Greene Running Toward Consistency
Shonn Greene hasn’t been the star running back Jets fans hoped for when the team jettisoned Thomas Jones after the ’09 season to make him the feature back. Despite a lack of game changing speed and a past filled with ball security issues, Greene is quietly becoming a major cog in a balanced Jet attack.
Yesterday’s 37-10 win over Kansas City was highlighted by smothering defense, high powered offense and a cover-your-eyes performance from Chief quarterback Tyler Palko. Lost in the shuffle was another big day from Jet running back Shonn Greene. The 65th overall pick in the 2009 Draft struggled to assume the lead back role last season, fumbling too often and failing to reach the end zone enough. This season started out in a similar, inconsistent fashion, but Greene has thrived since the offensive line got healthy.
On Sunday, Greene recorded his second 100-yard game of the season and ran for his fourth touchdown over the past two weeks. His 31-yard dash in the teeth of the Kansas City defense was Greene’s longest run since the run that put him and the Rex Ryan Jets on the map: the 53-yard burst through the heart of the San Diego defense in the 2010 Divisional Round playoff game to help lead the team to an improbable AFC Title Game run.
Greene’s trademark coming out of Iowa was that he would get better and stronger as the season grew longer. His playoff breakout in ’09 continued the narrative, and if the last two games are any indication, he’s on his way to continuing it here in 2011. The 26 carries for 217 yards over the last two weeks signal the most yards and carries Greene has received over any two week span this season.
In a twist of irony Jet fans could come to embrace, Greene’s inconsistency early this season could lead to big production down the stretch in December and October. The inability to get a consistent rush going in September and October has Greene’s attempts at only 10th in the league, with Marshawn Lynch only 5 carries behind heading into this evening’s Monday Night Football contest.
A healthy, fresh Greene come January could be the recipe for the third year back from Iowa to becoming everything Jets fans thought he was during that 53-yard burst in San Diego two years ago.