On Sunday the New York Jets (2-1) go on the road to face a very tough Tennessee Titans (2-1) team at LP Field. The Jets are coming off of an encouraging effort against the Buffalo Bills while the Titans are looking to build on their come from behind victory over the San Diego Chargers.
The Tennessee Titans offense is built around their running game, which features a dynamic playmaker in Chris Johnson. The Titans running back leads the AFC in rushing with 256 yards and has the Tennessee rushing offense ranked seventh in the NFL. The Jets defense, which is ranked sixth in the National Football League against the run, must make it a priority to dominate the line of scrimmage in order to slow down Johnson. Gang Green’s front seven must remain consistent in terms of tackling and not allow the Tennessee running back to get into the open field.
Locker lighting it up
Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker is off to a solid start as he has yet to throw an interception while passing for 572 yards with three touchdowns. Locker is making smart decisions with the football and is a threat when he escapes the pocket as evidenced by his 81 rushing yards. The New York Jets defense must generate pressure on Locker and disrupt the rhythm of the passing game. The Jets defenders must remain aware of Locker’s athletic ability and prevent the Titans quarterback from buying time with his legs.
A challenge for the secondary
The Titans passing attack features several pass catchers that can make big plays. Nate Washington is coming off of an excellent game against the Chargers (eight catches for 131 yards), while Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker have made some explosive plays as well. Wide receiver Kenny Britt has the ability to make huge plays in the passing game but has been dealing with issues both on and off the field.
The Jets secondary must remain consistent in coverage and prevent yards after the catch. Look for the Titans to go after defensive back Kyle Wilson and linebacker Demario Davis as both have struggled early on this season in pass coverage.
The Tennessee Titans have been doing a good job defensively as the team is ranked 13th against the run and 10th against the pass. It is going to be interesting to see how the Jets attack the Titans as the team has a running attack that features Bilal Powell who is ranked second in the AFC with 226 rushing yards. The Jets could utilize the ground and pound approach which would set up the play action pass/vertical passing game if it is successful.
Gang Green could also use the short to intermediate passing game to setup the rushing attack. Either way the Jets approach the game the key will be for Geno Smith to make smart decisions with the football. The rookie signal caller is coming off of his first 300-yard passing game and is starting to establish some chemistry with wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Smith must remain poised in the pocket and continue to take what the defense gives him. Against the Bills, Geno did an excellent job of using his legs when the play broke down and that approach should continue against the Titans.
Most physical team wins
On paper this should be a very close, physical game that will have several intriguing storylines. Will the Jets be the first team to force a Titans turnover? Will Jake Locker be able to handle the pressure of the Jets pass rush? Can Geno Smith put together a solid performance in front of a hostile crowd on the road? Will Gang Green be able to shock the world and move their record to 3-1?
It is safe to say that Sunday’s game is a highly anticipated match-up for Jets fans that cannot wait to see the direction that their team is headed.