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Tennessee Titans take on the New York Jets at LP Field, Sunday

 

Tennessee Titans (2-11) vs. New York Jets (2-11)

Sunday, December 14th, 2014 | 3:05pm CT
Nashville, TN | LP Field | TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – This week the Tennessee Titans (2-11) host the New York Jets (2-11). The late afternoon kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 3:05pm CT on Sunday, December 14th.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Andrew Catalon will handle play-by-play duties, while Steve Beuerlein and Steve Tasker will serve as analysts.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (13) carries the ball against Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) during the second half at LP Field. The Giants beat the Titans 36-7. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (13) carries the ball against Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) during the second half at LP Field. The Giants beat the Titans 36-7. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee TitansThe Titans have three games remaining on their 2014 slate. Following this week’s contest, they have a short week to prepare for a Thursday night matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the season concludes at home versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Last week the Titans hosted the New York Giants at LP Field, trying to put a stop to a six-game losing skid. But the Giants, who themselves were in the midst of seven consecutive losses, were less than charitable to the Titans’ cause. The visitors scored the game’s first 30 points and left Nashville with a 36-7 victory.

The Giants defense forced three turnovers, sacked Titans quarterbacks eight times, and allowed the Titans to run only one play inside the red zone. The Titans’ lone touchdown came not by their offense but on an interception return by rookie defensive back Marqueston Huff.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) passes against the New York Giants during the first half at LP Field. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) passes against the New York Giants during the first half at LP Field. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Already plagued by injuries, Tennessee suffered more personnel losses during the game, none more notable than quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Less than five minutes into the fourth quarter, the rookie signal caller was sacked by linebacker Devon Kennard and stayed on the turf. He was diagnosed with a right shoulder injury for the second consecutive week and was replaced by Jake Locker.

Mettenberger has started the last six games, becoming only the third rookie quarterback in franchise history to record at least six starts (Dan Pastorini, Vince Young). His season totals include 107-of-179 passing for 1,412 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. His 83.4 passer rating is the best among NFL rookies in 2014 with at least one start.

Locker, who started four out of the team’s first five games in 2014, has completed 80 of his 135 passes for 936 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. The former first-round pick has 22 career starts in four seasons.

New York Jets

New York JetsThe Jets have an identical record to the Titans after dropping their last three games at the Buffalo Bills (November 24th), against the Miami Dolphins (December 1st) and last week at the Minnesota Vikings (December 7th).

Against the Vikings, the Jets forced overtime in the frigid Minneapolis climate after Nick Folk made his fifth field goal with 23 seconds remaining in regulation. However, the Vikings scored on an 87-yard pass in the extra period to win 30-24.

The Jets are in their sixth season under head coach Rex Ryan, who was named to the post in January 2009. From 2009 through the 2013 season, the Jets ranked second in the NFL in total defense and first in passing defense.

In 2014, the Jets are ranked seventh in overall defense entering Week 15. They are fifth in rushing defense and tied for 16th against the pass.

One of the Jets’ featured offensive weapons is running back Chris Johnson, who joined the Jets during the 2014 offseason after playing his first six NFL seasons with the Titans. The third-leading rusher in Titans/Oilers history, Johnson was selected by the Titans with the 24th overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.

He totaled 7,965 yards and 50 rushing touchdowns during his time in Tennessee, a period in which only Adrian Peterson had more rushing yards than him. Johnson set the NFL record with six career touchdown runs of 80 yards or longer, and he authored 35 career 100-yard rushing games in a Titans uniform.

Johnson’s 2014 totals include 125 carries for 558 yards and a touchdown. He shares the tailback duties with Chris Ivory (714 yards), and together they have helped the Jets build the second-ranked rushing attack in the NFL.

U.S. Marine Corps Toys for TOTS Drive

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for TotsPrior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive.

New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve stationed outside of the gates at LP Field. All toys collected during the drive will be used in the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and distributed to children in Middle Tennessee.

