How do you run on the New England Patriots? Go right.
ESPN Stats and Information culled an interesting "Next Level" factoid that looms large for Jets-Patriots III. Of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene’s 49 rush attempts against the Patriots this season, 26 came up the middle. Both found moderate success up the middle, but the right side is where the tandem picked up big chunks of yards.
Tomlinson and Greene combined for five first downs on 14 rushes to the right against the Patriots, just as many firsts as they got up the middle.
But here's the X factor: The Jets' right tackle, Damien Woody, is out for the playoffs, having been placed on IR Wednesday with an Achilles' tendon injury. His replacement is veteran Wayne Hunter. Can the Jets maintain their ability to run right without Woody? That will be one of the key questions in Sunday's game.
Yards/Rush by Direction, 2010 vs Patriots
Dir. --- Tomlinson --- Greene
Left Side ---- 3.0 --- 4.0
Up the Middle ---- 4.0 --- 4.1
Right Side --- 12.6* --- 4.2
* Five attempts for 63 yards.