Posted on: September 24, 2009 9:58 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2009 8:18 am
So the Jets enter Sunday's game against the Titans with a record of 2-0. Last week they outplayed and outcoached the New England Patriots, beating them in the Meadowlands for the first time since 2000. Now they will play a Tennessee team that comes in at 0-2 and desperate for a win. So far this week, the trash talking Jets have been remotely quiet. After talking all week about the Patriots leading up to the game, the Jets have not posted any bulletin board material leading into the showdown with the Titans.
We'll start off here with the Jets offense. Last week against New England, the Jets could do nothing on offense in the 1st half. All they were able to manage was a field goal. Against the Texans in week 1, they managed only a field goal in the first quarter. The Jets may not have the opportunity to start out slow this week. Tennessee will be fired up in this game, looking to take the crowd out of it early.
The best way for the Jets to stop that is to establish the running game early. Last week Thomas Jones rushed for 54 yards and Leon Washington rushed for 58 yards himself against New England. Last November in Tennessee, Jones and Washington put up 178 yards against a defense led by Albert Haynesworth. Now that Haynesworth is in Washington, the Titans run defense is not as strong as it was last season, but it is still very good. They are currently 2nd in the NFL against the run, giving up about 99 yards per game. Do not expect the Jets to put up 178 yards this time around, but expect a solid performance out of the running game on Sunday. As long as they can get something going on the ground, they should be able to set up the play action passes and keep the Titans guessing.
When it comes down to it, the game may be Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez' for the taking. While the Titans defense is ranked 2nd in the league against the run, their passing defense is on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are currently ranked last in the NFL, giving up about 340 yards per game in the air. This looks to be the perfect opportunity for the Jets passing game to finally take off. Heading into week 3, New York is averaging about 205 yards per game in the air. It's time for Brian Schottenheimer to use some spread formations and get some receivers downfield and see what Sanchez has.
As of now Jets #1 WR Jerricho Cotchery leads the team with 10 receptions for 177 yards. The yardage is not bad through two games but he needs to get more than 5 catches per game. Jets #2 receiver Chansi Stuckey only has 8 catches in the first two games. Sanchez needs to get him more involved in the offense this week. WR's Brad Smith and David Clowney round out the top four and have not done much over the first 2 weeks.
Sanchez has been very good over the first two games protecting the football. He seems to be very smart with the ball in the pocket. If he can find some open receivers, it will open some holes for the running game. And if the Jets can run the ball, the pressure will be off Sanchez. If he does have any trouble while dropping back, he can always get the ball over to TE Dustin Keller. Keller is building off a solid rookie year to emerge as a solid option for the Jets in the passing game.
The rock of the Jets so far this season has been their defense. Their front seven has looked very strong over the first two weeks. They will have their work cut for them. So far this year, the Titans have been averaging 163 yards per game on the ground. Last week against the Texans, RB Chris Johnson ran for 197 yards and caught 9 balls for 97 yards. His career day also included 3 td's. A key for the Jets this week is to try to slow down Johnson. It will be hard for them to stop him, so they need to limit the damage. Stop Johnson and make QB Kerry Collins beat them through the air.
The passing game for the Titans, which is averaging 221 yards per game, is still not clicking on all cylinders yet. Their top two receivers Kenny Britt and Justin Gage still have not taken off just yet. Both of them only have about 100 yards on the season. Meanwhile the Jets secondary has only been giving up about 180 yards per game, good enough for 9th in the NFL. But the Jets are hurting out there right now. CB's Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland both got banged up last week against the Patriots and have missed some practice time this week. But with CB Darrelle Revis and S Kerry Rhodes still back there, the Jets should be ok this week.
This is a tough game to gage for the Jets this week. They are riding high after shutting down two top offenses in the NFL in the Patriots and Texans. In fact, they still have not surrendered an offensive touchdown this season. While the Titans have lost two tough games and are looking to right their ship this week. This is setting up to be a classic "Let-Down" game for the Jets. But that is why Jets hired Rex Ryan, to keep this team motivated and ready to go come game days. I think the Jets defense comes out firing on Sunday and knock Kerry Collins around to start the game. Make him make mistakes and try to limit the damage from Chris Johnson. If the Jets can do this, they will be off to their first 3-0 start in a while. Jets open up the passing game and take this one 28-17.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 2:56 pm
With the Jets still riding high after their huge win against the Patriots last week, they now head down to Tennessee to take on the undefeated Titans. Right now the Jets sit alone on top in the AFC East, but they are well aware that if they do not show up against the Titans, they will be back in a tie for first in their division. On paper the Jets seem to match up well with the Titans, so I do not see this game being a blow out for either team. But it will be fun to watch, that's for sure.
