The Jets beat the Tennessee Titans today 30-8 at MetLife Stadium. New York is now 8-5 and on a three game winning streak. This had the classic makings of a trap game. The Jets were coming off a big, emotional win against their crosstown rivals and welcoming one of the worst teams in the league to the Meadowlands. There was no letdown, though. The Jets dominated this game from the start. Let's head below to talk about what went right.
Muhammad Wilkerson: In what has been perhaps the best season of his career, Wilkerson had yet another big game. He recorded 3 sacks and batted down a pass. Otherwise he won his assignments on a dominant day for the defensive line. Wilkerson now has 12 sacks, which is already a career high with three weeks to go in the season. He is among the league leaders in the category, and he has also been a shutdown run defender. It is time for Woody Johnson to prepare to write the man a large check to keep him in green and white.
Defensive Line: Wilkerson needed to be singled out. He is right there with Brandon Marshall in the discussion for Team MVP this season. The entire defensive line controlled the game from the outset. The Titans averaged under 2 yards per rush. The pass rushers were effective, but they were also controlled. They stayed in their lanes to prevent Marcus Mariota from seeing daylight and scrambling. Leonard Williams added a sack. Damon Harrison was his typical effective self. Sheldon Richardson won his assignments. It was a very nice day for these guys.
Calvin Pryor: Everybody is likely going to remember him falling down on the touchdown pass to Mariota, but Pryor was very effective other than that. On a pair of blitzes, he forced Mariota to slide right into another defender for a sack. He made some nice open field tackles. And if he was responsible for a touchdown, he saved another on the play when Antonio Cromartie got picked, and Harry Douglas had nothing but daylight in front of him.
Buster Skrine: I'm not sure his numbers in coverage will look spectacular, but it seemed like he was an important part of the gameplan. He drew a lot of assignments against running backs and tight ends, Delanie Walker in particular. Walker's effectiveness was limited. Skrine also had an important interception. It was revealed after the game that he was supposed to blitz but didn't after reading the play.
Brandon Marshall: It was yet another 100 yard game for Marshall. He went 6 for 125 and a touchdown. He had a couple of big runs after the catch that made a real difference, a 16 yarder on a third and long when Fitzpatrick saw the Titans giving him a big cushion. He beat a man one on one. Then there was a 67 yard touchdown on a play when the Titans blew lining up and didn't cover him. It was going to be a big play either way, but Marshall finished the run effectively.
Eric Decker: The use of Decker out of the slot has become a huge matchup problem for opponents. Decker is really crafty and understands how to get to the soft spots in coverages over the middle. He had 7 catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Chris Ivory: Ivory had 101 yards on 22 carries. One thing that stuck out was how he seemed more assertive than he had been in recent weeks. I feel like Ivory has been doing too much dancing and trying to take too many carries outside rather than lower his shoulder and take a few yards. He did that in this game. You need to pick your spots when it comes to bouncing outside, which Ivory did to great effect. He was able to rip off a few big runs.
Bilal Powell: I am loving the Powell we have seen the last two weeks. Suddenly he seems like a guy with enough speed to get to the edge and enough vision and wiggle to get through traffic in the open field. He had a combined 82 yards on 8 offensive touches from scrimmage including nice 16 yard touchdown reception.
Offensive Line: I have been critical of the offensive line this year, but I thought they did a nice job. Ivory seemed fairly effective between the tackles. Enough room was opened. They also did a nice job protecting Ryan Fitzpatrick and helped a few long-developing plays be successful.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: I thought Fitzpatrick got off to a bit of an erratic start. He missed some early throws and floated a few dangerous balls. I do think his play was effective. He made a couple of really good presnap reads on those two quick passes to Marshall. He recognized the mistake the Titans had made and exploited it. It seems like he manipulated the safeties with his eyes a bit. Ultimately, it was a 263 yard, 3 touchdown game. Before the season, I heard a lot of people argue that Fitzpatrick was a known commodity, and there was no way he could get better after a decade in the league. This was not a crazy thing to say. That is true in most cases. Sometimes, though, a guy just finds the right team and the right system and blossoms. I'm not ready to say this is what is happening with Fitzpatrick, but we might be seeing this happen.
Antonio Cromartie: It is starting to feel like Cro is turning a corner. He played a third straight good game and almost had a couple of interceptions with good breaks on balls.
Darrelle Revis: Having Revis on the field makes scheming a lot easier. Having somebody who can man up against a receiver on the outside opens up blitzes and double teams elsewhere. I feel like a bad game in Houston against maybe the best receiver in the NFL has made people too quick to count out the impact Revis has. He makes a big difference.
Erin Henderson: He had a couple of nice tackles.
Demario Davis: Davis had a sack and showed nice range to shut down a Mariota scramble.
In all of the years of this site, I there has only been one game where I did not include a bad section. It was a blowout win over the Rams in 2008. I am going to make this the second. This was an excellent performance by the Jets. I am very pleased with the way this team played from the start of the game.
The Jets now have a short week to prepare for a road game against the Cowboys.