NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rex Ryan was shocked at how badly the Tennessee Titans beat his New York Jets and he’s tired of hearing excuses about his youthful team’s growing pains.
The Titans sacked rookie Geno Smith five times and forced him into four turnovers that Tennessee turned into 28 points in routing the Jets 38-13 on Sunday even with New York sending Jake Locker to the hospital with an injured hip.
“We don’t need to learn anymore mistakes,” Ryan said. “We’ve got to fix them. That’s what we’ve got to do, not just Geno but all of us. The penalties that you mentioned … do we need to put somebody else in the game? That’s going to be looked at.
“Everything from top to bottom.”
The Jets came in feeling pretty confident after a 2-1 start even after a team-record 20 penalties a week ago in a victory over Buffalo. The good feelings lasted until the second offensive play when Alterraun Verner intercepted a Smith pass to Stephen Hill, and the Jets receiver suffered a head injury that knocked him out of the game.
“Well, we got beat in every phase of the game,” Ryan said. “From offense, defense, special teams, coaching, you name it and it shocks me. I never expected for the game to turn out like this.”
Smith also fumbled when the ball was stripped from him. Verner picked off another Smith pass, and Titans defensive lineman Karl Klug capped the game sacking Smith and stripping the quarterback of the ball in the end zone for a capping touchdown.
“I put the ball on the ground way too many times,” Smith said. “It’s something I keep stressing I’ve got to improve, but it’s got to happen eventually one of these games. I’m going to continue to work hard in practice and continue to study hard as I’ve always done and try and get better week to week.”
It could have been worse for the Jets (2-2). Officials put the ball just outside the goal line when Smith was sacked on what looked like a safety. But those 10 penalties could have been a bit higher if not for a holding call being wiped out by one of Smith’s turnovers.
“Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything that went well for us,” Ryan said.
The Jets can only hope receiver Santonio Holmes is OK. He was hurt late in the game, and Ryan said it was a hamstring injury but didn’t know the severity.
New York knew the Titans (3-1) would blitz the rookie quarterback. The Titans wound up hitting Smith 11 times, including the sacks.
“They did come after us,” Jets right guard Willie Colon said. “This was a challenge.”
Locker threw a career-high three touchdown passes before being hurt with 11:14 left in the third quarter when hit first by Muhammad Wilkerson and then Quinton Coples. He grabbed at his hip as he went to the ground and was taken from the field before being loaded into an ambulance.
Titans coach Mike Munchak did not have an update or a diagnosis after the game.
“When it’s your quarterback, it seems to hurt more,” Munchak said.
Smith had one fewer turnover than Mark Sanchez did last December when the Jets lost to the Titans 14-10 in an ugly game between two teams headed to 6-10 finishes.
“I’ll get better from this,” Smith said. “I’m one of those guys that can put this in my memory bank, put it behind me, and find a way to get better from it.”
While the Jets look for answers before heading to Atlanta, the Titans already have half as many wins through the first month as they managed all of 2012. They also joined the 1995 St. Louis Rams as the only teams in the Super Bowl era without a turnover through the first four games.
But the victory was overshadowed by Locker’s injury.
Wilkerson said he didn’t realize Locker was hurt and that the referee told him it was a clean hit.
“It was a clean hit,” Wilkerson said. “If it was late the ref would have thrown a flag. They didn’t throw a flag.”
Colon said it was back to the drawing board for the Jets.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “It’s not the playoffs where it’s loser go home. We’re 2-2, we just got our heads handed to us. We have to go back to the drawing board, do better, and give confidence to each other. So that’s where we’re at.”
Notes: Washington went over 5,000 yards receiving for his career with his 77-yard TD catch. … Griffin and Jets safety Dawan Landry each played in their 100th career games. … The Titans won their fourth straight at home dating to last season, their first such winning streak since five consecutive wins in 2009. … Munchak now is 18-18 as a head coach.
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