One of the main keys for the Jets is for Brett Favre to keep playing smart. He has only thrown 1 interception in the past three games. He has been able to manage games efficiently without putting the Jets in any bad situations. Favre has found a new favorite target the past 2 weeks to get the ball to, Dustin Keller. The rookie tight end has finally become what the Jets thought they were getting when they took him in the first round of the 2008 draft. Against the Rams two weeks ago, Keller had 6 receptions for 107 yards. Last week against the Patriots he had 8 more catches for 87 yards. With him emerging as a down field threat, defenses will have to adjust which could leave either Jerricho Cotchery or Laveranues Coles in man coverage. And if that is the case, Favre should be able to see this and expose it.
With every passing week, the Jets offensive line keeps improving. Thomas Jones was able to get another 100 yard game last week, gaining 104 yards on 30 carries against New England. He has become the Jets workhorse over the past month. He still is the leading rusher in the AFC with 854 yards on the ground. He also has 8 touchdowns over the past six games. This week will be a lot tougher for Jones to have a big game. The Titans are a very physical team and they have big Albert Haynesworth plugging up the middle of their defensive line. Haynesworth is having an MVP type season for Tennessee with 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. They will be tough to run against, but they do give up almost 100 yards on the ground per game. I'm not saying the Jets will gain 100 yards on the ground, but I do think they can get close to that number if Favre can get the passing game going.
With the exception of Matt Cassel gaining 62 yards rushing last week, the Jets still have the 4th best rushing defense in the NFL. They were able to limit four other of the Patriots running backs to a total of 63 yards on the ground. Kris Jenkins, who is also a candidate for defensive MVP, is having a stellar season anchoring the line for the Jets. He may not have as many stats as Haynesworth, but what he has done for the Jets run defense has been remarkable. And with him having the season he is having, it has allowed Shaun Ellis to have his best season in the past 4 years for the Jets. He currently leads the team with 7 sacks. They will have their work cut out for them with the Titans running game. Led by Chris Johnson and LenDale White, the Titans rush for about 133 yards per game. Johnson leads the way with 787 yards rushing and White has pounded his way to 11 touchdowns so far. I believe the Jets run defense matches up well with the Titans running game. If they are able to keep them under 100 yards and not control the clock, then they just have to deal with Kerry Collins and the passing game.
This is where the Jets may run into a problem. The Jets passing defense has been up and down all season. One week they look great, as they did against the Rams two weeks ago. And the next week they look horrible, as they did against the Patriots last week. Letting Matt Cassel throw for 400 yards in the air, most of that in the second half of the game. And Collins, as we have seen the past two weeks, is more than capable of leading the Titans to a win through the air. They went down early last week to the Jaguars 14-3, only to have Collins throw for three touchdowns and lead the Titans to a 24-14 win in Jacksonville. Collins does not make mistakes, with only 4 interceptions on the season, and will not hurt the team with bad throws. The Titans are a run first team and they only seem to rely on the pass when they need to. Last week the Jets welcomed back Ty Law and he did a very good job on Randy Moss. Considering it was his first game action in 11 months, I'd say he was up to the task. With Darrelle Revis most likely matched up with Justin Gage, that means the Jets linebackers and safety's need to watch out for the Titans tight end Bo Scaife. He leads the team in receptions and yards. This will be tough for New York, who is still missing David Harris, but Kerry Rhodes has played a lot better as of late and should be on him for a good portion of the game.
I really think the Jets can win this game. Basically, Favre has to limit his mistakes to pretty much zero and the pass defense has to show up. If they play they way they did against the Rams and Bills, then I think the Jets will win. The run defense will play the way they have been all year and the running game should be able to eat up enough clock in the second half to be able to grab a win. The field position the Jets are given by Leon Washington will also be a big factor. Every time he touches the ball, he has the ability to make something big happen. I think the Jets win a close one 21-17, with the Jets making a big defensive stand late in the game.