When they handed the Titans their first loss a year ago, the Jets ran for 192 yards against a defense that included Albert Haynesworth. This could be the game for the Jets' rushing attack to get on track. The numbers don't look terrible, but New York has had problems running the ball early in games. Defenses have stacked the box against Mark Sanchez.
Tennessee's Cover 2 scheme calls for safeties to play deep to prevent the big play. We may see 8 up front at some points, but I would guess this will be less than New England and Houston used. It is going to come down to execution. Can the Jets offensive line control the point of attack to give Thomas Jones and Leon Washington room?
As we discussed in the passing matchup preview, the Titans rotate heavily on the defensive line. We'll see Kyle Vanden Bosch and David Ball at one defensive end spot. Jevon Kearse, Jacob Ford, and William Hayes at the other. Tony Brown, Kevin Vickerson, Jason Jones, and Jovan Haye will line up in the middle at tackle.
I can see the Jets having a lot of success on the ground. In a system like this, defensive linemen are usually small, particularly at end. Since there's not a ton of blitzing, teams sacrifice size for speed. Linemen are solely responsible for generating pressure. That means there could be issues against a power run attack with a big offensive line. On the left side, where Kearse and Ford will be, the Titans will reguarly be giving 60 pounds to Damien Woody. That's also the side David Thornton will line up at linebacker. Thornton is a good player, but I'd rather run at him than standout Keith Bullock on the other side. Stephen Tulloch will play the middle. It will be a typical Jets run attack. Alan Faneca will pull to the right side. Can the Titans stop it? If not, they will definitely have to put an eighth in the box, and Mark Sanchez has shown the ability to beat those fronts.
I would like to see more Tony Richardson this week. Against the Pats, there were a lot of three receiver sets early. That doesn't make a ton of sense to me. Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey are the only receivers with receptions. Get the best lead blocker in the game into the action.