The Jets travel to Tennessee tonight to take on the Titans, who are losers of three straight and have an overall record of 4-9.
Key #1 – Contain Chris Johnson
Johnson remains the Titans top threat on offense, he is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field at any point in the game. After a slow start, Johnson has come on strong and is over the 1,000 yard mark for the fifth straight year to start his career. It’s been well documented how the Jets have had trouble stopping the run this year. They are ranked 26th in the NFL giving up an average of 136.5 yards per game on the ground. The key to stopping Johnson starts with the Jets Outside Linebacker’s setting the edge. If Johnson gets outside, there is a good chance he will make a big play. The Jets need to shuffle him inside and swarm him with several defenders.
Key #2 – Run to set up the Pass
The Jets have basically reverted back to running a high school offense the previous two weeks. They are back to ground and pound, and it is working. It may not be the prettiest style of football, but it is the only way the Jets can be successful with their group of skill players. In the past two games they have run the ball a total of 85 times, with a combination of Shonn Green and Bilal Powell. Much like the Jets, Tennessee struggles to stop the run, giving up an average of 127 yards per game. If the Jets are successful running, it may set up the play-action pass and possible a big play or two down the field.
Key #3 – Keep Locker in the pocket
When you think of running quarterbacks you think of Michael Vick, RGIII and even Tim Tebow, You wouldn’t necessarily think of Jake Locker, but he has ran for 213 yards on over eight yards per carry. When escaping the pocket he is averaging 9.9 yards per scramble and he has also had a lot of success completing the deep ball this year. However, Locker is still a young developing player and therefor is still very mistake prone. In the Titans last three losses in a row he has turned the ball over 9 TIMES! 9 TIMES! (All Ferris Buehler fans will appreciate that). Historically the Jets have feasted on young quarterbacks under Rex Ryan. So if the Jets can make Locker a pocket passer, it could be a long night for him.
Prediction – I expect both teams to have similar game plans coming into this contest. It’s obvious that both teams are going to try to protect their young quarterbacks by trying to run the ball. The Jets must slow down Chris Johnson if they want to win this game, it’s been over a month since Johnson has gone over 100 yards on the ground, so you know he will be hungry. The main reason for this has been the inconsistency on the Titans offensive line, since training camp they have changed 4/5’s of their line. I think the Jets defense will continue their strong play, especially on 3rd Down and the offense will make a play or two against a soft Titans defense. Jets 20 Titans 13