When the Jets are running the football well, Mark Sanchez plays better football. He comes off the play-action and finds his targets regularly. The problem is, the Jets don't run the football well and the 49'ers are one of the best teams at stopping the run. Consider that the Jets feature running back is gaining 2.8 yards a carry and through three weeks of the season, the 49'ers defense is allowing just 3.3 yards a carry.
At the start of this season the Jets wanted to become a ground and pound team, that was the offensive philosophy that we were going with. Unfortunately you can't be a ground and pound team when you are constantly in 2nd and long and 3rd and long.
I'm not sure if you guys saw the article at SB Nation New York yesterday in relation to the Jets rushing game and the argument for benching Shonn Greene in favour of Bilal Powell who is rushing at 4 yards a clip. Football outsiders rank running backs in the NFL with DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) and Shonn Greene ranked in at number 38 (remember we have 32 teams), they argue that he has gained -79 less yards than a replacement in the same situation would have done. They also ranked the Jets offensive line 17th in terms of run blocking, so by no means is it the best but it's also better than their leading rusher gaining 2.8 yards a carry suggests. I would suggest reading the article for further advanced statistics on the Jets running game or lack of.
The problem is, I don't know how we can get the run game going without replacing our running backs. Shonn needs to run with a little more awareness, he needs to avoid contact and not seek it out. Bilal Powell needs to get at least 35-40% of the snaps and despite Joe McKnight practising at defense, he needs to get a good 10 touches a game to change things up a little bit.
We need to get the run game going if we want this offense to be firing on all cylinders, however the 49'ers are not a team that allows you obvious running lanes. If we keep plugging away with Shonn Greene, well I expect us to continue running at around 3.5 yards a clip as a team.