For much of this season, the Jets' "ground-and-pound" mantra, which formed the basis for their success in the previous two seasons under Rex Ryan, seemed a thing of the past. Rex's dad, Buddy, in his heyday in the NFL, would have described the Jets' offense as "chuck-and-duck."
But in the second half of their 27-21 victory over San Diego Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Jets rediscovered their offensive identity. Yes, Mark Sanchez and Plaxico Burress hooked up for their second and third touchdown passes of the game, but it was running back Shonn Greene who gave the offense needed balance, gaining 63 of his 112 rushing yards.
It was Greene's first 100-yard rushing effort since the fourth game of the 2010 season. He broke a 24-yard run that set up Nick Folk's first-quarter field goal and ripped off a 15-yard gain to the 4 to set up a touchdown pass to Burress as the Jets cut the Chargers' lead to 21-17 late in the third quarter.
Asked if the Jets are starting to find themselves, Greene said, "Yeah, offensively, we want to pound them and throw completions. Defensively, we don't want to let the opponents' offense get anything. We did that today."
Late in the game, Greene suffered a minor right ankle sprain but played through it, carrying eight times for 30 yards on two fourth-quarter drives in which the Jets scored a touchdown for their first lead of the game and added a field goal.
"I just kind of tweaked it," Greene said of the ankle injury. "I was a little sore, but you're going to get banged up and hurt, but you've got to keep going."
Of the final two scoring drives, Greene said, "I think that's important, keeping the ball and running that four-minute offense to keep the clock running."