5) THE JETS' RUNNING GAME IS IN HIGH GEAR
The ground-and-pound style of the Jets running game has been the backbone of the offense in their two playoff wins. Shonn Greene has been a clutch postseason performer, as he ran for 70 yards on 17 carries with one touchdown against New England, following up a 70-yard game against the Colts.
Meanwhile, LaDainian Tomlinson continues to make general manager Mike Tannenbaum look like a genius. Tomlinson has been stellar in the postseason, rushing for 125 yards and scoring three touchdowns. The Jets will use their backs to shorten the game and keep the dangerous Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline. Credit: AP
LaDainian Tomlinson can’t even fathom retirement. Not now.
The Jets running back has not only revamped his career since joining the team, but he and his new teammates are just 60 minutes away from reaching the Super Bowl. So, no, Tomlinson isn’t close to thinking about hanging it up, thank you very much.
Not even if he and the Jets win the ultimate prize.
“I haven’t thought about it,” Tomlinson said on a national conference call this afternoon. “I have a lot of time to, obviously, think about that. We’ve got to take it one week at a time. We’ve got Pittsburgh this week. We can’t get ahead of ourselves.”
No longer is he hampered by a strained MCL, as was the case in his last AFC title game appearance. Then a San Diego Charger, Tomlinson couldn’t even finish the game against New England in 2007. Instead, the running back, who had just two rushing attempts for five yards, was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Patriots won, 21-12.
“Obviously, I feel better having my legs under me and being healthy,” said Tomlinson, who is averaging 4.8 yards a carry (26 rushing attempts, 125 yards) this postseason. “I’m excited about this opportunity.”
Sunday’s AFC title game against Pittsburgh is, without question, the biggest game of Tomlinson’s 10-year career. And, not surprisingly, winning the Super Bowl would mean “everything," he said.
“I’ve dreamed about winning a Super Bowl championship since I was six years old, growing up right there in Texas,” said Tomlinson, a native of Rosebud, a city in Falls County. “Being a huge Cowboys fan and seeing the Cowboys win three Super Bowls, that was right when I was growing up and football was everything.
“I always dreamt about having the chance to win my own championship. To have the opportunity back at home, it would be a dream come true. It would be anything and everything that I could ask for in my career.”