The Tennessee Titans will look to keep their perfect record untainted as they face off against Brett Favre’s New York Jets this weekend.
Playing against a team that hails from the media capital of the United States, Sunday’s contest provides the Titans with a chance to prove their worth to a national audience.
The Jets have took off as of late, winning their last four games, including two road wins in AFC East-enemy territory against the Brady-less Patriots and the struggling Bills.
Here are this week’s keys to a Titan victory.
Air Collins must continue to take flight
Mostly due to facing a barrage of eight-man fronts, the Titans’ vaunted running game has struggled since their pummeling of Kansas City’s hapless run defense.
With Smash and Dash constantly hammering into a brick wall of defenders, the Titans’ aerial attack has stepped up with some great performances. Air Collins will be needed once again on Sunday as the Titans will trade punches with the Jets’ #4 ranked defense against the run.
New York has been extremely vulnerable against the pass, as evidenced by their #28th ranked pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks have fared well playing the Jets, accumulating a combined 88.9 QB rating, a 14/9 TD-INT rate and averaging nearly 240 passing yards a game.
That’s great news for Kerry Collins, who will attempt to amass a QB rating over 100 for the third consecutive game.
Titans’ pass defense vs. Green Bay Packer playbook: Part II
Earlier this month, the Titans’ pass defense had their hands full against Brett Favre’s old employer, the Green Bay Packers. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings combined for over 200 receiving yards and a touchdown as they took advantage of the aggressive tendencies of the Titan corners.
With the arrival of Brett Favre, the Jets have incorporated many of the same quick passes that are a staple of Green Bay’s playbook into Favre’s new passing attack. Similar to Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are also receivers who run well after the catch.
The Titans’ corners will need to exercise caution by not taking as many gambles while trying to defend the quick slants that they will likely see plenty of on Sunday.
Beware of Leon Washington
As you would expect from an undefeated team, the 10-0 Tennessee Titans have few glaring weaknesses. However, if the two-tone warriors have a kryptonite, it’s their return coverage units.
Unfortunately, the Titans will face perhaps the “Superman” of kickoff returns in 2008 on Sunday. Leon Washington is one of the league’s most dangerous returners, averaging nearly 30 yards per return with one touchdown.
In addition to his prowess on special teams, Johnson is also a playmaker on offense. He’s the Jets’ second-leading rusher, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, while also catching 30 passes out of the backfield.
Memo to Craig Hentrich and Rob Bironas: kick away from Leon Washington.
What are your keys to a Titan victory against the J-E-T-S?