Fear the trim.
The New York Jets are now 3-0 since quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick trimmed his beard, improving to 8-5 on the season with a 30-8 win over the hapless Tennessee Titans.
Three first half touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick keyed a strong start for the Jets, who scored 27 unanswered in the first half against a Titans offense that struggled to move the ball. Fitzpatrick finished 21-for-36 for 263 yards and three touchdowns.
It was a balanced offensive performance from the Jets, who saw running back Chris Ivory top triple digits rushing for the third time this year. There were also strong performances from wide receivers Brandon Marshall, who had six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown, and Eric Decker, who had seven catches in the game for 74 yards.
With the win, the Jets have now won four of their last six games.
Three Things We Learned from the Jets in Week 14:
1. Strong Start
The Jets rolled out to a big lead, 27-0 by halftime. It was an impressive display in the trenches on both sides of the ball from 'Gang Green' as they dominated the line of scrimmage. Muhammad WIlkerson had three sacks in the game, another statement for him in what has been one dominant performance after another. And on the offensive side of the ball, the line did a strong job in giving Fitzpatrick time to throw and find his targets down the field. It was the kind of performance from the line that one expects from a playoff team.
2. Marcus Who?
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota may not have hit the proverbial rookie wall on Sunday, he just got hit by a wall. Time after time, the Jets got to the rookie quarterback, who was coming off one of his best performances of his young career last week. While he did have a touchdown – on a trick play as a receiver - Mariota's day was far from good. His numbers were lifted in the fourth quarter with a 51-yard link up with Harry Douglas to get the ball down to the Jets 34-yard line. But Mariota was then sacked three times on the next four plays, summing up the Titans' afternoon as they gave up the ball on downs. Mariota was sacked a total of five times in the game.
3. Playoff Push
Once 5-5 in late November, the Jets have run off three straight wins to go from outside the playoff picture to now being in the driver's seat for a wild card slot. They have a very winnable game at the Dallas Cowboys next week. Sunday's emphatic win over the Titans underscored what a turnaround first-year head coach Todd Bowles has done with this team, not just in the offseason but in-season as well. The Jets went through a rough stretch in the middle of the season but Bowles kept the team focused and on point.