EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets loses his helmet as he is tackled by Kenyon Coleman #99 of and Sean Lissemore #95 of the Dallas Cowboys during their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
When the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New York Jets in New Meadowlands on Sunday, they'll be facing a team constructed in a very similar manner as the Jaguars. The Jets have a powerful offensive line, a bruising fullback, and a two headed backfield. Shonn Greene is a power runner that I'm very familiar with (he's a Hawkeye) and his back up currently is LaDainian Tomlinson, who looked very spry on Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
Greene led the Jets in carries on Sunday, but Tomlinson won out in total touches, actually leading the Jets in receptions with 6 catches for 73 yards. Neither ran the ball in a particularly effective manner, but I would expect both to get plenty of touches against the Jaguars. I asked John B from GangGreenNation.com if Greene was still the "guy" for the Jets.
I think Greene is the guy. Tomlinson got a lot of touches Sunday against Dallas, but the Jets were primarily throwing it both because they were behind and also because they felt like they could exploit matchups in Dallas' injury depleted secondary.
Tomlinson is going to be the receiving back. Greene is going to get the bulk of the carries. I expect the Jets to go to the run more and give Greene more opportunities this week.
While Tomlinson isn't what he was when he was with the San Diego Chargers, he's still a very effective back, especially catching the football as he showed on Sunday night. I wouldn't be so concerned with Greene if I were the Jaguars defense, he'll get his carries but he's a power back. He might grind out 3-4 yards a carry, but against this defense he should be stifled. Tomlinson on the other hand, could be a real concern catching the football out of the backfield.
If I were the Jets, I'd hit the Jaguars with some screen passes to Tomlinson early to get it in Mel Tucker's mind. In the preseason, the Jaguars were crushed by the screen pass. Even against the Tennessee Titans, runningback Chris Johnson tied for the lead in receptions with six. He was limited to 25 receiving yards, but he was targeted 7 times. I wouldn't expect that to change a whole lot against the Jets.