coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
On 09/24/2013 05:16 PM in NFL

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

The New York Jets are off one of the better games of the season. Although they struggled with penalties, rookie gun slinger Geno Smith looked great in leading the Jets to a big win over the Buffalo Bills. Now they hit the road to take on the Tennessee Titans who have also impressed in limited play this season and are off a come from behind win against the San Diego Chargers.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Titans as (-5.5) point favorites. That line is on the move and has dropped significantly due to the good outing by the Jets and can now be found as low as (-3.5) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks. Despite the point spread move, the action is split as early wagering from the public indicate a 51-49 percent split for both teams leading up to kick off in favor of the suddenly winning franchise known as the Jets.

Young Smith is a star in the making. Geno Smith threw a 69-yard TD pass in the 4th quarter to Santonio Holmes. It was the longest TD pass thrown by the Jets in the 4th quarter or later of a game since a 78-yarder from Neil O'Donnell to Jeff Graham against the Dolphins in 1996. In fact, it was the Jets 3rd-longest go-ahead fourth-quarter (or later) touchdown pass in the regular season in team history. He will be a handful for the Titans defense.

Of course the Titans defense did manage to stop Bolts quarterback Phiilip Rivers who had been 6-0 against the Titans. The Titans have a confident swagger and have an outside shot of winning the AFC South if they continue to play well. They can’t afford to drop this winnable game against the high flying Jets who have a pretty good defense.

The NFL betting trends for this game reveal some interesting wagering angles. The Jets are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games on grass. The Titans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game, 6-23-1 ATS in their last 30 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and 8-21-1 ATS when playing a team with a winning record.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/25/2013 02:58 PM

Geno Smith and Gang Green’s passing attack were so impressive against the Bills, it practically went unnoticed that the Jets ran the ball so well and often.

Marty Mornhinweg’s offense featured 41 runs and 29 passes en route to a 513 total-yard performance in the Jets’ 27-20 win.

The Jets were particularly impressive when Bilal Powell had the ball. Most imagine Chris Ivory as the bulldozer back for the Jets, but Powell looked every bit as capable of barreling defenders over in his 149-yard performance on 27 carries.

“He is a physical runner,” Rex Ryan said. “He might not be the fastest, he might not be the biggest or whatever, but he is just a good back. He runs hard. He really had a great day, he was breaking tackles.”

Of Powell’s 149 yards, a whopping 83 came after contact, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Powell’s 114 yards after contact this season tie him with Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch for ninth in the league.

“Honestly, hats off to the running backs,” said right tackle Austin Howard. “They really make our job easy. I know Bilal had a lot of yards after contact. “It’s just a matter of moving their feet and refusing to go down. That type of attitude, it really makes your job easy, helps us out a lot as an offensive line.”

Ivory suffered a hamstring injury against the Bills, so Powell could be the main guy for a while. According to Ryan, Ivory injured the same left hamstring he hurt in training camp, but in a different spot. Should Ivory, who was signed by the Jets in the offseason, miss Sunday’s game in Tennessee, Alex Green would fill in.

Smith, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 331 yards, said the running game was a large part of the Jets’ success through the air.

“It was a bunch. I think we had a balanced effort,” the QB said. “It was particularly impressive the way Bilal (Powell) ran and the way the offensive line continued to open holes for him. Once we get Chris back to full strength and get other guys involved, I think this running game is really going to help us out. It’s fun to see those guys run like that and it definitely helps me out and eases some pressure.”

Lucky for Ryan, the Jets escaped with a win against the Bills on Sunday. Had they lost, the coach would have come under scrutiny for mismanaging the team’s challenges.

Ryan first challenged a spot on a third-and-1 run that saw Powell come up short of a first down late in the third quarter. On the Bills’ next possession, Ryan failed on his second attempt, challenging a Stevie Johnson catch.

The two failed challenges proved costly when Buffalo QB EJ Manuel appeared to fumble with 13:16 left in the game. Manuel was ruled down on the play, but Ryan was out of challenges. The Bills capped the drive with a TD and two-point conversion to tie it at 20.

“Obviously, I’m not going to challenge it if I didn’t think it,” Ryan said of challenging the spot on Powell’s run. “I really felt we had a chance to get that first down, to look at it. And then the other deal was the clock was down under 10 seconds and I was going to use a timeout anyway ... so it’s like, ‘Okay, I have two challenges left,’ and I thought we made (it). In my line (of sight), I thought we made the first down.” ... DL Muhammad Wilkerson picked up two sacks against the Bills, even though he hasn’t fully recovered from a sprained ankle. “I wouldn’t say it’s 100%,” Wilkerson said on WFAN Tuesday.

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/26/2013 01:32 PM

Through the first three weeks of the season, the Jets defense has been every bit as good as anticipated, if not better.

“I wouldn’t put our defense second to nobody,” S Antonio Allen said. “We’re looking really good.”

Ranked in the NFL's top seven in pass yards, rush yards and points, there’s not much to criticize with the way our defenders have performed thus far. But there’s always a "but."

“We’re playing great defense, hands down,” Allen said, “but we just have to get some takeaways.”

