Beyond the point of just effectively running the ball, having an good running game makes it that much easier to pass the ball. Unfortunatley for the Jets, both the running game and the play-action pass that comes with it has not been as good as expected.
On ESPN.com, James Walker notes that Mark Sanchez has fared worse when using the play action.
… one of his biggest and most consistent strengths has been his ability to throw on play-action passes.
Unfortunately for the Jets, that hasn’t been the case this year. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Sanchez is ranked 30th in the NFL with a 45.8 completion percentage on play-action. Sanchez has thrown for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
Sanchez is usually excellent out of play-action, but if the threat of running the ball isn’t real, then there’s no reason for defenses to fear it. So far Shonn Greene has struggled to get anything going behind an average offensive line, but it has to be mentioned that the team has been without Dustin Keller most of the season, as well as Stephen Hill and now Santonio Holmes.
This weekend when the Jets face the Texans, there isn’t going to be a lot of room for error, but anything that the team does offensively has to hinge off running the ball behind Nick Mangold. The Texans interior has demonstrated that they don’t play the run that well, so the Jets will have to do their best in pounding the ball there to set up anything else.