of both Shonn Greene and his offensive line, who have been average at best this season. An offense isn’t a one man show. Greene and the rest of the running backs need to bring balance to the offense and the wide receivers and Dustin Keller must start looking like the playmakers they are supposed to be.

Are the Jets capable of winning their next three and setting us up for an exciting few final weeks? Absolutely. If they can’t win these next three, it is time to blow up big chunks of this team and they know that. Let’s see if they have another run in them.

Depressing New York Jets Statistics

TOJ with a collection of depressing New York Jets statistics

The most depressing statistic of all for the New York Jets is of course their 5-5 record. I give them passes for losses in Baltimore and New England because those are both quality, playoff teams. They were also shorthanded in Baltimore without Nick Mangold. Beyond that, the other three losses were complete embarrassments, particularly the past two.

However, when you look at their current stat sheet, a few things jump off the page…in a bad way.

Shonn Greene – 573 yards in 10 games. I am sorry but 57 yards a game isn’t lead back production. He is on pace to finish with 915 yards and 4 touchdowns with under 4 yards per carry. Greene has been better as of late until his injury in Denver but he needs a strong finish or the Jets may have to look elsewhere for their number one back.

Santonio Holmes – 472 receiving yards…similarly to Greene, 42 yards a game isn’t cutting it for a number one receiver. Some of that blame falls on Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer but not all of it. If I would have told you before the year that Victor Cruz would be more of a big play threat than Holmes, production-wise, wouldn’t that have made you sick?

Dustin Keller – He hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 2. This is a bizarre ongoing trend with Keller who always starts off the season with high touchdown production and then completely falls off a cliff.

Calvin Pace – The Jets paid him like an elite pass rusher and he is proving not to be one. He has 4 sacks in 10 games.

Rushing Yards – 96.6 yards a game, which is good for 26th in the league.

Opponent Rushing Yards – 116.9 yards a game, which is good for 17th in the league. Isn’t this team supposed to be physical?

It Is Now Or Never For Jets Fans: Suggestions For MetLife Stadium

Chris Celletti with a call to action for Jets fans this Sunday and a few suggestions for the MetLife Stadium game-day production crew

I’ve been going to Jets games since the days of Boomer Esiason. I’ve seen some great moments for sure – plenty of bad ones, and now I’ve gotten to experience two different stadiums. MetLife Stadium has many faults. When it was being designed and then built, Jets fans were sold on the idea that this would be OUR stadium – not just a shared one with the Giants – even though we were sharing this one with them too. How would that be accomplished? By green lights, and green signs, and just a bunch of other green things. When I first walked into the place, the color that overrode everything was gray. It’s a huge hunk of steel and concrete. I suppose it is better than the Giants’ red that the seats in the old building had, but walking into MetLife stadium doesn’t exactly invoke an overwhelming amount of Jet pride.

Jets fans have always seemed a bit whiny when it came to not having their own stadium. I say this because there is no reason that on eight Sundays a year (and hopefully more, but who are we kidding?) Jets fans can’t lose their collective minds and go be completely off the wall in support of their team, regardless of the name of the stadium or the color of the seats. I watch enough NFL football on TV to know what a truly great home crowd is. Every other NFL stadium seems totally packed by kickoff; in most buildings the entire place is standing and cheering on the team’s first defensive possession. From being at every Jets home game this season, I can tell you that that’s not nearly the case at MetLife Stadium.

The place is generally about 60% full at kickoff. When I walk into the stadium from the parking lot, usually about a half hour from kickoff, I notice hoards of people still lounging in their bucket seats, knocking back Coors Lights and flipping burgers, priorities clear. Why you’d pay whatever you pay for a Jets ticket and waltz in 25 minutes late because you just had to have another sliver of Sal’s awesome skirt steak, well, I’m not sure. I hope Sunday night is different.

You have all day to tailgate. Get to your seat by 8 o’clock. Go nuts for the team when it is announced. Stand up, get loud, make it as tough as you can for Tom Brady. If the Jets go down by 7, or 10, don’t wallow. Rex Ryan and Bart Scott have both said the crowd could make a difference this week. They’re not crazy.

As for MetLife Stadium? Well, they cant change the colors. Whatever. But there are some things that can be changed.

-First off, don’t attack our senses at every chance. I don’t need to hear “Ridin’ Dirty” blasting in my ears after every Shonn Greene 10 yard run (thank God, in that sense, that he’s had a rough year). My brother, Rob Celletti, has made the very valid point that the blasting of music does absolutely nothing to get people pumped up. Instead, it has the reverse effect. All it does is drone on and drown out any crowd noise.

-Replace your PA announcer, please. I usually don’t begrudge people who do their jobs since, but I know I could do a better job. I swear I could. Almost anyone could.

-You’ve gotta be kidding with “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed before kickoff. To every New York sports team who isn’t sure what song to play when their team comes out, here are four words: Empire State of Mind.

