It's time for the Jets to get their run game going. The best rushing attack in the AFC a year ago has been largely grounded this year except for garbage time against the Texans. As I have mentioned before, the Jets do not want to get into a position where Mark Sanchez has to trade touchdowns with Drew Brees. That means controlling the football on the ground and keeping the vaunted New Orleans offense off the field.
The Saints have been excellent against the run in the early going. They are only giving up 67 yards per game on the ground. Part of this has been due to the success of the offense. When Brees is constantly pumping touchdown passes and putting opponents into a hole, those opponents have to abandon the run. Still, New Orleans is only giving up 3.2 per carry, which is excellent.
The line of Will Smith, Sedrick Ellis, Kevin Clancy, and Charles Grant has done a great job tying up blockers to free up the linebackers and secondary players to make tackles. Safety Roman Harper leads the team in tackles with 23. Don't be surprised to see the Saints stick him up front to try and force Sanchez to throw it. This is the kind of game the Saints want to turn into a track meet. They want the Jets to throw consistently, even if they hit some big plays.
Corners Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter have both been solid in run support with over 10 tackles each. Former Jet Jonathan Vilma is playing at the level he did when the Jets were successfully playing a 4-3 front. A pair of Scott's, Fujita and Shanle line up outside and have been playing at a high level.
The Saints have a good defense, but it's time for the four first round picks on the offensive line to do their job. Sure, they've been facing eight man fronts, but a team with high caliber players should be able to execute. It's time for these guys to start blowing the opposition off the ball like they did a year ago. Also scrap the three receiver sets. The Jets are only giving Sanchez Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey's reads. Get Tony Richardson in there to block instead of sending out a decoy receiver.