Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches his team warm up before a game against the San Diego Chargers during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Week four is one day away, Jets’ fans. The “Road to MetLife Stadium” continues tomorrow, as the Jets travel away from MetLife Stadium to LP field in Nashville. The 2-1 New York Jets take on Mike Munchak’s 2-1 Tennessee Titans. Improved play from Jake Locker, Chris Johnson running well, and good play on defense will make this one a tough one.
The Jets have the opportunity to shock everyone, and end the first quarter of the season with a record of 3-1. It will be difficult, but the Jets have a chance. It will take an A+ effort all around. Let’s talk about some of the keys to victory:
RENDER CHRIS JOHNSON USELESS
CJ2K is probably the most dangerous player that will be on the field Sunday. He has run well so far, although he hasn’t posted a 100 yard output yet, he is averaging over 85 yards per game for the first three weeks. These are numbers that are nothing to scoff at.
If any team can do it, the New York Jets can. Coming into this week, the Jets’ defense is ranked sixth overall against the run, allowing less than 80 yards per game, and a 3.2 average yards per carry.
Needless to say, hopefully Damon Harrison and company are hungry this week. They will be leaned on big-time.
PRESSURE JAKE LOCKER EARLY AND OFTEN
I had to rub my eyes when I looked at the defensive statistics so far, couldn’t believe they were true. Guess who is third in the NFL in sacks? The New York Jets, that’s who. They are tied with Cleveland with twelve sacks so far on the year. They get to the quarterback, and they do it consistently.
If they get pressure on Locker, it will affect him, as it does any quarterback. In the one Titans’ loss, Locker was sacked three times and hurried ten times. Last week, by contrast, he wasn’t sacked at all. It’s pretty simple football logic, pressure the quarterback, he will make mistakes.
RUN THE FOOTBALL
On offense, the Jets MUST run the football. To get Geno Smith his first road win of his career, they must take the onus off of his shoulders, at least partially. Last week, the Jets ran the ball 41 times, versus only 29 passes, and Bilal Powell excelled. He ran for a career high of 149 yards, dominating after taking over for injured Chris Ivory, and vaulting the Jets to sixth in the league in rushing. This is the type of performance the Jets will need.
The Titans can be run on, as they are allowing 4.4 yards per carry on the ground. The Jets MUST exploit that weakness tomorrow.
PROTECT GENO SMITH
It’s another familiar refrain, but one that needs to be sung yet again, in order for the Jets to win this week. They absolutely have to give Geno time to throw. He was not sacked once last week against Buffalo, and it showed it his performance. This has to continue.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Jets grade in pass blocking to date is 3.0. On the other hand, the Titans’ grade in pass rushing is a whopping 10.1. So they are two active groups, and the winner of this matchup just may determine the outcome of this game.
What are some of your keys to victory?