“We play good defense and get off the bus running the football.” Where have we heard that before? Lovie Smith and the Bears like to claim that they run the ball and play defense, but not so fans. How can you say that when you ranked 17th in total defense and a miserable 29th running the ball? 29th. Out of 32 teams.
This weekend take a look at a team that really lives up to the Bears’ formula – the New York Jets. The Jets finished up the season ranked 1st in defense and 1st in rushing at just over 172 yards per game.
In stark contrast, the Bears wound up with about 93 yards per game. They did this with – ya, you guessed it – Bears castoff Thomas Jones toting the rock. You remember him, right? The guy they traded to make way for Cedric Benson. The Cedric Benson who tallied over 1200 yards for the Bengals when he got his head screwed on right.
Meanwhile, the guy we had to draft to replace the guy that chased the other guy out of town played all season with a bum wheel.
The Jets have more ties to the Bears besides T Jones. How about head coach Rex Ryan? Yup, Buddy’s son. And one of his assistants? 46-zone defense ‘namesake’ #46 Doug Plank.
Critics have said that the Jets backed their way into the playoffs, thanks in large part to the Colts laying down for them back in Week 16. But the Jets have gotten the job done in the playoffs with strong running from Jones and emerging superstar Shonn Greene (take note 2010 fantasy footballers) and playing killer defense behind lockdown cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Look for Revis to follow Reggie Wayne into the locker room at halftime – that’s how tight he’ll be covering. I doubt the Jets will be able to confuse Peyton Manning with various fronts and blitzes – who can? But if the Jets can run the ball and keep Peyton and the Colts offense off the field… Well, you never know.
So if you like old-school 1985-style 46-defense and smash mouth running attack that the Bears advertise, throw your support behind the Jets.