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Thread: Running and Defense

  1. #1

    Running and Defense

    There's an old adage that you win championships by running the ball and playing defense. Well, the Jets were #1 in run offense and #1 in defense last year. But is the adage out-dated? 3 of the top 4 running teams last year missed the playoffs.

  2. #2
    Let's not abandon the defensive half of the adage quite yet, even with the Saints winning the Super Bowl. [Remember, the biggest play of that game was the interception of Manning that cemented the Big Easy's First Super Bowl] I still maintain that having a good defense is a must for a year-after-year title contender.

    The running half of the adage is the one up for debate. The young-Brady Patriots did not run the ball convincingly [not poorly, either], but they incorporated a short passing game that effectively served the same purpose. The NFL's evolution of passing now allows offenses to maintain consistency without handing off the rock as many times. That being said, it is always easier to give the ball to a top-tier back and pound it down your opponent's throat. But can you argue with the statement that the Patriots' best 'running back' last season was Wes Welker, as far as his ability to consistently provide yardage and shorten third down situations?

    How about this adage? You win championships with consistent, reliable offenses and playing good defense. That work, or too generic?

  3. #3
    I agree with you on the running part. Last year aside, the best teams usually have statistically good run offenses. But that's confusing cause and effect. Good teams are ahead in the 2nd half and run the ball more than bad teams. You rarely see a championship by a team that is one dimensional. The '00 Ravens come to mind. But for the most part you have to be solid on both sides of the ball to win in February.

  4. #4
    On top of that, anyone will tell you that turnovers win and lose games in January/February. The inability to run the ball [or effectively use a short passing game] results in longer passes and more risks. And more turnovers. Ask Peyton...

  5. With LDT on board, I wonder how the Jets run offense will work this year. Obviously they have nowhere to go but down from #1, but how far down? I think the last 2 years in San Diego showed that LDT simply cannot be the feature back, so what exactly is his role? He is too small to be a 3rd down "pound it in" back, and too slow to be a Reggie Bush type trick player....what will Ryan do with him?

  6. #6
    Thomas Jones showed last year that it's the Jets line that's getting all the rushing yards, assuming they are as strong this year without Faneca. I don't know that Tomlinson has lost his speed as much as he's lost the lateral movement. In his prime, he could make that jump cut and come down at full speed, we haven't seen that in a couple of years. I think he'll do fine as the #2 back, getting lots of rest. And remember, he did catch over 100 passes one year.

  7. #7
    So you look at LDT as an upgrade over Thomas Jones? I think it is a downgrade, and a pretty big one at that. We'll see I guess. Not as much of a downgrade as Hardesty would have been, though...

  8. It's not outdated it just doesn't work with a rookie quarterback. Look at the Giants in 2007 they were all running and defense against a high powered Patriots offense. The Steelers in 2008 were also a great defensive team. Last year was an exception with the Colts and Saints with two fantastic offenses and solid defenses. But even back in 2006 the Bears made it with a great defense. It is far from outdated.

    By the way the Jets got worse on offense in the off-season. Getting rid of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington in favor of LDT is a disaster waiting to happen. Mark Sanchez still isn't ready to make the leap and is a liability.

  9. #9
    Thomas Jones ran for a ton of yards last year, but mostly he took what the o-line gave him. He didn't break a lot of tackles and didn't outrun anyone. Shonn Greene should be an upgrade over Jones, as was evident in the playoffs last year. Tomlinson will be fine as a 3rd down/change of pace back, but not an upgrade over a healthy Leon Washington, assuming Leon is healthy. and Hardesty, of course, will have more rushing yards than Ben Tate this year, everyone knows that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Green and Whiteville, USA
    So many people across the country keep making the same mistake concerning Thomas Jones and Tomlinson. Jones was replaced by Shonn Green not Tomlinson. Green is our #1 back. Tomlinson will be a 3rd down back along with the rookie McKnight.
    Last edited by Jetsfan; 07-04-2010 at 02:17 PM.

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