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New York Jets Run Defense vs. New Orleans Saints Run Offense

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Drew Brees and the passing game get most of the hype, but the Saints are surprisingly balanced in their play calling. They run it about as often as they throw it. They also run it really well, a 5 yard clip per carry. Former Bronco Mike Bell has been hitting his holes hard, running at a 5.1 yards per carry clip, but he's out with a knee injury. Pierre Thomas, returning from an injury of his own, will likely start in his place. He's shiftier than Bell. Lynell Hamilton will also see carries behind Thomas. Hamilton is a bruising runner with a good burst.

Reggie Bush will get his share of touches out of the backfield as well. Bush doesn't scare me as a runner like he does as a receiver. He has no vision or patience. He tries to bounce everything to the outside and hit a homerun. The Jets still do need to keep an eye on him at all times, perhaps dedicate a player to him because he is deadly once he gets into space.

I like the way the Jets match up with the Saints on the ground. Part of the reason New Orleans has such a successful run game is opponents play conservatively, fearful of the big play. That opens up a lot of running room. The Jets will not take that approach. They will attack and dare the Saints to make big plays. It's not going to be as easy.

The Saints also haven't had to deal with Kris Jenkins up front. We'll see if they run as effectively against a force like Kris. If they can, they'll win. They'll deserve to also.