A battle of two teams, both stuck on 2-11 and with just one win between them since November might have major implications for 2015.
A win by either team might just knock them out from a top five pick in next spring’s NFL Draft and a loss to a lowly Titans team still in rebuilding mode could well be the death knell for Jets head coach Rex Ryan. This is a Titans team that can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run (they are worst in the league) and they aren’t that good against the pass. Other than that they’re really good.
And to be honest, the Jets are better than their 2-11 record and could easily have three or four more wins but for sporadic quarterback play and a depleted secondary.
The Titans know this rebuilding feeling too.
“It has been difficult. Whenever you go through something like we have gone through, especially with the win/loss column, it is not a lot of fun. Our guys continue to work hard,” Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We have been battling a number of injuries, which has made it tough because we have had so many different guys in there. I respect the way our players continue to work. That is a big part of it.”
If the Jets can’t win this game against a team with vastly inferior talent, then it could well signal the final two games of Ryan’s Jets career.
‘Three Things to Watch When the Jets Take on the Titans’:
The Return of Mo – Without Muhammad Wilkerson last week, the Jets defensive front was still relatively solid, in fact they were dominant at some points in the second half against rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With All-Pro defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson out with a toe injury, the Jets utilized Quinton Coples in a rush end role and supplemented him with Leger Douzable. The two players performed well, which means that the Titans might be in for a long day if Wilkerson returns and takes some snaps in the rotation. Tennessee is tied for fourth most in the league with 41 sacks allowed. Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson must be licking their lips.
The Titans Got No Ground Game – Think the Jets offense has been bad this year? Consider the Titans and how poorly they’ve been able to move the ball, in particular their running attack. They are No. 27 in the league on the ground, averaging just 86.2 yards per game and in recent weeks, they’ve seen former Jets running back Shonn Greene go from a solid start to the season to a non-factor entirely. This means that Tennessee will have to beat the Jets in the air, perhaps a good match for the Titans given the rough play of Rex Ryan’s secondary this season.
But Those Jets Got More Ground, More Pound – Two weeks ago, the Jets ran the ball 49 times for 277 yards in a Monday night loss to the Dolphins. Their offense was more balanced this past Sunday but against a Titans team that can’t seem to stop the run, the recipe might resemble that from Dolphins game. Chris Ivory, despite a goal line fumble last week, has been solid all year and Chris Johnson is returning to a Titans organization that took him in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. That will be a highly motivated running back facing the team that cut him just a few months ago.