Two pretty mediocre AFC teams square off in the 4:00 hour of Week 4 as the somewhat surprising New York Jets travel to Tennessee to take on a Titans squad that is also overachieving. Little was expected from both teams in 2013, but their current positions have them thinking of bigger things. The Jets throttled the Bills in Week 3, and while rookie quarterback Geno Smith can be erratic at times, he has proven an ability to make things happen and put wins on the board – things Mark Sanchez just couldn’t do. The Titans are experiencing a bit of a resurgence with Chris Johnson, and young play caller Jake Locker finally looks like he is growing into his own. It’s a battle between two teams that seem like they’re on the upswing, and our official pick and game thoughts are listed below.
Jets at Titans Betting Odds:
New York Jets +3.5 (-120)
@ Tennessee Titans -3.5 (+100)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jets at Titans Pick:
For a team that entered the 2013 regular season with such little expectations, the New York Jets are making football pundits look pretty silly in the early going. They have already exceeded what people set them out to do, and they have in fact outgained their opponents by 325 total yards in their first three contests. This has of course all been done with rookie quarterback Geno Smith under centre. Smith hasn’t been a star, but he certainly hasn’t been Mark Sanchez-like bad either. Smith did struggle on the road in New England, but should fare better against a Titans team that lets opposing quarterbacks complete 64% of passes. And with the emergence of Stephen Hill, and Santonio Holmes once again acting like he wants to play football, that could bode well for that dangerous duo. Expect the Jets to be able to move the chains come Sunday.
On the ground the Jets should also experience some success. Tennessee has struggled mightily at containing the run thus far in 2013, conceding 4.4 yards per carry through the opening three weeks. Bilal Powell had a very solid game last week and should again be able to build on that momentum. The Jets will never get confused with the Packers, but this match-up aligns well for their offense. Expect Gang Green to be successful moving the ball in Tennessee.
The real strength of Rex Ryan’s Jets team lies with their defense, which is currently one of the best in the NFL. They have allowed just 16.7 points per game and when you consider that they held the Patriots to just 13 points, that figure becomes quite impressive. New York will put huge amounts of pressure on Jake Locker, forcing him into mistakes and bad decisions. The Jets have allowed opposing quarterbacks to only complete 47% of passes thus far and this will allow them to load up the box and stop the run-game of Chris Johnson. New York’s defense keeps them in every game, and it will do so again on Sunday. Tennessee will struggle mightily when it comes to moving the chains.
The Jets are impressive, there I said it. After years of futility and Mark Sanchez’s epic ‘butt-fumble’ the Jets seem on their way to respectability. The circus act is gone, and stifling defense has replaced it. Jake Locker will be rushed and knocked down with regularity on Sunday, and not only will the Jets cover the 3.5 points, look for Geno Smith to lead Gang Green to a big road victory.
PICK = Jets +3.5 (-115)