-Give me more classic highlights during TV timeouts! This was one of the best parts of the old Giants Stadium. So what if we’re losing to the Dolphins 3-0? Show me Ken O’Brien hitting Wesley Walker for an 86-yard bomb in 1988, and all will be fine.

So there’s that. The gameday stadium production will be the same, but one can dream. Either way, now is the time for Jets fans to step up their game and make MetLife Stadium a fortress. The team has given you plenty to cheer about the past two and a half seasons.

Now go cheer.

The Landscape Has Changed For The New York Jets

TJ on how the lessons learned from the New York Jets three game losing streak have created a three game winning streak

The Jets, once 2-3 with no identity and a growing hole to climb out of, have suddenly gained a share of the AFC East lead. Owning a piece of the penthouse that will come as a surprise to detractors, who saw this club as one ready to implode after a brutal early road trip. It shouldn’t. A defense returning ten starters and an offense that has added key pieces, are simply beginning to gel. The Jets are NOT the same team that culminated a three game skid in Foxboro. Gang Green’s crucial Sunday night matchup with the Patriots comes at the right time. As all systems are go.

Hard lessons learned on the road

The Jets learned some hard, but key lessons during each stop of their long losing tour. One sent them reeling and threatened to ruin their season. In Oakland, the club realized their need to tighten the bolts on the edges thanks to the Oakland’s Darren McFadden. Otherwise running backs would roam free down sidelines all year long, like cars in the EZ Pass lane.

In Baltimore, the Jets realized that their chemistry was off. Derrick Mason was then sent packing. In Foxboro the Jets regained their footing on the ground but may have overemphasized the notion of the “Ground and Pound,” after a month of trying to force feed an air attack featuring a third year quarterback and new faces at wide receiver. Balance on offense was needed.

Turmoil subsides and a win streak begins

By the time the Jets returned home at 2-3 for a win or else matchup against hapless Miami, the club faced an uphill climb (the Pats and Bills were 4-1 at the time) back to the top of the standings. The big question at the time however, was not their play on the field, but the team’s unity off of it.

Former Jet hero Joe Namath had started it all back in week three by suggesting on 1050 ESPN that Rex Ryan’s “soft” overconfident approach led to an ambush in Oakland. A Daily News report that the wideouts were unhappy with Schotty then surfaced prior to the Baltimore loss. Suddenly a Jets club that had motivated itself with an “us against the world” mentality under Rex Ryan, appeared to have acquired a cancerous “us against each other” one. The soil was still fertile inside of Florham Park to the outside observer while the offensive line had struggled without Nick Mangold. A three time All Pro who was returning as the Jets headed for Foxboro.

All of those internal dramas however, were symbolically put to rest when Santonio Holmes and Brandon Moore ended their feud by coming out together as captains for the Monday night coin toss against the winless Dolphins. The move was a brilliant ploy by Ryan. What it showed the Jets and the entire nation was that THIS team would not be broken up by weekday quotes and any frustrations borne out of any October troubles. The offense again started slow again that night, but the defense began to ferment, albeit against backup Matt Moore. The result was a 24-6  win. A display that may not have proved the club as Super Bowl worthy, but went a long way towards building the club’s confidence back up again.

Offense and defense rise

Now at 3-3, a key matchup against 4-1 San Diego, helped set the stage for a cementing of the foundation on both sides of the ball. During the losing streak, the defense had been growing, even though the offense was still not in rhythm. Aaron Maybin was resigned in week four, adding speed and pass rushing to the equation. Kyle Wilson provided solid coverage in the nickel and Antonio Cromartie had begun to keep his hands to himself. All while Darrelle Revis was embarking upon what has been up until now, a career year.

The defense looked good against Baltimore. It was the turnovers that killed them THAT night. One week later, despite Ben Jarveus Green Ellis rushing for 136 yards in Foxboro, the defense put pressure on Tom Brady. Miami was dealt with properly as well, despite a long gain outside by Reggie Bush in the first quarter.

Trailing at the half 21-10 against the historically high powered Chargers (who have struggled as of late but were still viewed as a legit first place team at the time) who featured a hot Antonio Gates that day, the defense finally put it all together. They shut out Phillip Rivers, Gates and co. in the second half. This while featuring a spread out passing game and featuring Shonn Greene. Both working effectively in unison for the first time all season. Seventeen unanswered points. 27-21 Jets. A template was now in place for the offense now as well.

Bye week fear is put to rest

Then fears of a bye week layoff reared their ugly head. After all, Rex’s Jets were 0-2 after bye weeks, and looked bad doing it. Trailing both the 5-2 Bills and 5-2 Pats, the Jets flew up to Orchard Park, with a dodgy post bye history and a hot upstart Bills team in their way.

