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New York Jets: Better Running the Ball With Brian Winters

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Andy Lyons

I don't want to kick Vladimir Ducasse when he is down. He has been a big disappointment since the Jets took him in the second round in 2010 out of UMass. He is likely finished with the Jets and might be out of the NFL in 2014.

I did find some numbers that are kind of striking. Ducasse has a reputation for being a good run blocker in some circles. I don't really agree with it. Sure, there are flashes of dominance, but he's never been a consistently good run blocker. His run blocking is only good relative to his unfathomably bad pass blocking. The Jets' performance running the ball this year kind of points to that.

Ducasse started the first four games of the year at left guard. Brian Winters took over in the fifth game. Take a look at the results.

Games Starter Rushes Yards Yards/Rush Rushing Yards/Game
1-4 Ducasse 125 492 3.9 123
5-16 Winters 368 1,666 4.5 138

There are obviously variables that come into play. This isn't to say the switch at left guard is the only reason the run game got going. Still, it is striking to see how much more effective the Jets were on the ground after benching the guy whose alleged strength is run blocking.

*All stats calculated by hand from Pro-Football-Reference.com.