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Relying on the Running Backs

Scott Cunningham

If Geno Smith struggles this week against the Atlanta Falcons, it's important to remember that he's throwing to Jeremy Kerley, Ben Obomanu, Ryan Spadola, Clyde Gates, and David Nelson, with both Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes doubtful for the game. It's tough to argue there's a worse, or at least less proven, receiving corps in the National Football League than that.

However, the New York Jets will see the return of Mike Goodson and, most likely, Chris Ivory to the lineup. The team needs to focus on the ground game and just keep running against the Falcons' defensive line. Bilal Powell is currently has the second most yards of any running back in the NFL, and Goodson adds a dynamic threat out of the backfield. Combined with Ivory and Tommy Bohanon's hard-charging ways, and Marty Mornhinweg has to try and get 40+ rushing attempts on Monday night. If he can do that, the offensive will stay on the field, keep the defense refreshed, and they will wear down the Falcons defensive line.

It's also worth noting the size of the Falcons' defensive line. Their average weight is just 281lbs, compared to the Jets defensive line, which averages 313lbs. The Jets offensive line, on the other hand, averages 317lbs, 36lbs heavier than the Falcons' defensive line. That may seem like an arbitrary distinction, but it bears in mind when talking about getting a push on their line.

It's also important to note how the New England Patriots defeated the Falcons last week. The Patriots ran the ball 31 times for 132 yards, or 4.3 yards per carry. They wore the Falcons down, and that's the strategy the Jets need to take this week, especially considering the weak receiving threats the Jets have. Mornhinweg needs to take the pressure off the passing game by building up a running game. More than any other game so far, the Jets need to focus on the ground game and beat the Falcons into submission.