Unfortunately, there is no flex scheduling on Monday Night Football and we are stuck with this game. Oh well, there’s always the train wreck value.
Weather: 40 degrees and partly cloudy. Good gig for the crowd and the broadcast crew.
New York – The Jets have so many injuries that they brought back WR Braylon Edwards, who promptly pulled a hammy. Rookie wideout Stephen Hill’s knee and TE Dustin Keller’s ankle have them both “doubtful.” Rumor had it on Saturday that rusher Bilal Powell might not play—leading to Fantasy Football speculation on the wisdom of “starting” remaining RB Shonn Greene. I don’t believe in fantasy—but I would venture a reminder that Greene can’t run by himself. Steady there, fantasy folk, it looks like Powell is back to “probable.”
Tennessee – WR Kenny Britt, RB Chris Johnson and QB Jake Locker are nursing knee, ankle and shoulder injuries respectively. This game is one last chance for all three to change the public perception that they are under-performing and over-paid.
Keys to the Game:
Jets offense versus Titans defense – Sticking with the Shonn Greene / Bilal Powell tandem at running back gave the Jets two consecutive wins and 166 rushing yards in Week 14. Mark Sanchez was demoted to rookie-level QB management, attempting only 19 passes. He did complete 12 of them, so perhaps this week they’ll let him attempt 20 passes.
The Titans secondary has given up 7.2 yards-per-attempt over the season, but only 6.3 in recent weeks. If Sanchez can crack 200 yards on the day, there might be a parade.
The Tennessee defense ranks 31st. Even the Jets might break 10 points this weekend.
Even for ardent Jets fans, it’s impossible to get excited about having trounced the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14. The best news for Gang Green? Only one penalty. Break out the bubbly.
Titans offense versus Jets defense – Peyton Manning is so happy that he didn’t choose Tennessee. The Titans suffered a self-inflicted, soul-killing loss in Indy last Sunday. Even when Jake Locker has an accurate (for him) day passing and manages 22-of-35 for 262 yards and a score, he blows it in the final minutes with a room-service pick-six thrown inside his own five-yard line.
The brightest spot in the Titans solar system right now is former (one hopes) wild-child Kenny Britt, who finished the day catching eight of the nine balls thrown his way for 143 yards. About time. Chris Johnson managed a whopping 2.3 yards per carry. Um, the Colts defense isn’t that good.
New York’s defense has allowed 21.7 points per game over the past three weekends, but they have limited opposing QBs to 182.3 yards passing. Since you cannot depend upon Johnson to earn more than four yards per touch, the load falls on Jake Locker’s shoulders. He has thrown nine touchdowns and nine interceptions and has a QB rating of 76.2. Yeah, that’ll help.
On the other hand—someone has to win.
Prediction: New York Jets by three.
Bizarre Stat: Over is 19-7 in Jets last 26 road games. What was the line? Ten?