EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27: Santonio Holmes #10 talks to Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets during their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
One thing that is important for an offense in football is to identify what it does well and build off that. You see many big time college teams build their offense around something as simple as the zone read. When they get into trouble, they go to that simple play and know they can find offensive success. There are many issues with the Jets on offense this year. One is that they have failed to find and utilize any one thing they do consistently well.
The last two years, Rex Ryan dragged Brian Schottenheimer kicking and screaming to building the offense around the power run game. The Jets committed to the run. Early in games, it was not always effective, but the Jets wanted a war of attrition. They wanted their big offensive line pounding on defensive fronts for four quarters and to eventually wear them down. Subtle things would start happening. Defenders would be a split second slower off the snap due to fatigue and lose leverage at the point of attack, opening holes. Linebackers were a bit less violent trying to finish their tackles.
When you do something well, it opens up other things. For the Jets, defenses had to commit more resources to play the run. They had to move safeties up. They had to bite on play action to try and stop the run. This created one on one opportunities on the outside for the playmakers the Jets had at wide receiver and easy throwing lanes.
Now think for a second. Name me one thing the Jets have done consistently well on offense this year. What is this offense built around? One week it is about short, timing passes, which is not the strong suit. Last week it was deep passes. Other weeks it is going back to the power run game. Other weeks it has been about bootlegs and moving pockets to work the edge.
Unfortunately, answers are not so easy to find. I do not think the Jets can simply snap their fingers and become a dominant running team again. Having a successful power run game means having the players to execute it. The Jets used to have one of the top right tackles in the league, Damien Woody, to control the point of attack. Now they have Wayne Hunter, a below average starter. Hunter was an above average backup, though. The Jets could use him and Robert Turner as extra blockers to beat on the defense. They do not have that kind of quality off the bench. Shonn Greene is quietly averaging almost 4.5 yards per carry since Nick Mangold returned from injury in Week 5, but I do not think the Jets have the players to just run at will six out of every ten plays with eight in the box like they have in the past.