The New York Jets have not been able to do much offensively this season, as evident by their 29th ranking in total yards and 26th overall ranking in points scored. One player who has taken some heat from the fans is running back Shonn Greene. Greene was drafted with the first pick of the third round in the 2009 NFL draft by the team. He was the 65th overall pick out of the University of Iowa.
Greene is a bruising back who would rather hit a defender than make that defender miss. He doesn’t have breakaway speed as he’s only had six carries the last two seasons over 20 yards. The real question is should he be a part of the Jets future?
The Jets win games when Greene carries the ball 18 times. Since his rookie season of 2009, the Jets are 14-2 in the regular season when he rushes the ball at least 18 times in a game. The record jumps to 18-2 when you count the postseason. You could make the argument that the Jets lost the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 because Greene got hurt in the second half and they couldn’t run the ball.
The running back had his first 1000-yard season last year when he finished 13th overall in the NFL in rushing. He carried the ball 253 times for 1054 yards and six scores. He averaged 4.2 yards per rush in his first season as the starter. He’s currently 15th in rushing this season with 806 yards on 210 carries with five touchdowns. He’s averaging 3.8 yards per attempt. He needs to average 48.5 yards in the next four games to get to 1000.
You can’t expect Greene to catch many passes out of the backfield as he’s only caught 59 passes out of the backfield in his Jet career. He caught 30 passes last season but only has 13 this year. Former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson caught 94 passes out of the backfield in his two years.
It’s debatable on whether or not Greene should be a featured back but he can definitely help a team. The NFL doesn’t employ teams with one main running back anymore as the majority of teams have two backs that split carries. Maybe the issue isn’t Greene but the fact that the Jets are just so dysfunctional on offense they haven’t developed anyone else.