Green-Ellis had a career-high 136 rushing yards against the Jets, and he scored two touchdowns for the fourth time in his career. But when it was on the line, Green-Ellis amassed 59 yards on 10 carries, including two first-down runs that helped the Patriots seal the victory.
His efforts helped the Patriots erase 6:12 of game clock, as well as all three of the Jets’ timeouts, and he put Stephen Gostkowski in position to kick a 28-yard field goal that gave New England a two-possession lead.
“When you get in those situations, you have to play situational football,” Green-Ellis said. “Obviously, you don’t want to give them the ball back and give them a chance to go down and score, and we were able to do that [Sunday], so that’s always a plus.”
Green-Ellis’ previous career high was a 112-yard effort against Randy Moss and the Vikings last Halloween. Also, he’s only rushed for more than 59 yards (the total he amassed on the last drive) in 14 of his 34 previous games.
The Jets’ run defense hasn’t been up to standard this season, and Green-Ellis exposed that. In three games against the Jets in 2010, Green-Ellis rushed for a total of 134 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yard, zero-score game in the playoffs.
Sunday’s game was supposed to provide an early look at how — or if — the Patriots were a different team compared to the one that bowed out early last postseason, and their reliance on Green-Ellis might have been an early sign by that measure.
“He’s going to do the right thing,” left guard Logan Mankins said. “He’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s a great guy to block for.”