With the season hanging in the balance, the Jets head to Nashville to take on the Titans. Here’s three things to look out for in tonight’s game.
Run Baby Run — The Jets running game has gotten in a groove in recent weeks and this is no week to stop what’s been working for the Jets during their two game winning streak. The offensive line is doing a much better job of blocking over the second half of the season and Shonn Greene is starting to take better advantage of the situation … that and Bilal Powell has pushed Greene for time on the field. The running game helps to cover over Mark Sanchez and minimize the impact of a group of replacement level receivers. Of course, with the addition of Braylon Edwards to the lineup, look to see if the Jets don’t try and set up a few plays to highlight him under the Monday night lights.
Stop Chris Johnson — While it’s unkown if Johnson will be wearing his visor for his postgame presser, the Jets are going to have to prioritize the dynamic speedster in what they do defensively. The Titans have four new or replacement starters on their offensive line due to injuries all season and Chris Johnson’s game has suffered because of it in recent weeks. The Jets are going to have to do their best to stop him at the line of scrimmage or at the least funnel him to David Harris, as I don’t know how capable the rest of the linebackers would be at stopping Johnson in the open field. The name of the game is to hit Johnson as hard as they can close to the line of scrimmage or never allow him to get to full speed on stretches or end run plays outside the tackles. If they do, they’ll be toast. Look for the Jets to bring LaRon Landry up as much as possible to help boost the run stoppers. Johnson hasn’t posted a hundred plus yard game in three weeks with his depleted offense and while his receiving skills have been lauded, he’s yet to tally more than 50 yards in a game this season … will this be the first time this season he breaks that mark? Might be a good week to try the Jets aging linebackers …
Jake Locker — Locker is still learning a lot about the NFL but his two best attributes are his ability to scramble and create more time on the run as well as throw the ball deep with precision. The Jets are going to have to do their best to pressure Locker with base personnel and drop as many players as they can into coverage on passing downs. Look for the Jets to force Locker to scramble against the grain and to set up many traps in the secondary. With the added need to contain Johnson, this might be a good week to run a lot of nickel and dime packages – specifically the Jets “Big Nickel” package which uses Eric Smith as an extra linebacker.