The Jets need to utilize RB LaMont Jordan more for the offense to be successful. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
- What happened to the dynamic duo? Where was the Jets' explosive one-two punch? Where was LaMont Jordan?
All week Jets fans listened to rhetoric on how the Jets running back tandem of Curtis Martin and Jordan were going to prove to the world how dominating they truly are.
On Sunday Jets fans got a glimpse of that domination. The only problem is the two running backs flashing their stuff were wearing black and gold.
The combination of Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis pounded the Jets defense into submission. The defense held its own for a little over three quarters, but the Steelers offense simply outlasted the Jets.
While Martin held up his end of the bargain, 72-yards on 24 carries, Jordan was not given equal opportunity. Jordan rushed three times for 10-yards, which does not include the 30-plus yard run that was called back by a questionable holding call on Jets TE Anthony Becht. That play would have been the Jets longest run from scrimmage all season.
Bill Cowher and the Steelers coaching staff had a well designed plan for utilizing their running backs. Staley carried the bulk of the load in the first half, finishing with 16 carries for 51-yards. Bettis then took over in the second half, as the Jets defense began to wear down. The Steelers used the two running backs to their advantage, as Staley would be more capable of breaking one early, but as the game dredged on Bettis would handle the dirty work.
On the other hand Herman Edwards and his staff once again blew a golden opportunity. It seems as if they do not understand how to utilize Jordan within the offense. It seems that Edwards only uses Jordan to compliment Martin and not as a featured cog in the offense.
Jordan may be the second most explosive player on the offense, behind Santana Moss, another person who is underutilized. While Martin is the model of consistency, it does not take an expert to realize he does not possess break away speed, something Jordan flashes every time he sees ample playing time. Jordan is also better suited to pickup tough yards, in short yardage situations. Jordan is a great combination of size and speed. He possesses good vision and the ability to run you over, or around you.
Jordan was not shy about voicing his disappointment over the Jets loss and the play of the offense.
If everyone on the offense doesn't feel the same way I do, there is a problem, said Jordan. I guess I'll step to the media, I guess every time I step up I look like the bad guy, but I'll step up and say this. I think I have to speak for the offense when I say that we're not satisfied with the way we're performing. That's a direct reflection of us as an offense as a whole. Don't point your finger at Paul Hackett. Point your finger at the whole offense. We just flat out are not getting the job done.
When asked about Jordan's lack of involvement, Edwards remarked that the focus was on the passing game in the second half.
In the battle of the NFL's premier running back duo's the Steelers trumped the Jets. In the end it was the Jets lack of explosion, and inability to make big plays that cost them the game. Pittsburgh proved to be a little better than the Jets in all facets of the game. Even Bettis was able to throw a touchdown on a halfback option, something we know Jordan failed at.