As we get ready for the second half, we think about the keys to success. The one thing you cannot get away from when talking about the New York Jets is the running game. No matter where you fall on the Mark Sanchez scale, we all know that he cannot carry a team on his own. He just isn’t that type of quarterback. For Mark and this Jets offense to be successful down the stretch, the Jets must have a successful running game. They must be able to pound the ball down the defense’s throat.
Shonn Greene is not an elite running back. As much as I have been a backer of his throughout his career, this is evident, even to me. Shonn Greene is not the type of back that can make something out of nothing. Players like Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and Darren McFadden are speed backs. They can make defenders miss with an elusive move to one side or another. Shonn Greene is a power back, the type of guy that is going to run downhill and lower his shoulder at the end of the run to finish. As such, he needs help to be successful, and he needs it from five guys that are key to the Jets success:
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Austin Howard
Otherwise known as the New York Jets offensive line. They need to open holes for Shonn Greene to run through, and they are not doing so. Not on a consistent basis. You can watch all eight games of the season to see this in action, but this morning, we are going to look at some film of two running plays from last week’s game to illustrate this point. The first is a two yard run from the first quarter.
Here is Shonn Greene lined up in the I-formation, circled in green. He is going to run off the left guard, Matt Slauson. Follow the matchup circled in red, which is Matt Slauson vs Randy Starks, as we move forward.
Can you see the action in the red circle? Matt Slauson loses the matchup against Randy Starks. Starks is able to move Slauson off toward Nick Mangold, leaving the hole open to meet up with Shonn Greene. The result?
They meet in the hole, and it results in a two yard gain for Greene. This is one of many examples. No, Greene is not the fastest guy in the league. But, he needs to have somewhere to run.
Turn the page, and we will look at a run from the second quarter of the same game, where the guilty party of the missed block is an unlikely one.