While the Jets offense may have had some spotty performances rushing the football in the first five weeks of the season, it appeared New York may have finally established its “Ground and Pound’’ attack by rushing for 252 yards in last Sunday’s 35-9 rout of the Indianapolis Colts.
Running back Shonn Greene led the way by rushing for a career-high 161 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries.
“Well, I would say schematically they’ve changed their running game a little bit than what it’s been the past couple of years from more scheme-blocking plays and less zone-blocking plays,’’ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said during his teleconference Tuesday in anticipation of Sunday’s AFC East showdown against the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
“They also run zone plays, too, but they run double-team blocks, pulling linemen, things like that,’’ Belichick said. “More so than just predominantly zone.’’
As for their personnel groups, Belichick said, “Sometimes they have one or two tight ends in the game, sometimes three tight-end sets. They’ve also used Jason Smith as an extra blocking tight end, so he’s a pretty athletic guy. They’re able to do some things with him maybe the same way we did with [Nate] Solder last year, that type of thing, so that’s another element to it.
“Sometimes they line up all three guys in the backfield, two tight ends and a running back, a running back, fullback and another tight end, or things like that that create blocking angles and different schemes.
“And Greene’s run well. No question he’s a powerful guy. He’s got good strength and he breaks a lot of tackles and also has good foot speed, good running vision. [Bilal] Powell and [Joe] McKnight have also been in there and they’re dangerous. We know how explosive McKnight is in the kicking game and he has that same element on offense, running the ball or catching screen passes, things like that.
“They’ve got a good group of backs and they complement each other well. Greene gets a lot of tough yards, Powell’s a good solid guy who does a lot of things well, and McKnight’s kind of an explosive player and then [Tim] Tebow -- whatever you want to call him. But he carries the ball quite a bit, to some degree as a running back.’’