It’s difficult finding bright spots for the 2012 Jets, but one positive, especially in the second half of the season, was the running game, led by Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. Gang Green averaged 26.5 more rushing yards a game over its last seven contests than the first nine games.
Greene especially seemed to up his game in another 1,000-yard season, including eight touchdowns, after a tough first five games. One daily team observer noted that Greene was running with a purpose, important for the former third-rounder as he enters free agency for the first time in his career.
Powell, the second-year back, was the change-of-pace back who showed more quickness than Greene and in some games played as many or more snaps than the veteran.
In addition to Greene's contract situation, the Jets' offensive scheme adds to the questions about the backfield. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s future is still up in the air, and the Jets want to improve the offense, but as long as Rex Ryan is in charge, they will run the football. We have heard the Jets like Powell, and the team showed as such by not adding a veteran back prior to the 2012 season. As impressive as Greene looked down the stretch, he averaged only 3.9 yards a carry and isn’t the receiving threat that Powell is. The Jets could look for another starter if they don’t choose to re-sign Greene, or increase Powell’s workload in 2013 and grab a more reliable complement for him than Joe McKnight. Much of that will hinge on a potentially new offensive coordinator and his plan for the run game.