Who was that guy wearing No. 23 in Green on Sunday afternoon? Who was that guy who only rushed for 100 yards in the last three games combined and had a career high in rushes, yards and touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts?
Out of nowhere we’ve seen the running game explode into something that was missing since last season. A grand total of 251 yards with 161 going to Shonn Greene and a 61 yard burst of goodness from Joe McKnight who was taken out of the game with an apparent shoulder injury.
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Once again Greene looked like a player who was refreshed and ready to go against the Colts run defense that couldn’t stop him all day. But the question does remain, was that a poor Colts resistance or was it an improved offensive line that finally made some holes for Greene to run all day?
You have to say it was a little bit of both, but the Jets needed to improve after a humiliating loss to the 49ers and a close loss on Monday Night Football where they shot themselves in the foot snapping before the two minute warning came in the fourth quarter against the Texans.
Greene’s touchdowns were hard-earned as he pushed ahead for first downs and broke through the defense to dive across the goal line; avoiding a tackle and strip attempt to walk into the end zone. Later on Greene would hurl himself into the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the day. Career highs with 32 rushes, 161 yards made this a special day for the former Iowa running back.
This was a game where the Jets could ill-afford to fall asleep against a quarterback like Andrew Luck who looks like a promising future star in the NFL. On both sides of the ball the Jets had a great game forcing turnovers and converting touchdowns from the turnovers.
Even though the Jets blew out the Buffalo Bills in Week One, most of the touchdowns were from turnovers, special teams and passing plays. The final touchdown came from Greene who leapt over the defensive line and crossed the goal line when the game was already out of reach.
Four of the next five games Sanchez threw the ball into the end zone, defensive interceptions returned to the end zone or special teams making big kickoff or punt returns for scores put the Jets on the scoreboard. Nothing from the running game made any contributions to the offense until Sunday against Indianapolis.
The Jets finally brought their back ground and pound and it worked to perfection. New York will need both Bilal Powell and McKnight to be healthy and in the lineup to help out Greene to make this running game extra special as the Jets travel to New England with first place on the line in AFC East division.