The Jets battled complacency and a fired up Bills home crowd on Sunday by coming out focused, fast, and aggressive. In all phases. Fred Jackson, the Bills go to star, was bottled up all afternoon. The Jet offense itself, was marching up and down the field in the first half. Often times they stopped themselves with too many mistakes, but the club’s ten minute drive on their first possession (resulting in a brutal interception by Mark Sanchez) provided a window into the future as to how the Jets could move the ball against Buffalo. Once they stopped aiming the gun at their own feet, the Jets offense, with the help of a Rex Ryan defense that is now starting to take over games, settled in and hit cruise control for a 27-11 win. Their third straight.

A Giants win moves the Jets into a first place tie

Hours later, QB Eli Manning gave Patriot fans Super Bowl nightmarish flashbacks with a dramatic come from behind win in the final minute. It was a Giants victory that was music to Jets fans ears as it dropped the Pats into the three way tie with the Bills and Jets at 5-3. The AFC East race is once again wide open. With the Jets having made up ground that one month ago, with so much working against them, seemed like a longshot.

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills: Game Breakdown

TOJ breaks down the New York Jets week 9 match-up against the Buffalo Bills

Offense: I don’t think it is any secret that the New York Jets need to run the football this Sunday. They haven’t cracked 40 carries in a single game yet, but with Shonn Greene’s recent emergence and talk of Joe McKnight receiving more opportunities this week, now could be the time. Buffalo struggles to stop the run and has only had success on defense when they have forced turnovers. This is the perfect week to run right at them, have Mark Sanchez work off his play action and bootlegs, and control the time of possession. Remember the Jets game-plan back when they beat Cincinnati in the wild-card round? Brian Schottenheimer should dust off that tape.

Santonio Holmes is due for a big game and if he could find single coverage off play action, he should be able to make plays down the field. Also keep an eye on Dustin Keller, who did have two touchdowns against in Buffalo last year.

Mark Sanchez needs to protect the football and know when to pick his spots. With the recent improvement in the offensive line’s pass protection, he should have time in the pocket but this isn’t the type of game where he should try to do too much. Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight need to lead the charge. It would be nice to see Brian Schottenheimer finally dust off a screen pass or two to his backs as well.

Defense: A nice challenge for a unit this showed signs of improvement last week. Expect the Jets base defense to have Kyle Wilson and Brodney Pool out there to match-up with Buffalo’s spread attack. The key to slowing down Buffalo is slowing down Fred Jackson.  If the Jets can keep him under 100 yards, I would expect a victory. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown his share of interceptions this year and if the Jets can get after him (see Aaron Maybin), they should be able to force him into mistakes.

Keep in mind Buffalo’s passing attack is built on timing and quick releases. The Jets have the corners in Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson to play a physical man to man press with should disrupt the timing of Buffalo’s plays. Stevie Johnson isn’t doing anything on Revis and there is no reason Cromartie shouldn’t be able to handle David Nelson. The safeties and corners all need to have a hand in slowing down Fred Jackson as a receiver out of the backfield.

Special Teams: Two excellent units facing off against each other here, as it will be exciting to watch Joe McKnight and Brad Smith duel on returns. Nick Folk has been perfect this season at kicker, which is surprising and scary as you feel he is due for a big miss.

New York Jets Ground and Pound Should Lead Way Against Bills

The New York Jets rushing attack needs to carry them to a victory against Buffalo

Over the past few years, the New York Jets have destroyed the Buffalo Bills with their rushing attack. Even though Buffalo is improved in 2011, it doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled stopping the running game. The Bills have allowed at least 100 yards rushing in every game this season up until last week, where they were facing the pathetic Washington Redskins. Overall, they don’t have a strong defense but have been able to thrive off turnovers and creating points from them. Their high powered offense is truly what has led the way to the Bills early success.

Enter the Jets, who have been improving their running game and have a quarterback, who despite improving is still prone to a few erratic interceptions here or there. It shouldn’t take a genius to compose the blueprint for a victory this Sunday: run the football and don’t turn the football over, by limiting the number of pass attempts. The ground it out game-plan, will keep Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson off the field, where they can’t rack up another 30 point performance.

This is the type of game where Shonn Greene’s 20-25 carries needs to be supported by another 12-15 from the LaDainian Tomlinson/Joe McKnight combination. The Jets should be relentless with their rushing attack, as they have the talent on the offensive line and at running back to dominate the Bills front seven. Mark Sanchez can take his shots, but they should be few and far between and built to take advantage of Buffalo overreacting to the Jets commitment to the run by stuffing the box. If the Jets offense is running the way they should, you can bet Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller will be able to get wide open down the field off play action.

There appears to be some swag returning to the Ground portion of the Jets “Ground and Pound,” which is good timing because the cold weather is here and the formula for this team’s success is built around confidence, running the football, and smashmouth defense.