The New York Jets, a team that was not expected to compete for a spot in the postseason has, after twelve games, surprised the pundits. “Gang Green,” after beating the arch-rival New York Giants last Sunday in a game that was won in overtime, finds itself in second place in the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) with a Won-Loss record of 7-5.
It is the Won-Loss record that is of special importance to this team and to its loyal fans. The fact is that if the season ended right now, “the green and white” would be awarded one of two available Wild Cards and would get an invitation to participate in the playoffs.
But the season has four games that still need to be played and the Jets have to win most of them to retain the sixth and final seed, which they have now, so that they can keep playing in January. The road ahead will present the squad from the Meadowlands with serious challenges.
Beginning this Sunday afternoon at 1 PM, New York will host the visiting Tennessee Titans, a squad that has a Won-Loss record of just 3-9, but has been rallying behind first year quarterback Marcus Mariota in its most recent games.
In fact, Mariota, the second overall pick in the most recent NFL Draft, led his young Titans team to a high-scoring victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday. The Titans prevailed when Mariota sprinted past defenders en route to an 80 yard run that resulted in a touchdown.
The Titans, particularly Mariota, may find it more difficult to “sprint” against the home team Jets a few days from now because New York is ranked number one against the run in the entire National Football League (NFL).
Tennessee, with little to play for other than personal pride and a chance to act as a spoiler to a team like the Jets can be dangerous. New York will have to bring its “A” game and avoid “coasting” against a squad that has lost nine games.
The fact is that in the National Football League (NFL) any team can topple any other team. The Jets must be mindful of that and cannot afford to relax and think that just showing up is enough to win the game.
New York will rely on its strong rushing game and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, each of whom has proven difficult to cover and control for opposing cornerbacks this year. Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing as well as he has ever played and the Jets, to a man, know how important this game is to them.
The Titans will be looking to upset the home team and will try to rally behind the improving Marcus Mariota. The Jets can be expected to mount a strong rush against the Titans’ quarterback each time Tennessee is on offense.
This game should be interesting, exciting and hard-hitting.
Courtesy of Titansonline.com