Why is the Jets Rushing game missing at this point? Is it because of the poor line play, or is the running backs not being able to hit the holes.
I think you can say it may be a little of both but I’ll take a deeper dive of the question.
Is New York’s biggest problem the running backs or the offensive line?
New York is ranked No. 28 in the NFL in rushing. The Jets average just 3.0 yards per carry. Is the issue with tailbacks Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson? Or is New York’s offensive line not holding its blocks the first two games?
Here is the Jets line for most of the 2011 season. Keep in mind that is also includes Baxter who replaced Mangold, and other substitutions. Ferguson LT, Slauson LG, Mangold C, Moore RG, Hunter RT
Chart by ProFootballFocus.com
If you look at the rush direction chart, the Jets are the most successful running up the gut either between the center Mangold and Slauson, or Mangold and Moore. When the Jets try to swing it out to the left behind Ferguson, there are not really successful. D’Brickashaw is known as a great pass blocker but is not the greatest when it comes to rush blocking.
Shonn is at his best running between Mangold and Slauson averaging more than 5 yards per carry. With Mangold definitely out this week, can he find the same success running behind Baxter?
So what is the true issue here? Why are the Jets ranked 28th in the league for a team that says they are the “Ground and Pound” first. We are only two games in and there is plenty of time to correct the ship but if they can’t get the running game going soon, teams are going to know when you are passing the ball and it will put a lot of pressure on Mark Sanchez to compensate with his arm. I don’t think he’s ready for it yet.
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.