Stats & Info: Shonn Greene

The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets – two teams in desperate need of a win – hook up on Monday Night Football (8:30 ET on ESPN) for the 12th time and first since 2009. The Jets hold a 6-5 edge in games against the Dolphins on MNF.

The Dolphins are 0-4 and have lost seven straight dating back to last season, the longest active streak in the NFL. After a 2-0 start, the Jets have lost three straight, the third time they’ve had a losing streak of that length in three seasons under Rex Ryan.

One focus tonight will be on each team’s running game. The Dolphins traded for Reggie Bush in the offseason, thinking he’d be the team’s every-down running back. However, Bush has run for only 119 yards on 40 carries, while rookie Daniel Thomas leads the team in rushes (41) and rush yards (202). Bush is averaging a career-low 3.0 yards per rush and hasn’t scored a rushing TD since Nov. 15, 2009 (a span of 17 games).

The Jets have been struggling with their identity, trying to revert to their trusted ground-and-pound philosophy. Shonn Greene had his best game of the season last week at the New England Patriots (83 yards, TD), but the Jets were held to fewer than 100 yards rushing for the third time in five games this season. In Ryan's first two seasons as head coach, the Jets were held to fewer than 100 yards rushing a total of three times.

In addition, the first two years under Ryan saw the Jets average more rush yards per game than anyone else in the NFL and rank in the top four in rush defense. So far this season, the ground game has come to a screeching halt, averaging fewer than half as many yards per game while giving up 40 more per game.

One reason the Jets are struggling in the run game this season is their inability to run the ball up the middle. They are averaging just 2.7 yards per rush up the middle, with Green making the majority of those rushes. Of the 57 rushes up the middle the Jets have run this season, Green has 37 of them, while picking up just six first downs.

As mentioned, the Jets’ rush defense has been vulnerable this season as well, particularly on rushes to the offenses’ left. The Jets have allowed five touchdowns on 63 attempts this season after allowing four in 109 attempts last season.
The New England Patriots exacted some revenge on the New York Jets with a 30-21 victory Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots have now won 19 straight regular-season home games, the longest active streak in the NFL and tied for the fifth-longest streak in NFL history.

Tom Brady extended his regular-season home winning streak to 30 games, but did see his streak of 13-straight games with multiple touchdown passes come to an end. The 13 leave him tied with Peyton Manning for the longest such streak in NFL history.

Brady and crew outgained the Jets 446-to-255 in total yardage, while making it three straight games in which a team has scored 30 or more points against the Jets. That is the longest such streak for the Jets since Week 1-3 of the 2002 season.

Wes Welker
Welker
Wes Welker continued his stellar start to the 2011 campaign by gaining 124 yards on five receptions. He now has 740 yards receiving on the season, the most ever by a player in his team's first five games.

It's even more impressive when you consider that Jets wide receivers as a whole have a total of 573 receiving yards.

Welker gained 43 yards after the catch on the opening play of the second half and finished the game with a 12.8 average yards after catch. In his 50th regular season game since 2008, Sunday was only the fourth time Welker has averaged double-digit YAC.

The Jets entered the game saying they would be more dedicated to the ground -- and they were rushing the ball on 47-percent of plays, up from 37-percent earlier this season -- but were outgained on the ground by their opponent for the fifth straight game to start the season, thanks to a career-best 136 rushing yards by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

With so much concentration on stopping the pass, the Jets couldn't figure out how to stop Green-Ellis. Out of respect for Brady's arm, the Jets defense put six or fewer defenders in the box on 58 of 79 snaps.

Green-Ellis excelled with six or fewer Jets in the box, rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown against that formation. Entering Sunday 35 of Green-Ellis's 50 season carries had come with at least seven in the box, so he enjoyed the extra room.

He finished with two touchdowns on the ground against the Jets, their eighth rushing touchdown allowed through five games this season. In each of the previous two season the Jets allowed 11 rush touchdowns.

Shonn Greene did rush for 83 yards and a touchdown, however New York was held to fewer than 100 yards rushing for the third time in five games this season.

In Rex Ryan's first two seasons as head coach, the Jets had been held to fewer than 100 yards rushing a total of three times.
A statistical preview of Sunday’s Divisional playoff game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots.

In the teams’ Week 2 matchup, Patriots QB Tom Brady was 10-for-18 with an interception when the Jets blitzed a member of the secondary, but in Week 13, Brady went 7-for-10 with two touchdowns. Brady completed 50 percent of his attempts in 2009 when the Jets rushed a member of the secondary with no touchdowns and one interception.

Pass pressure from the secondary will be the key Sunday. The Jets have sent a defensive back after the quarterback on 32.3 percent of opponents’ pass plays this season (including playoffs), the highest rate in the NFL and more than double the league average.

In their Week 2 win, the Jets sent a defensive back at the quarterback on 48.6 percent of New England’s pass plays, but in their Week 13 blowout loss, they used secondary pressure only 40.6 percent of the time.

Tom Brady
Brady
The Jets are coming off of their lowest DB-blitz total of the season, sending a member of the secondary on just 14.8 percent of Peyton Manning’s dropbacks. In the 2009 AFC Championship Game against the Colts, Ryan and the Jets blitzed a DB on 58.5 percent of Manning’s dropbacks.

Last week’s wild card game was only the third time this season and fifth time under Ryan that the Jets didn’t blitz a defensive back on 20 percent of an opponent’s dropbacks.

Brady has benefited greatly from his two rookie tight ends this season. When Brady throws to Rob Gronkowski, he has the highest passer rating in the league when targeting a single receiver (143.3), just ahead of Philip Rivers-to-Antonio Gates. His 130.6 passer rating when targeting Aaron Hernandez is fifth-highest (minimum 50 attempts).

Mark Sanchez is likely to see a lot of standard pass rush -- four or fewer pass rushers -- from the Patriots this week.

Sanchez went 13-for-16 with two touchdowns when New England rushed five or more this season, and in Week 13, Sanchez couldn’t navigate the Patriots’ standard rush the way he did in Week 2.

When the Jets run the ball, look for them to attack the Patriots’ defense to the right. Of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene’s 49 rush attempts against the Patriots this season, 26 came up the middle.

LaDainian Tomlinson
Tomlinson
Both found moderate success there, but they picked up big chunks of yards to the right side. 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.

Tomlinson averaged 12.6 yards per rush to the right against New England this season, more than three times better than in any other direction.

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