By Abraham Gutierrez
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be filled to capacity as Gang Green Nation will gather to see if their (7-5) New York Jets can improve their playoff chances by winning their third straight game. In Week 14, Todd Bowles’ club will test itself against one of the worst teams in the American Football Conference, the (3-9) Tennessee Titans.
Nevertheless, this team would be wise not to take anyone lightly, as life in the NFL dictates that anyone can win on any given Sunday. Opening kickoff for this AFC East vs. AFC South contest is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports.
Tennessee Titans 2015 NFL Season
As stated above, the Titans season hasn’t exactly gone the way the organization envisioned it prior to the start of the 2015 NFL season. Thus, Ken Whisenhunt was relieved of his head coaching duties on Nov. 3, following a disastrous 1-6 start and a 3-20 record overall.
After handing Whisenhunt his pink slip, the Titans immediately named Mike Mularkey the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. On the year, this team is 1-6 at home, 2-3 on the road, 1-3 against the AFC South, 1-7 versus intraconference foes, 2-2 versus the NFC, and have won two out their last five games.
Titans On Offense
Offensively, there just aren’t too many bright spots to speak of for offensive coordinator, Jason Michael. In fact, Tennessee features one of the most anemic attacks in all of football, which is great news for a Jets defense that’s used to dominating the opposition.
Prior to this Week 14 showdown, the Titans offense ranked 18th in rushing yards (102.9), 25th in passing yards (224.2), 26th in points scored (20.4), and a whopping 28th in total yards per game (327.2).
Titans On Defense
Defensively, Ray Horton is the Titans defensive coordinator, but he’s not alone in trying to install an effective scheme. As a matter of fact, Horton has the luxury of having some of the greatest defensive minds in the history of football in his corner, as former longtime Steelers DC, Dick LeBeau is the team’s assistant head/defensive coach.
Much like everything LeBeau puts his hand on, this defense has showed tremendous improvement and no shortage of potential. Heading into Week 14, the Titans defense ranks eighth in total yards (336.1) and 9th in passing yards (230.6). However, this team’s struggles can be found in the points per game category (24.7), as well as in the rushing yards per game department (105.5).
Titans Players To Watch
Offensively, the Titans player to watch has to be rookie sensation, quarterback Marcus Mariota. The 22-year-old from Honolulu, Hawaii, has been one of the brightest spots for this offense, completing 63 percent of his passes, going 206-for-325 for 2512 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just nine interceptions to earn a cool quarterback rating of 95.1.
Defensively, Bowles and his staff must prepare for the pass rush of three players in particular. Accounted for at all times, the Jets will have the task of trying to contain outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (7 sacks, 38 tackles, forced fumble), defensive end Jurrell Casey (6 sacks, 36 tackles), and inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard (5 sacks, 69 tackles, forced fumble).
Titans vs. Jets Outlook
Being the inferior team on the road certainly isn’t a winning formula for the Tennessee Titans. That’s why no one will be surprised if the Jets do end up winning this clash.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.