Updated 11:48 a.m. ET
Shonn Greene is picking up speed and one more measure of that is the Jets tailback’s nomination for this week’s FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Greene, who ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the 37-10 rout of the Chiefs on Sunday, is in the running for the award with Giants RB Brandon Jacobs and Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. Fans can go to NFL.com/FedEx and vote for their favorite Air & Ground players of the week from now through 3 p.m. ET Friday.
Greene’s game was significant for several reasons. His 129 yards not only was a season high but was the third-most yards in a game in his three-year career, topped only by his 144 yards at Oakland in 2009 in his first significant action as a Jet and by his 135 yards in the AFC Wild Card win at Cincinnati later his rookie season.
And Greene’s 24 attempts is a career high, surpassing his 23 carries in the 2009 AFC Divisional Round win at San Diego the week after the Cincinnati game.
SG’s rushing game was a major component of the victory. As head coach Rex Ryan said on Monday, “I was really happy with the way we ran the football. We had 42 rushing attempts, which is always a good sign for us.”
How good a sign? Ryan and his stuff like to bundle rushing attempts and completions together as an indicator of the offense’s performance in a given game. The Jets had 55 rushes and catches vs. Kansas City, the 11th-highest total in Ryan’s tenure as the Jets’ coach. When the Jets have 55 or more rushes plus catches under Rex, their record is 10-1, and in franchise history the Jets’ record in those games is 148-24-2, an .856 winning percentage.
Further, it’s not a part of the criteria for nominating a player for “Ground” status but it should be mentioned again that Greene also added 58 receiving yards to give him a career-high 187 yards from scrimmage.
And further still, Greene is on a roll, with Sunday’s game following hot on the heels of his 22-carry, 88-yard, three-TD game against the Redskins. Which coincidentally was played at FedExField. We’re just sayin’.
Several team rankings are worth mentioning now that Week 14 of the season is in the books. The offense’s yardage rankings are still low (although the Jets have risen from 31st to a season-high 22nd in rushing offense in the last eight weeks). But the scoring offense is on the move, rising to sixth in the league, its highest level in the last 24 weeks, or since it came in at fourth after Week 7 of the 2010 season.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells me that the last NFL team to go 12-for-12 in red zone TDs was the Colts in 2010 and the last to put together a longer streak was the 2006 Chargers, who had 15 in a row.
The Jets’ red zone performance continues to sparkle. By going 5-for-5 in RZ TD drives vs. KC, they now have scored touchdowns in 12 consecutive possessions inside the opponents’ 20, beginning with the one TD at Denver. That raises their TD drive percentage to 71.4, No. 1 in the NFL. It’s also the best percentage after 14 weeks since the 2007 Saints were posting a 72.5 percent red zone TD rate en route to their league-leading 72.0 for the season.
Finally, after allowing 221 yards to Kansas City, the Jets’ defense in total yards allowed has also climbed to a season-high sixth. And after holding the Chiefs to 2-for-12 on third-down conversions, the Green & White inched up from third to second in the league’s third-down defense standings.
Tags: Brandon Jacobs, FedEx Ground Player of the Week, Kansas City Chiefs, Marshawn Lynch, Shonn Greene
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