Tennessee must enjoy seeing another AFC East opponent on their schedule. Other than a 34-14 opening day loss to the Patriots, the Titans have scored 35 & 37 points in their two victories against Buffalo
and Miami (That’s two of their four wins on the season!). With nine losses, the Titans
aren’t fooling anyone with playoff aspirations; but they could give the home
fans something to cheer about, as they end the 2012 campaign with two winnable
games at LP Field. They close the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars Week
17, who looked miserable in a 17-10 loss against their upcoming opponent this
Monday night…the New York Jets.
The Jets know what they need to do to keep their slim playoff chances alive, they’ve
gotta win! No matter what scenario we dream up, or how long the odds are, the
Jets need to win the final three games on their schedule to have any shot at
playing Wildcard Weekend. The New England Patriots, as they have for the last
ten years or so, own the division. I’m pretty sure the Houston Texans would
concede the conference after that 42-14 manhandling they received at the hands
of the Patriots. Maybe during pregame stretching, Jets and Titans players can
trade stories of watching points add up like a video game against the Pats.
Points have been hard to come by for the New York Jets on offense. One touchdown
against the Cardinals is one thing, because they actually have a good defense,
but only seventeen point against a Jaguars team that gave up 34, 43, 27, 31,
24, 26 (twice), 41 & 27 in their other loses, doesn’t say much for Gang
Green’s ability to score the football. The Titans have lost three straight, but
this Monday will be their opportunity to salvage the season in the minds of the
fan base, and topple one of the diva teams in the NFL at the same time. Jake
Locker and Kenny Britt have connected in the passing game, but Chris Johnson is
the one to watch out for. This isn’t the kind of season he had in mind, but
he’s still tallied 1037 yards rushing and has nearly 4.7 yards per carry. We
all know the Jets defense has had problems tackling running backs this season,
and those yards after contact numbers are just brutal. If the Jets allow
Johnson to have his way rushing the ball, I don’t see them surviving this one
the way they’ve managed their way through the last two games.
One way the Jets can beat the Titans is by utilizing their own ground game, as Tennessee is
twenty-fourth against the run. Lex Hilliard has been crushing would-be tacklers
while clearing holes for Shonn Greene & Bilal Powell. Do yourself a favor
and watch number thirty-six play football; I dare you to walk away unimpressed
by his ability to find the free rusher and take him out of the play. The Titans
are twenty-sixth against the pass; however the Jets haven’t attacked via the
pass in weeks. Mark Sanchez, who will get the start Monday night, has only 22
completions and 208 yards passing in the last two games (some QBs can tally
those numbers in one half.). Greg McElroy, the only Jets QB to throw a TD pass
in the last two weeks, may find himself in street clothes again this week, as
Tim Tebow will be dressed and active on Monday night. Rex has said they may not
run much Wildcat package, but Tebow will be ready to perform when called upon.
He hasn’t played in the last three games due to those injured ribs, but reports
have him taking more reps in practice. I question the move of not having
McElroy dress, but as long as he’s inactive, he’s chained to that sideline and
Sanchez is the man in the huddle.
There will be an old, familiar face rejoining the offensive huddle on Monday night.
The team welcomed back Braylon Edwards on Thursday, after claiming him off
waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle
felt Edwards’s injured hamstring would keep him from playing the remainder of
the season, but it looks like the Jets and Edwards think differently. It’s been
all smiles so far, as the “idiots” comment Edwards made on twitter has been
swept under the rug. Rex used a little humor to deflect that question, saying
“he’d been called worse”. Gotta love that Rex, if he was as good coaching up
that offense as he is smooth-talking the media…
Rex has no problem getting his defense on track. The Jets are third against the pass
and eighth overall. Antonio Cromartie has done an excellent job taking over for
Darrelle Revis, and Kyle Wilson has improved by leaps and bounds. Cro has been
glued to the opposition’s number one WR, and week-by-week, the cushion Wilson gives off the line
of scrimmage has shrunk considerably. DBs always look better in coverage when
the front line is getting pressure on the QB. Mo Wilkerson has owned the second
half of the season with his play up front, racking up three sacks in the last
five games. Quinton Coples showed signs of life Sunday, picking up a couple of
tackles and a sack against the Jaguars. Both will need to be a factor in run
defense as well as the usually pressure on the QB. They need to maintain their
lane discipline and not allow Chris Johnson to catch them rushing wildly, or
he’s flying right by them… and right past a linebacker.
A lot of missed tackles by LBs leads to a lot of work for your safeties. Yeremiah Bell
and the LaRon Landry, or the “heat-seeking missile” according to Rex Ryan, have
done a lot of cleaning up this season. David Harris (101) leads the team in
tackles, but Landry (89) and Bell (76) are right behind him at second and third respectively. The Jets need to
keep the top on this defense and make sure both safeties return next season.
With Revis returning, Cro playing excellently, Wilson improving, having Bell
& Landry would make the Jets nickel package a real bear for opposing
offensive coordinators to figure out next season. As of now, it’s one game at a
time, and a clash with the Titans!
Tune into NYJets in 30, with your hosts the Amazing Jinx Grand (@JGSportsTalk) and myself
on BlogTalk Radio for game analysis, predictions, and a breakdown of the
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