Sunday, January 10, 2010
Sanchez thrives off run success
By Tim Graham
CINCINNATI -- Once a team gets into the playoffs and opposing defenses get stronger, there's a belief among football strategists that you must pass to set up the run, not vice versa.
For one game at least, the New York Jets defied that line of thinking.
Perhaps the Jets have found the second incarnation of Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer, the two backs who carried them to glory in the late 1960s.
Rookie running back Shonn Greene erupted for 135 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 24-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium. The NFL's third-leading rusher, Thomas Jones, had 34 yards and a touchdown.
That run game helped rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez tremendously.
ESPN Stats & Information extracted the Jets' play-action portfolio from Saturday and found some remarkable numbers.
Sanchez completed five of his six play-action passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Sure, tight end Dustin Keller sprinted for most of those yards on his 45-yard touchdown, but what helped clear Keller's path was Cincinnati's aggression in trying to stop what they thought would be a run.
Sanchez had an 83.3 completion percentage and a 158.3 passer rating with play-action.
In the regular season, he completed 51.7 percent of his play-action passes with three touchdowns and seven interceptions and a 59.1 passer rating.