Running back Chris Ivory thinks the Jets can do better.
"I would like to see us run the ball more,” he told the New York Daily News Monday. "I really feel like when you can run the ball that opens up everything else. It would take a little [pressure] off [quarterback Geno Smith].”
"Going [forward], we have to run the ball. I feel like it’s a must."
His comments come just one day after a 19-6 loss to the Steelers. New York rushed for 83 yards on 20 carries in the game. The team attempted 22 passes and just eight rushes in the second half.
Former Steelers, current Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon echoed Ivory's dissatisfaction.
"I definitely feel like we could have stayed with the run game," he said. "I thought we were being efficient in that aspect of the game. We have to learn from it and move on and get ready for New England."
Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia thinks their Week 7 opponent is running just fine.
"It's a very balanced offense between the run and the pass," he said on Tuesday's conference call. "They do a great job of controlling the game with their run game but then setting up for the passing game, whether it's the play action pass that feeds off the run game or the drop back and quick passing game to help control the possession.
"I think Geno Smith has a very strong arm; he can really get the ball down the field if they need to stretch it vertically, and then with [offensive coordinator Marty] Mornhinweg planning the horizontal game, he can also get you that way too."
The Jets have rushed 167 times this season. Smith has attempted 191 passes. So the gulf is not as wide as Ivory makes it sound; consider the Patriots, who have run just 175 times compared to 239 pass attempts.
But having Tom Brady under center will do that to an offense. Where the Jets are concerned, balance is crucial for the development of rookie quarterback.
Unfortunately, the scales may have tipped.
New England, who saw Jerod Mayo and Aqib Talib leave Sunday's game against the Saints, wasn't the only team to take injury hits over the weekend. Starting Jets tailback Bilal Powell hurt his shoulder and was sidelined for a time. Reserve running back Mike Goodson tore multiple ligaments in his left knee, and is done for the season.
Yet Patricia still wouldn't undersell New York's ground game.
"I think it's the heart and soul of what they do," he said. "They certainly provide many different attack points in the run game, whether it's the traditional run game where they line up in two-back sets and pound the ball downhill, which they like to do, or incorporating different packages.
"What they've done is expand their attack points in how they get to the run game from multiple formations, and looks, and different personnel groups. I think they've done a phenomenal job in expanding the amount of area that you have to defend. That's definitely a strength for them right now."