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Jets Needs Running Game to Propel Offense

Running game will be a major key to Jets offense.

Chris Ivory (Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Ivory (Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports Images)

 

This year’s New York Jets team is expected to have a really good defense and a not so good offense. If Geno Smith ends up being the week 1 starter, which he probably will be, the Jets clearly have a hole at the quarterback position. Even with Eric Decker and recently signed Brandon Marshall at receiver this season, Geno Smith is still not a quarterback that is going to light up the scoreboard. The only way the Jets can really have a consistent offense this year is by getting consistent play out of their running backs.

Last season, first string running back, Chris Ivory, averaged 51.3 rushing yards per game which was actually down from is 2013 average of 55.5 rushing yards per game. Ivory also averaged 7.7 receiving yards per game which was way up from his 2013 average of 0.7 yards per game. And Ivory was really the only threat out of the Jets backfield last year. The other two options were Bilal Powell and Chris Johnson, and they averaged less than 15 rushing yards total between the two of them.

This year, Ivory will have help in the backfield as the Jets signed former New England Patriot, Stevan Ridley, and traded for St. Louis Rams running back, Zac Stacy. Stevan Ridley averaged 56.7 rushing yards per game last season, 55.2 rushing yards per game in 2013, and 78.9 rushing yards per game in 2012. Zac Stacy did not have that great of a 2014 season as he only averaged 22.5 rushing yards per game. But he did deal with an injury last season. His 2013 rookie season was much better as he averaged 69.5 rushing yards per game. If Stacy can get back to his rookie form, the Jets will have three legitimate options out of the backfield.

If the Jets want to be successful this season, they must run the ball effectively. Geno Smith is not good enough to win games by himself, even with the new and improved receiving core. The Jets have to have a “run first” mentality. It’s the same mentality they had in 2009 and 2010 when the Jets made back to back runs to the AFC Championship. Mark Sanchez was never that great of a quarterback, but the Jets made up for that with their run game. When Sanchez started passing the ball more in the following seasons, he started to go down-hill because his interception numbers were sky high.

The Jets running game this year will definitely be a huge key to their success; or lack of success if they do not run the ball well.

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