Jets vs. Titans: Preview, predictions, what to watch for

An inside look at Sunday’s Jets-Titans Week 4 matchup in at MetLife Stadium:

Marquee Matchup

Titans running back Derrick Henry vs. the Jets defense

You don’t have to be a football genius to figure out who makes the Titans go. Henry is a 6-foot-3, 247-pound beast who has 4.5 time and a wicked stiff-arm. Henry leads the NFL in rushing with 353 yards and is the two-time defending rushing champion. In his past two games, he has 381 total yards (295 rushing, 86 receiving). The Jets have no chance in this game if they can’t slow Henry down.

The Jets defense has not been bad. They are ranked 14th in the league, allowing an average of 110 yards per game. But this is their biggest test.

“He’s very unique,” said linebacker C.J. Mosley, who played with Henry at Alabama. “He’s bigger than most people on the football field. He’s a smart runner, a powerful guy. I have a lot of respect for him. We have to do a great job collectively of getting him down. We all know his stiff arm is coming. Our guys on the edge have to be ready if he breaks on the sideline and have everybody run to the ball and try to gang tackle him.”

C.J. Mosley and Derrick Henry
AP, Getty Images

Costello’s Call

The Jets’ offense can’t be as bad as it looked last week, can it? I think they will move the ball better against the Titans, but still struggle to score. With no Julio Jones or A.J. Brown, the Titans won’t light up the scoreboard either. Titans eke out an ugly one.

Titans 17, Jets 16

4 Downs

Oh No, There’s No O: The Jets’ offense was beyond awful last week. They scored no points and never even reached the red zone against the Broncos. There is optimism things will go better this week against a Titans defense ranked 15th in the NFL after facing three top-five defenses already this season. The Jets have scored 20 points total, tied for the fewest in franchise history through three games (1976).

There was plenty of blame to go around, but offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur took the most heat this week for his play-calling.

“We didn’t execute very well which was disappointing, because I look at that as coaching,” LaFleur said. “When guys aren’t executing, you got to figure out what is going wrong, what are the players not hearing that’s not allowing the execution. So, I challenged the coaches, I challenged myself, how can we make it easier?”

Ryan’s Rolling: When you talk about the Titans, most of the attention is rightfully on Derrick Henry, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill has become one of the best at his position in the past two years. Tannehill can give the Jets fits on Sunday with play-action passes and his ability to run (100 yards this year). Though he will be without tops WRs A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.

“He plays quarterback and when I say that I mean he plays the game and manages it the way it needs to be played,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “He will take shots when he needs to, he gets the ball in and out of his hands, he’s very, very smart with the football, he can run.”

Seeing Old Friends: Jets wide receiver Corey Davis was the No. 5-overall pick by the Titans in 2017 and spent his first four seasons with the team. They chose not to even offer a contract in free agency, something he admitted this week irked him. Now, he gets to face his former team and try to get on track after two weeks of little production. Davis is receiving more attention from defenses than he did in Tennessee when he was teamed with A.J. Brown and Henry. With the Jets, teams are focusing on stopping Davis, and it is working. Davis had just seven catches for 49 yards in the past two games combined after scoring two touchdowns in Week 1.

Mims is the Word: Jets fans clamoring to see 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims will get their wish on Sunday. Mims will be active against the Titans after being inactive each of the past two weeks. With Elijah Moore and Jeff Smith both sidelined by concussions, Mims will get his shot to give the offense a boost.

“He’s going to get some opportunity,” Saleh said. “Hopefully he takes advantage of it, and we’re expecting him to. He’s stacked up a third consecutive week of great, deliberate practice. He’s really getting comfortable within the offense. We’re excited to see him get his opp.”

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