Mark Sanchez handing off to Shonn Greene
With the New York Jets' (6-7) playoff hopes riding on a near must-win game versus the Tennessee Titans tonight on Monday Night Football, here is a breakdown of what we can expect to see from their key offensive players in this crucial contest.
For the struggling Jets quarterback, the Titans' porous defense is exactly what the doctor ordered. Ranked 27th against the pass (250.8 yards) and 25th against the run (127 yards), the Titans will be faced with concentrating heavily on stopping the Jets running game (ranked 13th at 119.1 yards).
That opens Sanchez's door a little wider for working through his problems of passing the football. Sanchez has a quarterback rating of only 71.8 while he has been sacked 30 times. However, last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets turned heavily to their running game and Sanchez reacted positively in their victory.
Look for more of the Jets featuring their running game tonight, along with further improvement from Sanchez. His numbers will be in the neighborhood of 15-of-25, 175 yards passing, no interceptions and a touchdown.
With 883 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground, Greene figures to play a major role in controlling the ball (and the clock) for the Jets ground game. His power running style will become larger-than-life against the Titans' weak run defense, wearing them down as the game goes on.
By the time the fourth quarter ends, Greene will have at least 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Powell is coming off his best game of the season, rushing for 78 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. A shifty runner, he is a perfect complement to the hard-hitting Greene. Together, they will shred the Titans defense while dominating the clock.
Although Greene will do most of the running tonight, Powell will provide the Jets with about a dozen carries and 50-to-60 yards rushing.
The return of Edwards gives Sanchez the deep threat the Jets have been lacking for most of this season. More importantly, he is a huge supporter of the Jets' quarterback, so his presence alone will be a comfort to Sanchez. Together, they have reached two AFC Championship Games.
Having joined the team less than a week ago, Edwards will be used mostly as a decoy to keep the Titans' run defense honest and open things up underneath for Sanchez.
Edwards will finish the game with four catches and 50 yards.
Jets 24, Titans 13