Monday Night Football ain’t what it used to be folks! This week that’s especially true as the less than stellar match-up features a struggling New York Jets side travelling to Tennessee to take on the brutal Titans. Though the Jets technically still possess a shot at post-season qualification, their performances of late would seem to suggest otherwise.
New York enters this contest with a 6-7 record and this game Monday evening is simply a must-win for Rex Ryan’s squad. A loss in Tennessee eliminates them, and though their quest to qualify is unlikely, it’s always exciting when the dramatic New York Jets are involved. Jets are battling their fair share of injuries entering this game as well. Tight end Dustin Keller has a sprained ankle, and key wide-out Stephen Hill has a knee injury. Both players didn’t travel with the team.
On the Tennessee side, it’s been another disappointing season for the Titans. They enter this game with a dismal 4-9 record and have already been eliminated from the playoffs. Quarterback Jake Locker hasn’t looked all that great in his second NFL season, and issues remain on both sides of the football. The only thing that matters for Tennessee is pride, but they should get up for the opportunity to host Monday Night Football and derail the hated Jets’ 2012 season. Additionally, head coach Mike Munchak’s job is likely on the line in these final three games. If the players want to preserve their sideline leader, and by all accounts they definitely do, a stellar showing for the rest of the season would certainly help his cause. On the injury front, young tight end Jared Cook was placed on injured reserve and is out for the rest of the year. Linebacker Colin McCarthy and wide-out Damian Williams are also suffering injuries and won’t suit up against the Jets.
Jets vs. Titans Betting Odds:
New York Jets +1.5 (-110)
@ Tennessee Titans -1.5 (-110)
Over 42 (-110)
Under 42 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Jets vs. Titans Pick:
Picking a winner in a game like this seems to be an exercise in futility. Both teams are about equal in terms of just how bad they are, and since you can never seem to trust those kinds of teams, I’m more interested in the Under in this contest. Yes, the Jets have the playoffs on the line, but this is a bad team that doesn’t travel well. The Titans are bad as well, but have shown improvements of late, but the fact they’ve got really nothing to play for makes them hard to bet on.
Thus, look to the Under 42 points in this Monday evening encounter. Both teams feature pathetic offenses, and improving defenses. The Titans for much of 2012 featured a porous defense, but any defense can stop Mark Sanchez and the Jets. Add in the fact that Tennessee has actually made some subtle gains on the defensive side of the ball in recent weeks, and the Titans will likely make things difficult for Gang Green. Their pass rush has 11 sacks in the past three weeks, and expect the defensive line of Tennessee to pressure Sanchez into some of his patented mistakes.
Tennessee’s offense is also in shambles, seemingly incapable of getting first downs at the moment. They’ve got huge issues on their depleted offensive line, making it very difficult to run the football with the struggling Chris Johnson. They’re missing three starters in that regard, and look for the Jets to have no difficulty stuffing the run and getting to Jake Locker at will. New York also boasts the 4th best pass defense in the league, a factor that has kept them in the playoff hunt. Expect the Titans to have difficulty moving the chains Monday night. Their run game is anaemic, and Locker can’t be trusted right now to pass against an opportunistic Jets’ secondary.
This will be a sloppy football game, riddled with mistakes and turnovers. Jake Locker has a ridiculous nine giveaways in his past three weeks, and look for that total to rise on Monday night. Both these teams are in disarray, and despite the fact that the Jets are still technically playing for the playoffs, they’re not a playoff team at all. Look for a low-scoring affair filled with both defenses far outplaying the opposition’s offense. Something along the lines of a 16-13 score-line on Monday night seems fitting for teams this inept.
PICK = Under 42 (-110)