Saturday, November 15, 2008


I certainly feel this season is one of the Jets' best chances since 1998 to get back to an AFC Championship Game (and dare I even say it - possibly get to the Super Bowl). But I have some worries about this team. Some are big, some are small, and most involve key positions.

Not the least of which is the Jets' starting running back - Thomas Jones.

Don't get me wrong - Thomas Jones is having a very good season. To this point - 854 yards on 190 carries, good for 4.5 yards a carry, and 9 touchdowns rushing - a far cry from what he did last year (1 rushing touchdown, and a full yard less per carry).

But I'm somewhat worries those numbers are a bit stacked - 159 yards versus Oakland, 149 versus St. Louis. He topped 100 at New England Thursday night, but couldn't get a yard when it counted - and that's what bothers me.

In the first game against New England (week 2), it was Thomas Jones who couldn't get the ball in on multiple tries from the one. And then when the Jets were going way too conservative in the second half of the second game (this week), it was Thomas Jones who found nowhere to go, resulting in that strategy being a tremendous failure.

I know that he isn't entirely to blame - I know the offensive line plays a major role in his success, and I know the other team's defense could be given some credit - but I'm still putting a lot of the blame on Jones.

Sometimes it seems like he abandons the play too early, and looks for an escape around the end, only to find a dead end. Sometimes he runs right into the line and gets swallowed up. It seems like that happens way too much, especially at the end of the important games.

I don't know what to make of it. I will say that I'm encouraged by the fact that he has put together two strong games in a row for the first time all season - and he's gone four straight with a touchdown - no small feat.

It's something I'm watching - because the Jets need a back that they can go to when they need to ice a game and run out the clock. And it's not Leon Washington - he's either feast or famine, and the feast comes very rarely, with way too much famine. (Though when the feast comes, it's pretty exciting.) So the Jets need Thomas Jones to succeed. And I watch him closely because that's something that concerns me.

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