Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:08 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:18 pm
So, if you would have told me three weeks ago that the Jets would start the season 3-0, I would have thought you were crazy. So I guess we're all a little crazy right now. The New York Jets have gotten off to a 3-0 start by beating the high powered offense of the Texans. The team they never could seem to beat in the Patriots. And a team that finished 13-3 a year ago with the best record in the AFC, the Titans. The Jets are doing it on both sides of the ball, while letting their quarterback learn on the fly.
QB Mark Sanchez led the Jets out of the gates on Sunday in a hurry. He led the Jets on a 10 play 73 yard scoring drive which was capped off by Sanchez' 14 yard touchdown run. New York opened up the passing game on the opening drive going into a no-huddle offense right off the bat. He was able to hit WR Jerricho Cotchery and TE Dustin Keller for a few long passes while getting down to the Titans 14 yard line. Then on 3rd and 10 from the Tennessee 14, Sanchez took off and plowed his way into the end zone for the Jets first score of the day.
After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Sanchez led the Jets on another scoring drive, capping it off with a 2 yard touchdown to TE Ben Hartsock. Before the Titans offense even took the field, the Jets were up 14-0. After a lackluster performance by the offense in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, New York was able to capitalize on another Titans turnover. Sanchez hit Cotchery for a 6 yard touchdown late in the 3rd quarter. Overall on the afternoon, Sanchez was 17-30 for 171 yards, throwing for two touchdowns while running for another. He did have one interception and one fumble, but in the end he protected the ball when he needed to and was able to help the Jets to another victory.
Jerricho Cotchery is emerging as a reliable number one receiver in the NFL. Not many thought he could be a number one, but he is proving the doubters wrong in a hurry. On Sunday, he reeled in 8 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Keller had 2 receptions for 24 yards. They had the bulk of the Jets receiving yards.
The Jets running game was never able to get going against a very good Titans defensive line. RB Thomas Jones was only able to rack up 20 yards on 14 carries. His lowest total yards in 2 seasons. Leon Washington was a little more sucessful, getting 46 yards on 12 carries. Tennessee was able to clog up the middle forcing Sanchez to beat them through the air. Sanchez did not light it up against the Titans pass defense, which was the worst ranked group in the NFL coming into the game. He did however do enough to win.
The Jets defense looked suspect in the 1st half of the game. They stayed back in coverage early in the game letting Titans QB Kerry Collins get comfortable in the pocket. Trailing 14-0, Collins was able to bring the Titans back into the game by scoring on 3 of their 5 possessions. Collins and the Titans completely dominated the Jets in the 2nd quarter. They scored 10 points and out gained the Jets on offense 157 to -3. Collins kept the ball out of the Jets hands and got the Titans to within 14-10.
Titans RB Chris Johnson was able to help out the offense by running for 97 yards on 22 carries. The Jets were not going to be able to stop Johnson, but they had to keep him in check. He gained the yards but did not find the end zone. RB LenDale White was able to do that in the 2nd quarter. He was the first player to score an offensive touchdown against the Jets defense this season. His score pulled Tennessee to within 14-7. In the end, the Jets rush defense gave up 127 yards on the ground. Not their best performance, but the made the stops when it counted.
The Jets secondary did not allow a receiver to top the 59 yard receiving mark in the game. Collins was able to dink and dunk to WR's Kenny Britt and Justin Gage, as well as TE Alge Crumpler. But he was never able to get the big play downfield.
The defense stepped up huge in the 4th quarter. They were able to hold Collins to 0-13 over his last 13 pass attempts. Jets LB David Harris was the star of the game with his defensive play in the 4th quarter. On Tennessee's 2nd to last possession of the game, Harris was able to stop a Titans drive with an interception. Then on their last possession, Harris had an sack on Collins for -8 yards to help preserve the Jets 24-17 win. He gets the defensive game ball in this one.
It was not a pretty win for the Jets but it was still a win. The defense showed some soft spots in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but really stepped it up when it counted in the 4th quarter. The really started bringing the blitz in the 4th quarter, keeping Collins and the Titans offense guessing. Good teams find ways to win when they are down and thats what the Jets did on Sunday. The jumped out to a quick lead, lost it, regained it and held strong for the win.
So the Jets stand at 3-0 on the season, leading the AFC East by a game over the Patriots. The road does not get any easier this week with a trip down to New Orleans to play the high powered offense of the Saints. But with the way Rex Ryan has this team believing they can win every game, don't be surprised if the Jets are standing at 4-0 next Monday.
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.