Shonn Greene Will Exceed 1,500 Yards in 2012


June 14, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (23) runs with the ball during minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

We all know about the re-committment to the Ground and Pound in 2012. That means a heavy and steady dose of Shonn Greene in the upcoming year. There is a lot of debate as to whether or not Greene can handle the heavy load, and be the back that the Jets need. Shonn has shown flashes, but admittedly has not been outstanding yet. The questions are valid.

The answer is yes, Greene can be the lead back that the Jets need. Furthermore, he will show it in 2012 by going over 1,500 yards.

Let’s talk about the flashes that Shonn Greene has shown. Like his draft classmate Mark Sanchez, he has stepped up his game in the playoffs. Remember 2009, where he topped all rushers in the postseason with 304 yards? He added a whopping 5.6 yard per carry average in that postseason. We all remember this, from the playoff game against the Chargers:

There was no question that Greene is an explosive back. That season, by the way, Greene averaged 5.0 yards per carry during the regular year in a backup role to Thomas Jones. These are flashes that could not be ignored.

Greene saw an increased role in 2010, and it paid off to the tune of 766 yards rushing, and a 4.1 yard average per carry. He stepped up his game once again in the playoffs, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Don’t forget this play, that ended the Patriots season:

Then, we move to 2011. There was no playoff trip, as we all know. The team finished 8-8. Greene finally took the reigns as the starting running back, and the questions arose about whether or not he can handle it.

Shonn Greene did have some things working against him in 2011. First of all, the Jets had this guy working against Shonn Greene:

Dec 04, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Wayne Hunter (78) along the sidelines during the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. the Jets defeated the Redskins 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

I’m not so sure that Walter Payton would have had a great season with this guy blocking for him.

Secondly, the Jets were playing from behind a lot in 2011, as we all suffered through. Obviously, the team was going to throw more and run less while behind.

Still, Greene set a career high in yards with 1,054 yards, and still averaged 4.2 yards per carry. In the Jets eight wins, Greene averaged 79 yards per game. Play that out to 16 games, and it totals 1,264 yards. These are not the numbers of an Adrian Peterson, but they aren’t terrible either.

The recommittment to the running attack will bring that average per game for Greene up, and therefore, his rushing totals will go way up.

The committment to physical play by Tony Sparano will only help the game of Shonn Greene. He even saw potential in Wayne Hunter, so Sparano will get as much as anyone can out of Hunter, as well as everybody on that offense.

Greene will excel.

Greene will excel so much, he will exceed 1,500 yards rushing for the season.