They did it. The New York Jets have won a football game. The Tennessee Titans traveled to the Meadowlands and Metlife Stadium this Sunday and came away with a loss. It was a big game for the Jets, who now sit at 1-3, and they were looking to make a statement. The Titans, down two of their best players, were looking to avoid a loss in an obvious trap game. That being said, here is a review of the New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans game.
The Jets Pass Protection Held Up
In the first three weeks of the season, Zach Wilson had been sacked 15(!) times, which led the NFL. However, Week 4 was a different story. The offensive line held the Titans to one sack, which allowed Wilson to sling the ball around all afternoon. According to PFF, he was also only pressured four times. The Titans don’t necessarily have a great pass rush, but this is quite the turnaround that this offensive line group was looking for.
The run game was a bit of a different story, however. While the pass protection held up, there needs to be some sort of push upfront to get the run game going. The team averaged 2.6 yards per carry, which is pretty awful. Michael Carter showed some more flashes, but he couldn’t fully get going. He paced the backfield with 13 carries for 38 yards. The run game needs to improve for the offense to maintain consistent success throwing the ball.
A lot of the more successful schematics of the system come from play-action, but if there is no threat in running the ball, teams don’t have to play in the box too much. Hopefully, this group can keep it up and continue improving against a vulnerable Atlanta Falcons defense in London for week 5.
Zach Wilson is NOT a Bust
Zach Wilson. That’s it. No, it’s not, but he showed exactly why he was taken 2nd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. In the first half, he did not look great. He had just 65 yards on 66.7 completion percentage. He also threw a bad interception, while he had no touchdowns.
In the second half, however, he was a completely different player. He threw two touchdowns, including this beautiful throw in double coverage to Corey Davis. It was a great play by both Wilson and Davis, with Wilson escaping the pocket and directing Davis deep, and Davis making a great catch sandwiched between two defenders. Wilson’s second touchdown throw came on a quick out route in the corner of the end zone to Jamison Crowder, who enjoyed a great comeback game.
Not only did Wilson throw the ball down the field efficiently, he took his shots when he needed to. After Week 2, Robert Saleh came out and said Wilson needed to “play boring.” And when he needed to, he did. Wilson targeted his running backs seven times, and he targeted Jamison Crowder nine times. Needless to say, this version of Wilson looks pretty good and should give fans some hope.
The Defense Bent A LOT But Didn’t Break
With A.J. Brown and Julio Jones both out this week, a lot of the focus of the Jets defense had to be on the current reigning rushing champ, Derrick Henry. While Henry gashed the Jets for 157 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, the Jets’ defense held strong. The Titans ended drives in the red zone three times in the first half, and they all ended in field goals.
In the second half, Henry ran for 74 yards and a touchdown, which gave the Titans a 15-10 lead. They would then score a 2-point conversion to go up 17-10. And while the run game was going well for the Titans, they couldn’t throw the ball down the field. Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols looked really comfortable, and the only real passing success was through screens. Jeremy McNichols led the Titans with eight receptions for 74 yards, and the next best receiver on the team had five catches for 63 yards.
Lots of pressure was put on the defensive line coming into the season, and they have delivered. This defensive line, down arguably their best player in Carl Lawson, is elite. They finished the afternoon with seven sacks and 35(!) pressures on 45 dropbacks. Ryan Tannehill basically lived on the ground. Overall, this defense has been an extremely pleasant surprise, but hopefully, they continue to play at the level they are. They are the reason the Jets have any chance to win games, so fans hope they can keep it up.
In Week 5, the Jets head to London to take on the Falcons, fresh off a loss to the Washington Football Team. Another potential upset brewing, the Jets will look to ride the momentum they gained from a great team win. The Falcons are not a great football team, and in fact are probably their easiest matchup so far this season, so maybe they can find a way to climb back to 2-3. This has been a review of the New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans.