For at least one Sunday, these were not the same old Jets.
Instead, Gang Green (8-5) came out swinging putting the game away with a 27-0 halftime lead, and keeping pace in the AFC wild card picture with a 30-8 win over the Titans (3-10).
From the start, it was evident the Jets weren’t messing around with Ryan Fitzpatrick leading a 14-play 80-yard drive capped off by Eric Decker’s 9th touchdown of the season.
The Jets drove the ball down the field on their next three possessions, but Randy Bullock hit just two of his three field goal attempts to put the Jets ahead 13-0.
Tennessee had plenty of chances to make this a game in the first half, but the Jets’ defense wasn’t having any of it. The Titans’ first half possessions consisted of four punts and a Buster Skrine interception, and zero plays in Jets’ territory.
The Jets would eventually capitalize on Tennessee’s first half ineptitude, with Fitzpatrick leading a 7-play 72-yard drive, and Bilal Powell taking in a 16-yard screen pass to make the score 20-0. Tennessee’s tackling attempts on the Powell touchdown were nothing short of pathetic.
After another Titans punt, Tennessee committed its biggest blunder of the game. The Jets offense came out on the field and Tennessee forgot to cover Brandon Marshall, so Fitzpatrick quick snapped it and fired the ball to Marshall who went 69-yards for the touchdown (the Jets’ longest play from scrimmage all season).
With a 27-0 lead entering the second half, the Jets offense played it safe for the final 30 minutes.
As for the Titans’ offense, Tennessee did not run a play in Jets’ territory until there was 4:09 left in the 3rd quarter. That was when Calvin Pryor fell down attempting to cover Marcus Mariota who lined up as a receiver and caught his first career NFL touchdown pass, a 41-yarder from Antonio Andrews. Unfortunately for the Titans, that was their only highlight of the day.
Mariota came into this game with a ton of confidence after becoming the first player in NFL history with at least 250 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and three touchdown passes in the same game last week against the Jaguars. On this Sunday though, the Jets made Mariota look like a true rookie.
When he had to, Fitzpatrick continued his torrid run throwing for three touchdowns, 263 yards, and most importantly, zero interceptions. Over his last three games, Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdowns and has no turnovers. It’s no coincidence that the Jets have won each of those three games which has led to Gang Green’s first three game win streak since 2011.
Chris Ivory had his first 100-yard game since Week 6, and Brandon Marshall led the way with 125 receiving yards and caught his 11th touchdown of the season to become the Jets first receiver with at least 11 touchdowns in a season since Wesley Walker had 12 in 1986.
On the defensive side of the ball, the player of the game was Muhammad Wilkerson who recorded three sacks and a forced fumble. Wilkerson now has a career high 12 sacks on the season and has set himself up for an offseason confrontation with GM Mike Maccagnan. Darrelle Revis returned after missing the last two games with a concussion and appeared to be back to playing at his shutdown level.
The only downside of the day was seeing rookie WR Devin Smith go down with a knee injury on punt coverage. Smith had to be carted off the field and his status going forward is unknown, but it did not look good.
The Jets will look to make it four straight wins when they travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in a rare Saturday night affair.