Last season, the Jets went into Nashville and crushed the Titans in no small measure due to a huge day by Brett Favre. Operating out of spread sets, Favre picked Tennessee's vaunted defense, neutralizing its pass rush by consistently getting the ball out quickly and finding an open target. The strategy will be a bit different this time around with a rookie quarterback. We won't see complicated looks. The Jets have featured a scaled back playbook in the first two weeks. How can you tell? Only two receivers, one tight end, and one running back have as many as 2 receptions. The featured targets have done a great job getting open, and Mark Sanchez has been very accurate, making good decisions.
In some ways, the Titans will not be as difficult of a challenge as the Texans and Pats presented. Tennessee's Cover 2 scheme relies more on execution than aggressively attacking the opposing quarterback with exotic fronts. For the Titans, what you see is generally what you get, a lot of four man rushes. Albert Haynesworth is gone, but the unit has a lot of talent and rotates linemen a lot. Javon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch will start at end, while we'll see Jacob Ford, William Hayes, and former Jet David Ball behind them. Tony Brown, Jason Jones, Jovan Haye, and Kevin Vickerson will line up at tackle. There are a lot of talented pass rushers from this group.
Although they will not have as many perplexing fronts as the Texans and Pats did, the Titans have the best secondary the Jets have faced this season. Cortland Finnegan is a Pro Bowl cover corner. After a rough week against Andre Johnson, he'll have plenty of motivation. I would expect to see plenty of man coverage on Jerricho Cotchery.
Nick Harper mans the other corner spot. The Titans play a ton of zone, which is where Harper is best. This is an area Chansi Stuckey should be able to find some room to work. He has been great at breaking off his routes and finding an opening. If the offensive line can protect Sanchez, Stuckey could have a big day finding holes in the zone. Ditto Dustin Keller working the seam against the linebacker corp of David Thornton, Stephen Tullock, and Keith Brooking.
If you're waiting for David Clowney to have his breakout week, it probably won't be this one. Cover 2 means the two safeties play deep to guard against vertical routes, and the Titans have a pair of really good ones in Chris Hope and Michael Griffin.
It all depends on the men up front. The Jets have been able to keep Sanchez upright the first two weeks. If he has time, he can do damage. I won't expect a game as big as Favre had last season, but there are areas the Jets can exploit the Titans with Stuckey and Keller in particular.