Through three weeks, only seven teams have rushed for less yardage than the Jets.
Part of that is due to effectiveness; we’re still waiting for Shonn Greene to make a difference. Part of that is due to a change in philosophy.
The Jets are throwing the ball more, and Rex Ryan didn’t even deny that they were going away from their “ground and pound” mindset when asked about it Monday.
“I think as long as you’re able to move the ball effectively, you don’t have to run it or you don’t have to throw it,” Ryan said. “You’d like to be in a situation where, I looked at Baltimore yesterday, they were throwing it all over the place.
“I think they had 403 yards at halftime — that’s at halftime, by the way. This week, are you going to run it against Haloti Ngata over and over and against Ray Lewis? We’ll probably have to throw it more than we want.”
This Jets team is a little different. They don’t seem to have as much confidence in their offensive line, even before Nick Mangold went out. They have thrown the ball for a higher percentage of snaps (62%) than any three-game stretch since Ryan took over.
We’ve said it before, but this strategy makes it doubly true: This Jets season will hinge on Mark Sanchez’s ability to go from passable to a positive.
We’ll get a great early progress report on Sanchez Sunday night in Baltimore.