Five observations from the New York Jets 30-8 win over the Tennessee Titans today at MetLife Stadium.
Ryan Fitzpatrick comes through again! Since the infamous shaving of the beard after the Texans game, Fitzpatrick has thrown for nine touchdowns and more importantly zero interceptions. It is no coincidence that the Jets are 3-0 in those games, and currently own the last playoff spot. Today he added 3 TD’s with 263 yards with most of that coming in the first half as the Jets turned on cruise control after the break. Fitz could not have peaked at a better time. He is playing as well as any QB in the NFL, and if he keeps this up the Jets are going to be a tough out in the playoffs.
BMarsh and Decker-13 catches, 199 yards, two TDs
What else can you say about these two? They consistently get open, make catches, and move the chains. Today’s numbers are slightly inflated because the Titans decided not to cover Marshall on a 69-yard catch and run; but Decker did the heavy lifting, consistently getting open in the middle of the field. Marshall is having a season statistically that could rival any of his best from the Denver days, and Decker is creeping closer to 1000 yards and 10 td’s (801 and 8 td’s currently). These two are playing as well as any tandem in the game, and have given the Jets a legitimate passing threat for the first time in years (possibly decades).
Smash and Dash
After weeks of struggling, the Jets were finally able to put together a running attack today. 183 yards on 35 attempts for an outstanding 5.4 yards per carry! Chris Ivory had 101 of those yards (his first 100-yard game since week 6) and Powell chipped in 36 yards on only three carries. Ivory was back to his old self, inflicting punishment on would be tacklers and using his deceptive speed to break runs outside. Powell continued his recent superb play as a receiving option, adding 5 catches for 46 yards and his second straight week with a receiving touchdown (the only two of his career).
No Fly Zone
The Titans coming in to MetLife with a rookie QB and mostly rookie WR’s was a nice early Christmas present for the Jets defense. While Mariota could be one of the best QB’s in the league in a few years, he certainly did not look like it today. Outside from one or two hiccups, the Jets defense absolutely suffocated the Titans, especially in the first half. The only touchdown given up came on a wildcat pass where Calvin Pryor fell down covering Marcus, or he should have been in position to make a play on it. Wilkerson continued his monster season, adding 3 sacks and a forced fumble, which all but guaranteed his next contract will be in the same zip code as JJ Watt or Marcell Dareus. Leonard Williams recorded his second straight week with a sack, and Buster Skrine had his first interception in a Jets uniform.
Tight Playoff Race
While the Jets continued to do their part in winning the games they need to, unfortunately so did the teams we are competing with for a wildcard spot. The Chiefs were able to get a goal line defensive stand on the last play of the game against San Diego to maintain their spot; and Pittsburgh was basically gifted a win after Andy Dalton went out with a broken hand in Cincinnati. The Jets might have to finish 3-0 in order to make it in, a very tough task considering the remaining opponents (Dallas, New England, and Buffalo).
Overall, great win today for the Jets. I hope that they take care of business next Saturday in Big D as the race for the playoffs continues.