Titans-Jets Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 24-17-1
  • Regular season series: Titans lead 23-17-1
  • Postseason series: Titans lead 1-0
  • Total points: Titans 1,003, Jets 876
  • Current streak: Two wins by Titans
  • Titans at home vs. Jets: 18-6 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
  • Titans on road vs. Jets: 6-11-1
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 6 (twice, last 1991-96)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 4 (1968-69)
  • Titans vs. Jets at LP Field: 3-2
  • Last time at LP Field: Jets 13 at Titans 38 (10/6/13)
  • Titans vs. Jets at MetLife Stadium: 0-0
  • Last time at MetLife Stadium: (none)
  • Last time at the Meadowlands: Titans 17 at JETS 24 (9/27/09)
  • First time: N.Y. Titans 21 at Oilers 27 (10/9/60)
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Jets: 0-2
  • Rex Ryan’s record vs. Titans: 1-2
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Rex Ryan: 0-1

Titans Victory Would

  • Improve Ken Whisenhunt’s career record as a head coach to 52-64 (including playoffs).
  • Improve the Titans’ all-time record against the Jets to 25-17-1 (including playoffs).
  • Improve the Titans’ all-time regular-season record at LP Field to 74-52.

What To Look For This Week

S Michael Griffin (795 career tackles) needs five tackles to become the seventh player in franchise history to reach 800 career tackles.

P Brett Kern needs three punts to surpass Cliff Parsley (431) for third place on the team’s career punts list.

QB Jake Locker (4,910 career passing yards) needs 29 passing yards to pass Matt Hasselbeck (4,938) for ninth place on the team’s all-time passing yards list.

RB/PR Dexter McCluster needs three punt returns to reach 100 for his career. Also, he needs four receptions to reach 200 for his career.

QB Zach Mettenberger can become the third quarterback in franchise history to start at least seven games as a rookie, joining Dan Pastorini (eight in 1971), and Vince Young (13 in 2006).

QB Zach Mettenberger can become the first Titans rookie quarterback to win a game as a starter since Vince Young in 2006.

TE Delanie Walker (700 receiving yards) needs 69 receiving yards to set a single-season franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end. Frank Wycheck is the current record holder among tight ends with 768 yards in 1998.

TE Delanie Walker can become the first Titans/Oilers tight end since Alvin Reed in 1968 to record three 100-yard receiving games in the same season.

WR Nate Washington needs one reception to become the ninth player to reach 300 receptions as a member of the Titans/Oilers franchise.

LB Avery Williamson needs 10 tackles to become the third rookie in the “Titans era” to reach 100 tackles in a season, joining Alterraun Verner and Zach Brown.

Titans-Jets Series History

This is the 43rd all-time meeting between the Titans and Jets in 55 seasons. The Titans are 24-17-1 in the series, including 1-0 in the playoffs. This is the sixth time in the last eight seasons the teams have played and the third consecutive season in which they have met at LP Field.

The Titans have won the last two games, including a Monday night game on December 17th, 2012. The Titans forced five total Jets turnovers—four interceptions and one fumble—and Chris Johnson set a franchise record with a 94-yard touchdown run in the 14-10 victory.

Then, on October 6th, 2013, the Titans hosted the Jets and won 38-13. They scored 28 points off turnovers and totaled five sacks. On offense, Jake Locker passed for 149 and three touchdowns prior to leaving the game with hip and knee injuries.

The last time the team’s met on Jets home turf was at the Meadowlands on September 27th, 2009. The Titans came back from an early 14-point deficit to take a 17-14 lead in the third quarter. However, four turnovers, including two interceptions and two fumbles on special teams, were too untimely to overcome, and the Jets prevailed 24-17.

