Jets to Bears D: We're gonna run all over you
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Unbearable weather conditions.
A quarterback with an injured throwing shoulder.
As if the New York Jets needed any more reason to run the football on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Anyone who has watched this Jets team all season knows their identity on offense has revolved around the run. They're tied for the second in the NFL in rushing attempts (454) and sixth in rushing yards (1,974).
Last week, the Jets’ ground attack never really got going against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ stout run defense. But despite gaining just 106 yards on 27 carries, they never abandoned the run.
In the end, that strategy enabled them to come out with a hard-fought victory. A victory that wouldn’t have been possible had the Steelers not bit on Mark Sanchez’s fake bootleg with 5:14 left in the third quarter. Sanchez’s 7-yard touchdown run on fourth down tied the score at 17-17. The Jets (10-4) ended up winning that game 22-17 and can advance to the playoffs with a win over the Bears (10-4).
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said LaDainian Tomlinson, who was held by Pittsburgh to just 40 yards on 11 carries. “We knew that running was going to be tough. We were looking at the best rushing defense in the NFL. For us, it was all about making positive yards, picking up some first downs on third down, running the football [and] keeping the drives alive. Like you said, it was critical for us to have some success because it did set up that boot[leg] for the touchdown that we needed at a critical time and also, a big third-down [conversion], if you remember, another boot[leg] where Sanchez threw it to Dustin [Keller]. The running game, that’s what it’s about, is making sure defenses stay honest where they have to play us running and passing the ball.”
According to weather.com, it is projected to snow in Chicago on Sunday, with temperatures expected to range anywhere from 14-28 degrees. And those conditions would make it awful tough for Sanchez to throw -- especially when you consider he has a sore right throwing shoulder to begin with.
The Bears may have the NFL’s third-best run defense (89.8 yards per game), but that doesn’t mean the Jets aren’t going to change the way they play.
Not for anyone.
“We’re going to attack them the same way,” Shonn Greene said. “We just went up against the No. 1 run ‘D,’ so why should we worry about [the Bears]?
The Jets, after all, are a running football team on a mission.
“We just need to stay focused and execute,” Greene said. “If we execute our game plan we’ll be all right.”