New York Jets (2-2) coming off a huge win over the Buffalo Bills last week couldn’t repeat the same performance this week, as they fell to the Tennessee Titans (3-1) 38-13.
Geno Smith had one of those days which remind you that he is a rookie. He completed 23 of 34 attempts for 289 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. He was constantly pressured throughout the game and could never really find a rhythm. The most head scratching moment came in the 4th quarter when he was trying to switch the football to his other hand behind his back as he was running away from a sack in the 4th quarter. As he was attempting to do it, Titans’ DE Karl Klug sacked him near the Titans end zone. The football ends up popping out of his hand into the end zone and Klug jumped on it for the touchdown to increase the lead to 31-6 at the time.
That turnover was Smith’s NFL leading 11th turnover of the season.
Overall, Smith’s stats, outside of the two interceptions thrown and the fumble, wasn’t that bad. The problem was that he couldn’t finish off many of the drives and the Jets had to end up either punting or settling for a field goal. He is still a working progress, and the Jets franchise definitely sees him as the quarterback of the future. Jets fans need to hang in there and allow him to make his mistakes and hopefully he’ll continue to grow from them and become a better quarterback in the future.
Smith’s opposite number, Jake Locker, fared much better as he completed 18 of 24 attempts for 149 yards and 3 TDs. He was able to take advantage of 3 Jets turnovers and turn it into 21 points for the Titans. However, he had to leave the game in the 3rd quarter due to an injury to his right leg/hip. He received a late hit from Jets DE Muhummad Wilkerson and as he went down, his right leg seemed to get stuck under him and twisted a bit. He was replaced by backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who only completed 3 of 8 attempts for 108 yards and 1 TD.
The stars of the game were the Titans defense who forced the Jets into four turnovers and sacked Smith five times. The Titans were able to convert every Jets turnover for a TD and had a total of 28 points off of turnovers. Some of the Titans key players on defense included DB Alterraun Verner who picked off Smith twice, had a fumble recovery, and had two tackles. S Bernard Pollard led the Titans defense with 8 tackles. DE Ropati Pitoitua contributed with 2 sacks (one of which almost resulted in a safety), and 3 total tackles and DE Karl Klug had 2 tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Other Key Stats:
RB Bilal Powell contributed with 14 rushes for 66 yards. TE Kellen Winslow was Smith’s main target on the day with 6 rec. for 73 yards, WR Jeremy Kerley also contributed with 4 rec. for 65 yards. TE Jeff Cumberland caught the only touchdown on the day for the Jets for 34 yards in the 4th quarter.
On defense, LB DeMario Davis led the Jets with 9 tackles. LBs Calvin Pace and Antwan Barnes each contributed with a sack.
RB Jackie Battle was the Titans’ most effective runner with 11 rushes for 42 yards. RB Chris Johnson couldn’t get it going against the Jets defense and finished the day with 15 rushes for 21 yards, a meager 1.4 average yards per run. WR Nate Washington led all Titans receivers with 4 rec. for 105 yards with 2 TDs (including a 77 yard TD rec. from Fitzpatrick). WRs Kendall Wright and Damian Williams also contributed with 5 rec. for 56 yards and 5 rec. for 53 yards respectfully.
Next week, the Jets travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Monday Night Football. The Falcons are 1-3 and will be desperate for a win. They have a team that is capable to win games. If the Jets are to win next week, they have to improve on Sunday’s performance. If not, it could be another long day; this time at the Georgia Dome.
Watch game highlights here.