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 has been to this point and come up short. Three years ago his Chargers team lost the AFC title game to the Patriots while he spent most of that contest wrapped in a parka on the sideline.
“This is the toughest game to lose,” he said of the conference championship. “You’re right there where you can smell it, you can start to envision the atmosphere and all that you work for all year long. You start to envision that you’re finally here. And to lose the game, it’s such an empty feeling. It really is. It’s like it was all for nothing. It’s a tough thing to get over because it sticks with you most of the offseason.”
He’s not the only one to lose in a conference title game. The Jets were there last year, leading at halftime against the Colts. And Bart Scott has been to the conference championship game three straight years.
“I don’t know if I can put it into words but I can definitely imagine the feeling,” Tomlinson said of what it would mean to win on Sunday. “Every year you see a team walk off that field in the AFC Championship Game going to the Super Bowl. “You see the excitement on guys’ faces, the atmosphere, and just how proud guys are.”