Outsider’s Look: Tennessee Titans

We try to look at the Jets opponents every week and take some of the statistical numbers from Football Outsiders to better understand what the Jets will be facing on Sunday.  Reminder, positive percentages are good on offense and specials, bad on defense.

Chris-Johnson-plane-breaker-USPPass Offense: -13.4% (28th)
Rush Offense: 11.0% (25th)
O-Line Adjusted Line Yards: 3.66 Yards (29th)
O-Line Adj. Sack Rate: 5.7% (12th)

Analysis:  Having lost their last three games, the Titans are struggling.  With a young QB in Jake Locker, a banged up offensive line and a year in which Kenny Britt hasn’t been his usual self, the Titans have had a tough time finding their identity offensively.  Chris Johnson has turned around his slow start, but he’s still hamstrung by the team around him.  The Titans receivers have shown promise, but it’s hard to know whether it’s fool’s gold as the team has had to resort to throwing so much this season.  For the Jets, they will need to prioritize how to scheme against this team.  Chris Johnson presents a bad mismatch for the Jets, especially as a receiver.  Other than that, the Jets should move Cromartie around but make his main charge Nate Washington as he’s had the most effective and efficient season this year.  While Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt are concerns, they are less so this year in comparison.  Look to see if the Jets don’t use more of a Big Nickel package repeatedly.  Anything that allows them more of a Tampa-2 style look.

Pass Defense: 18.2% (25th)
Rush Defense: 0.4% (22nd)
Defensive Adjusted Line Yards: 4.35 Yards (22nd)
Defensive Adj. Sack Rate: 6.2% (19th)

Analysis: Running the football on this team should not be a problem.  It might not be as easy as it was last week for the Jets, but they would be wise to keep this as a key part of their offense as it puts Sanchez in a situation to hurt them less if he’s handing the ball off.  The Jets line should be able to eventually overpower the Titans d-line and get some large holes for their ballcarriers.  Look for Greene and Powell to keep splitting carries, but expect that the Jets will mix in Joe McKnight more should he be healthy enough this week.  When the Jets do have to pass, watch out for Kamerion Wimbley and Akeem Ayers.  As they are the Titans’ two top sackmasters, with five and four respectively.  With the way that Brick and Howard have been playing, it would make sense that they should be able to do enough to keep Ayers and Wimbley busy — especially when you consider that Jason Smith will be used to help Howard during the course of the game on pass and run blocking.

When Mark Sanchez does put the ball in the air, they’d be wise to look pay attention to who’s playing well at the corner spot, and go the other way.  While McCourty and Verner have had times in which they’ve had good games on the season, they’ve been up and down during the course of the year and the Jets should be mindful of their inconsistent level of play over the course of the season and beware.  Also, while no one wants to hear it, the Titans do struggle in taking on running backs in the passing game, so look for Mark to be targeting Greene or McKnight when possible.

Special Teams: -1.4% (23rd)
Analysis: This unit is one of the worst in the league at covering kickoffs.  Look for Westhoff to try and scheme up a way to get McKnight or whoever is returning kicks a way to run one back for a score.