Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight give Jets reason for optimism

Mark Sanchez hands the ball off to teammate

Mark Sanchez hands the ball off to teammate Shonn Greene during a game against the New England Patriots. (Oct. 21, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

The Jets' running game against the Patriots was a lot like the overall Jets game Sunday: good, but not good enough.

"We had a lot of efficient runs here and there," Shonn Greene said. "Some runs we missed some reads on; we probably should have gotten more out of them. But overall, I think we did a pretty good job on that."

About the best thing to be said for Greene, who had 54 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, as well as six receptions for 34 yards, and Joe McKnight, who had seven carries for 23 yards, is that the two main running backs came through the game banged up but otherwise OK.

Greene took a hard hit from Pats linebacker Brandon Spikes after a catch in the fourth quarter and headed to the locker room for concussion tests. He passed those and returned to the game for overtime, but he didn't get another carry and caught one more pass.

Greene said Monday he is fine.

McKnight entered the game with a sprained ankle and still ran hard, nearly breaking a second-down run in overtime and contributing a 41-yard kickoff return. He could be seen limping to the bench at times while he was the feature back in place of Greene, but he toughed it out.

"He didn't just show me, he showed all of his teammates, playing with that ankle injury," Rex Ryan said. "He had a couple plays -- even in the overtime, he's close to sending the [run] through the back. A guy makes a great play on him, I think it was [Jerod] Mayo, or that one's out the gate. He was impressive. This is a tough kid; we all know it. He played with a hyperextended elbow and a separated shoulder last year, so we know he's tough."

McKnight went past the locker room and to the showers Monday on crutches with his left foot heavily wrapped.

The Jets finished with 106 rushing yards against a Pats team that was allowing 86 per game, so it still was an upward trend coming off Greene's monster game against the Colts a week earlier.

Bilal Powell missed the game in New England with a separated shoulder and isn't likely to return Sunday against the Dolphins, who are fourth-best in the NFL against the run. So it again will be up to Greene and McKnight to carry the rushing attack.

"We did a lot of good things but we did too many things to allow a good team like them to win," Greene said of Sunday's loss. "We just got to clean up a few things and we'll be all right."

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