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Jets Face a Problem in Stopping Tomlinson

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/04/sports/football/04jets.ready.html" target="_blank">The New York Times</a>

    <img src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/tomlinson15.jpg" alt="LaDanian Tomlinson" />


    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Nov. 3 - The question seemed innocuous enough: How did the Jets plan on stopping San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson this Sunday?

    But Victor Hobson, a linebacker, didn't have an immediate answer. So he stared across the locker room Thursday as if one would magically appear.

    After about 10 seconds, a thought popped into his head.

    "That's hard to do," Hobson said. "Everybody just has to take care of their own individual assignments so we're on the same page."

    That hasn't been an easy task for the Jets this season. They rank 30th out of 32 teams in run defense, allowing 140.6 yards a game, although they are 12th over all in defense. In their last two games, they have been burned by long runs.

    Against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 24, running back Warrick Dunn broke free for a 65-yard scamper in the second quarter that led to a field goal. Two other players, including quarterback Michael Vick, had runs of 16 yards or more.

    The week before, in Buffalo, the Bills had two runs of 21 yards or more.

    Only the New Orleans Saints have defended against more running plays than the Jets.

    The Jets' offense may partly explain why their defense has essentially become a doormat. The Jets have turned the ball over 16 times, putting their defense on the field for extended periods.

    Cornerback Ty Law disputed the notion that the defense had allowed long runs in the second half of games because of fatigue.

    "I'm not going to make any excuses about us being on the field because if we're on the field, we're expected to make the plays," he said. "So that's not an excuse for me.

    "We have to find a way to stop the run and not give up such big plays and not break down. If you're tired, do some extra running."

    The offense's inability to score may have also contributed to the woes of the run defense. The Jets average only 13.1 points a game and have fallen behind in all but one of their games. This has allowed their opponents to kill the clock late in games by running the ball.

    As Coach Herman Edwards noted, if a team runs the ball over and over, it is bound to have a long gain every now and again. "If you can score more points, teams trying to catch you aren't going to run," Edwards said.

    Tomlinson presents myriad challenges for the Jets. He is fifth in the N.F.L. in rushing yards with 728 and has thrown 3 touchdown passes. But on Oct. 23 in Philadelphia, the Eagles held him to 7 yards on 17 carries by stacking the line of scrimmage with defenders.

    The Jets studied tape of that game this week, and several players said it had helped to see how Tomlinson was stymied. But, as Law noted, the tape had also provided valuable information to the Chargers.

    "They study film, too," Law said. "I mean, they're not going to do the exact same thing."

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