After forcing two turnovers vs. Tampa Bay in Week 1, the Green & White has failed to come up with an interception or fumble recovery against either of its two most recent opponents.

“We haven’t created as many as we’re capable of,” DE Muhammad Wilkerson said, “but Rex [Ryan] spoke to us and that’s something we’re working on.”

Creating a turnover is no easy task, especially as the Jets prepare to face off against the Tennessee Titans. Led by third-year QB Jake Locker and sixth-year RB Chris Johnson, they and the Kansas City Chiefs boast the only two offenses in football without a turnover.

CB Darrin Walls has been particularly impressed with Locker’s passing accuracy while scrambling.

“They get him out of the pocket a lot and he’s able to complete passes on the run,” he said. “Plus, if no one’s open, he throws it away. He doesn’t take many chances, so I think he’s managed that part of the game very well.”

Locker has gone 19 straight quarters without throwing a pick, dating to Week 16 of the 2012 season. Nevertheless, that streak’s inevitably going to come to an end at some point.

In addition, after tying for the league lead among running backs with four fumbles lost last year, Johnson has yet to cough up the football this season.

It would appear that the Tennessee offense is due for a turnover.

“Rex has challenged the defense to try to come up with some of those takeaways this week,” Allen said, “so we’re just trying to put our main focus on that and cause some turnovers.”

While our defense has been emphasizing takeaways, our offense has been working on limiting the giveaways.

The Jets head coach was impressed with QB Geno Smith’s incompletions — yes, incompletions — in the Week 3 win over the Bills.

“He threw four or five balls away where he wasn’t going to force the issue,” he said. “He’s mindful of that. He’s not going to make the critical error.”

Whether our offense cuts down on the giveaways or our defense forces the Titans to share the wealth, the Jets will attempt to win the turnover battle on Sunday and, ultimately, the game.

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/27/2013 11:53 AM

They are five frighteningly large human beings totaling 1,590 pounds (on paper) who live by modified “Fight Club” rules: The first rule of the Jets’ offensive line is you do not talk about the Jets’ offensive line.

Or at least don’t pat yourself on the back.

“The less you hear about the offensive line, the better,” right tackle Austin Howard said. “We like that. We like to work in the shadows.”

Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Willie Colon, Vlad Ducasse and Howard are probably near the bottom of sexy Jets story lines this season, lost amid the Rex Ryan-Mark Sanchez-Geno Smith-defense hoopla/drama.

The Jets’ fortunes this season, however, will ride on the offensive line’s success.

Mangold and Co. gave a glimpse of what this retooled unit could become with an eye-opening performance in last week’s win over the Bills filled with superlatives.

The Jets’ 513-yard eruption was their most prolific day under Ryan. Smith’s 331-yard performance was the first 300-plus-yard passing game in a win for a Jets quarterback in 34 games. Santonio Holmes had the most receiving yards (154) for a Jets wideout in more than five seasons. The Jets’ 182 rushing yards were their most in 29 games.

All of it hinged on the five guys up front.

“Let’s not get overexcited,” Mangold said.

The line is far from perfect.

Mangold, probably the smartest guy in the locker room, will tell you that in a sleep-inducing monotone even though you know that he knows that you know he believes this could turn into a special group.

“Potential is a dangerous word,” Mangold said. “I think we need to focus more on the effort that we need to do make things better.”

Nick Mangold remains cautiously optimistic but knows there's much more work to be done.

For all the promising signs against the Bills, Ryan’s line needs to be more disciplined. It has been penalized 10 times in the first three games. Ducasse was the culprit on four of the six penalties for the unit against Buffalo.

ProFootballFocus.com ranks the Jets 16th in pass-blocking efficiency. Howard is ninth in pass-blocking efficiency among tackles. It’s premature to draw conclusions from such a small sample size, but your eyes tell you that this has the makings of a solid group.

“We’re good enough right now … we’re not great,” right guard Colon said. “We can be more efficient in the run game. There’s a lot of things we can clean up.”

Ryan leaned on a nasty run-blocking line in 2009 and 2010 to pave the way for one of the game’s best ground attacks. This year’s version, however, is more versatile. The Jets on Sunday had a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in a game for the first time in franchise history in large part due to the line’s success in giving Smith time in the pocket and creating running lanes for Bilal Powell.

The most impressive part was the line’s ability to give Smith sufficient time on most of the longer developing plays. Smith completed seven passes of at least 18 yards and four that went for 40 or more. Smith’s penchant for holding on to the ball in the pocket a bit longer than he should made it that much more impressive last week that the line didn't allow a sack.

“We take a lot of pride in that,” Howard said. “That’s our number one goal: Keeping the quarterback clean. Number two is making those holes for running backs. … The biggest thing that we’re going to focus on — and more proud of — is carryover.”

Mangold remains cautiously optimistic. “When it comes down to it, we did some good things,” he said. “But there’s still plenty of work to be done.”

The Jets have made a relatively smooth transition in integrating two new interior linemen with Ducasse, a first-year starter, and Colon. Third-round rookie guard Brian Winters could be a factor at some point this season as well.

The most important players that nobody likes to talk about are just focused on inching closer to perfection. But surely there could be something special in the making, right?

