Jets TakeOff! Week 15 Preview: New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans
By Alan Schechter
Jan 16, 2011; Foxboro, MA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards (17), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (89) celebrate during the last seconds of play against the New England Patriots in the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 28-21. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Well, it’s not a reunion of the Flight Boys, but it’s a reunion of sorts as Braylon Edwards makes his return in a Jets uniform tomorrow night in Tennessee as the Jets take on the Tennessee Titans. The Jets come in with their slim playoff hopes alive at 6-7, off last week’s 17-10 win over the Jaguars. The Jets need to run the table and get help to make the playoffs, and it starts tomorrow night. The Titans come in 4-9, off of a 27-23 loss to Andrew Luck and the Colts. Let’s look at the history between these two teams:
The Titans lead the overall series with a record of 21-17-1, but the Jets have dominated of late, winning 5 out of the last 6. The last time these two teams met was September 27, 2009, when the Jets topped the Titans 24-17 at Giants stadium. Mark Sanchez posted 3 TDs, 2 through the air and 1 on the ground, and the Jets defense forced 4 turnovers in the win. Let’s take a look at some keys to the game.
STOP CHRIS JOHNSON
This is the type of running back that always has given the Jets defense fits. Speed running backs that can get to the edge, like Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden, and CJ Spiller have a history of making the Jets defense look old and slow. Chris Johnson, otherwise known as CJ2K, is no different. Johnson, although his offensive line has struggled a bit, has been back to form, averaging nearly 5 yards per carry in 2012. If the Jets don’t set the edge against this guy and contain him, it could be a long Monday night.
Nov.11, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Tennessee won 37-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
ANTONIO CROMARTIE VS KENNY BRITT
Although he hasn’t quite returned to his 2010 form, Britt showed signs of his former self last week against the Indianapolis Colts with 8 receptions for 143 yards. For the season, Britt has put up 40 catches for 520 yards and 3 TDs. Britt is a huge downfield weapon, and one that must be accounted for on Monday night. The matchup we can assume is coming is Antonio Cromartie vs. Britt, and it will be a good one. It should be a key to the ball game as well.
Turn the page for more.
December 9, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) sets to throw during the first half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
MARK SANCHEZ’S ARM
As much as people don’t want to count on this factor, I agree with Sean Durham’s opinion in his “Quick All-22 Review“, that this game will hinge largely on the arm of Mark Sanchez. Don’t get me wrong, the Titans are near the bottom of the league in both rushing and pass defense. There will be holes for the “Ground and Pound” to do it’s thing. But, Tennessee watches film, they know how the Jets running attack has improved, and the tough time that Mark Sanchez has had of late. They will stack the box tomorrow night and force the Jets into passing situations.
Mark Sanchez will again be called upon to be mistake free. He is going to need to take care of that football at all costs. His confidence will be up, with old friend Braylon Edwards lined up on the outside. Mark will be forced to throw the football, and he will have openings. He will have to be decisive, and for God’s sake, be careful with the football.
STICK WITH THE RUN
That all being said, they cannot give up on the run, no matter what happens early. We talked about it early this week, the running game takes persistence to open up. The “Ground and Pound” is a game of endurance, of exerting your will over the other team. You have to keep pounding it out, and as we saw last week, it pays dividends. In that second half, the Jets started breaking off yardage on the ground in chunks as if it were going out of style.
Note to Tony, remember that result from Sunday. Unless God forbid we get behind by a lot really quickly, stick with that running game. It will pay off.
There are your keys to the game. Thanks for reading.