The Jets, like the then-Houston Oilers, were charter members of the American Football League. From the league’s founding in 1960 through the 1962 season, they played as the New York Titans before being renamed the Jets for the 1963 season. With the exception of 1967, the Jets and Oilers played twice each season from 1960-69, and the Oilers won the first six meetings in the series.

In 1991, the Oilers began a string of six consecutive victories against the Jets, including a 17-10 victory in a 1991 AFC Wild Card Game.

Titans-Jets: The Last Meeting

New York Jets 13 at Tennessee Titans 38
Sunday, September 29th, 2013 | LP Field | Nashville, TN

1 2 3 4 Final
New York Jets 0 6 0 12 13
Tennessee Titans 10 14 0 14 38

 

In Week 4 of the 2013 season, the Titans played through a light rain for much of the afternoon at LP Field and came away with a 38-13 win over the New York Jets. The outcome offered little suspense, as the Titans controlled the action from start to finish, and the final result was dampened only by an injury to starting quarterback Jake Locker.

The Titans scored 28 points off turnovers, turning all four of the Jets’ giveaways into touchdowns. Cornerback Alterraun Verner led the charge for the defense, collecting a pair of interceptions and a recovering a fumble. The unit totaled five sacks, including two by defensive end Ropati Pitoitua.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) is carried off the field on a stretcher in a game against the New York Jets during the second half at LP Field, Sunday, September 29th, 2013. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) is carried off the field on a stretcher in a game against the New York Jets during the second half at LP Field, Sunday, September 29th, 2013. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

The Titans jumped out to a quick lead, thanks to the first big play from their defense.

On New York’s second play from scrimmage, Verner stepped in front of a pass from Geno Smith to Stephen Hill and returned the ball 34 yards. Five plays later, Locker found tight end Delanie Walker in the back of the end zone for a one-yard touchdown pass.

After the Titans later took a 10-0 lead, the Jets responded with a scoring drive of their own. Helped by a 25-yard pass from Smith to Santonio Holmes, they got to the Tennessee 27-yard line before their offense stalled. Nick Folk booted a 45-yard field goal to get the Jets on the scoreboard on the first play of the second quarter.

On New York’s next possession, the Titans defense came up with their second takeaway. On the tail end of a three-yard scramble by Smith, linebacker Zach Brown stripped the ball, and Verner recovered.

The Titans offense took over at the Jets’ 26-yard line, and on third-and-eight, Locker found Nate Washington for an 18-yard gain. Three plays later, the duo connected again on a four-yard touchdown pass to give the Titans a 17-3 lead.

Trailing 17-6, the Jets had a chance for a two-minute drive at the end of the first half, but instead it turned into a big opportunity for the Titans. With 1:37 on the clock, Smith attempted a pass to Holmes, but Verner, yet again, was in position to snare the pass and return the ball five yards to the New York 46-yard line. Subsequently, Titans rookie wideout Justin Hunter made a leaping grab for a touchdown, and the Titans took a 24-6 lead into halftime.

On Tennessee’s second drive of the third quarter, injury put a premature end to what to that point had been one of Locker’s top career performances. As a pass to Washington fell incomplete, the third-year signal caller was hit by defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and then linebacker Quinton Coples. He would leave the game with what was diagnosed as a right hip injury, replaced by veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Locker’s final statistics included 18-of-24 passing for 149 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a career best passer rating of 130.0.

Tennessee Titans center Rob Turner (59) prepares to snap the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at LP Field. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans center Rob Turner (59) prepares to snap the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at LP Field. (Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

The two teams were scoreless through the third quarter, but early in the fourth stanza, the Titans defense struck for the final time. On a play from the Jets’ own 16-yard line, Smith was met by Karl Klug in the backfield and lost control of the ball. It came loose and into Klug’s grasp as he rolled into the end zone, and the Titans took a 31-6 lead.

Smith came back with a 34-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Cumberland, but that was answered by a 77-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Washington with 7:06 remaining in the game and the Titans firmly in control. Washington finished with 105 yards on four receptions.


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