"We’re coming along,” Mangold said before cracking a smile. “What? Did I not answer your question?”

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/27/2013 11:54 AM

On Sunday, the New York Jets go back to where last season effectively ended, back to where Mark Sanchez’s run as the starting quarterback ended. That it happened in Nashville was fitting, because the 2012 Jets were like an old country song: Too many bad things happened to them, and the breakups were inevitable.

Sanchez played the worst game of his career that Week 15 Monday night last December, a four-interception stinker that resulted in his immediate benching. Rex Ryan was so furious that he couldn’t wait until the team got back to New Jersey; he told Sanchez in the locker room – a decision with ripples that lasted for several months.

The Jets were at their dysfunctional worst, misusing Tim Tebow (again) and blowing a gift chance in the final minute to win the game. Sanchez mishandled a low snap by Nick Mangold, and Bilal Powell inadvertently kicked the ball away – a stupid Jet trick for the ages. Mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with the 14-10 loss, they were a franchise in disarray.

“A very disappointing night for us,” Ryan said Thursday, declining to look back in any great detail.

Asked in the offseason if that night was the low point of his career, Sanchez said simply, “It was a tough deal. I’m not a good loser.”

Understandably, no one wanted to dwell this week on the Music City meltdown, but what’s past is prologue, as Shakespeare wrote. That loss impacted the organization’s thinking in the offseason, certainly as it related to the quarterback position.

Now, 286 days later, the Jets will be back at LP Field, a rejuvenated team with new energy, a new quarterback and a new offense. They face the Tennessee Titans in a battle of 2-1 teams with a chance to stamp themselves as one of the league’s early surprises.

No one is saying the Titans are elite, but they’re not the Jacksonville Jaguars, either. They’re an efficient, physically tough team, and beating them would be a nice step for the Jets. New York needs to stockpile wins in these toss-up games, because the upcoming schedule is about to get tough.

“It’s a long season ahead,” Ryan said. “I think I know what it’s going to look like, but we’ll see.”

Eleven starters from last December’s game are gone, not counting Sanchez, who is on short-term injured reserve and may never take another snap for the Jets. You got the feeling that night that Sanchez was done as the starter, that there was no way owner Woody Johnson would go into 2013 with him as the face of the team.

That’s exactly how it played out, thanks to twists and turns and an ill-fated shoulder injury, but the Jets got their wish. Geno Smith is hardly a finished product, but he’s a big-armed quarterback who provides hope. He can make every throw. Some of them go to the wrong-colored jersey, but he’s getting the chance to make plays. The coaches are allowing him to win games, as opposed to coaching him not to lose. There’s a difference. With Sanchez, it always seemed to be the latter.

“I will say this with Geno: I’m impressed a little bit more every day,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “He’s an impressive young man, certainly talented.”

Mornhinweg said Smith is “beyond his years” in terms of sideline demeanor. He still has to protect the ball better, because seven turnovers in three games are way too many. His counterpart, Jake Locker, has yet to commit a turnover in 2013.

Smith recognizes he needs to improve a lot, a desired attribute in a young quarterback. Technically, the starting job doesn’t belong to him, not permanently, but he has turned that into a nonissue. Unless there’s a prolonged slump, there’s no chance he gets pulled.

“With the exception of [the turnovers],” Mornhinweg said, “I think he’s quite far along.”

Quarterback aside, the vibe around the team is dramatically different from what it was last Dec. 17. Tebow is long gone, the circus has packed up and the Jets are all about football. That was apparent Monday, when Ryan opened his news conference by noting there were only a couple of TV cameras in the room.

“There are 15 when we lose,” he said.

Someone told Ryan the TV crowd was over at the Giants’ facility, the new crisis epicenter of New York football.

Ryan didn’t say anything. He just smiled.

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/28/2013 10:38 AM

Here's the full injury report:

Jets

Out
T Oday Aboushi (knee/did not practice)
CB Dee Milliner (hamstring/did not practice)
RB Chris Ivory (hamstring/did not practice)

Probable
LB Quinton Coples (ankle/limited)
DT Kenrick Ellis (back/limited)
WR Santonio Holmes (foot/limited)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee/limited)
WR Clyde Gates (knee/full)
OG Willie Colon (elbow/full)
CB Antonio Cromartie (hip/full)
WR Stephen Hill (knee/full)
LB Garrett McIntyre (shoulder/full)
DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder/full)
QB Geno Smith (ankle/full)

Titans

Out
RB Shonn Greene (knee/did not practice)
DT Sammie Lee Hill (ankle/did not practice)

Questionable
LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring/did not practice)
WR Kenny Britt (neck & ribs/limited)
TE Delanie Walker (toe/limited)
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring/full)

Probable
LB Moise Fokou (neck/full)
LB Zaviar Gooden (ankle/full)
T David Stewart (calf/full)

coleryan Posts:11962 Followers:19
09/29/2013 08:13 AM

Pick: Titans -3.5

The Titans are flying under the radar, but are playing really good football. The Jets are playing well which is a surprise, but a rookie QB on the road will stumble against the Titans who do not turn over the ball.