As Thomas Jones saw it, his lackluster first half Sunday was strictly a matter of numbers.
The number of defenders the Texans were committing to the run, that is.
"In the first half they came ready to play," the Jets' veteran running back said. "They had nine, sometimes 10 guys out there in the box and any time you have that many guys it's impossible to block everyone so there's going to be a couple of guys free."
Jones had only 1 yard rushing yard on five carries in the first half before breaking out in the second half for 106 yards. He totaled 107 yards on 20 carries and had two touchdown runs, both in the second half.
"We did a good job in the second half sticking with the run," Jones said. "The offensive line did a great job of coming off the ball and wearing them down. We were able to get some big plays."
None was bigger than Jones' untouched 38-yard scoring romp in the fourth quarter, icing the victory.
"It was just a textbook power play," said Jones, who had only 77 yards on 31 carries during the preseason. Left guard Alan Faneca "did a great job of pulling. The whole right side of the line, the whole line in general did a great job on that play of sustaining the blocks. The right side, when we ran it to the right they pushed all their guys down. Alan Faneca did a great job of pulling and getting his guy."
Jones also praised his backfield partner, fullback Tony Richardson.
"To me, he's the best fullback in the NFL," Jones said, "a Hall of Fame fullback. He made a great block, was able to spring me and that was a good thing for us because the coaches stuck with (the run) even though we had some tough sledding in the first half. We continued to run the ball in the second half and things ended up opening up for us."
Like just about everyone else, Jones was impressed with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez.
"I thought he played great," Jones said. "I thought he came out there and he knew the offense. He knew what he was going to see. He knew they were going to pressure us, try to confuse him and that's what they did. But he did a great job of making the right reads. He hit the guys when they were open and when he had pressure in his face he stood in there and a lot of times he made plays on the run. I think he has great instincts to be a young guy like that and to be in a hostile environment like this and to be able to make plays."
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