About the Author
Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's a matchup to watch in Sunday's Jets-Browns game:
Jets RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene vs. Browns' run defense
Tomlinson's resurgence in his 10th NFL season strengthens an already Hall of Fame-caliber résumé. Tomlinson, who's rushed for 599 yards on 123 carries (4.9 ypc), figures to get the majority of the carries against Cleveland.
The physical Greene, a second-year back from Iowa, has bounced back after a slow start to the season. He's carried 10 or more times in 5-of-8 games this season and also has an important role in the offense as the Jets look to keep Tomlinson fresh.
The Jets' offensive line is one of the NFL's best, with C Nick Mangold and OLT D'Brickashaw Ferguson considered standouts. The Jets run it a lot (252 attempts) and effectively (4.7 ypc), and that's a credit to the blocking up front.
The Browns are solid vs. the run. They are allowing a respectable 3.89 yards per carry and have surrendered just 126 combined yards on the ground in their last two games, both victories. In each of their three wins this season, they have limited opponents to 68 yards or fewer on the ground, while they have surrendered at least 109 rushing yards in their five losses.
The Browns, like the Jets, employ a "30" front as their base defense, with three defensive linemen and four linebackers comprising the front seven. NT Ahtyba Rubin has had a fine season in the middle of the defensive line, and his battles with Mangold should be fun to watch. OLB Scott Fujita has fit in nicely in his first season in the Browns' defense, as has ILB Chris Gocong.
Rookie SS T.J. Ward, the Browns' leading tackler, has been a key contributor in run support.