EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - All season long the Jets got off to one slow start after another, more often than not they were able to turn it on in time to win the game, but today the Jets took the opening dive for 80 yards and a touchdown and spent the rest of the game shoveling dirt on the Titans.
The Jets were out scored 8-3 in the second half but that hardly mattered considering they jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead. The Jets dominated the Titans in every single phase of the game, even on special teams, as they were able to coast to an easy victory in their most complete game of the season, hell this was their most complete game in multiple seasons.
"I think when you have a great team, this is the time you usually click, in November, December and going into the postseason. Today was an example of that, playing a complete game," Darrelle Revis said. "You could see it out on the field. We were focused, we were locked in and we've got to continue to stay locked in throughout the rest of the season."
The Jets were clearly determined not to fall victim to the trap game and poured it on the Titans from the opening kickoff. In the first half the Jets had 17 first downs to the Titans four, won the time of possession battle 19:47 to 9:53, outgained the Titans 324 (197 passing and 127 rushing) to 72, sacked Marcus Mariota twice and Buster Skrine forced an interception, and of course out scored the Titans 27-0.
"If you're the Golden State Warriors, you can have a trap game," Todd Bowles said. "We're not that good (smiling)."
While the offense was only able to tack on three points in the second half the defense continued to dominate the rookie quarterback and the Titans offense. Muhammad Wilkerson had three sacks, Leonard Williams and DeMario Davis each tacked on one a piece as the Jets constantly harassed Mariota and held the Titans to 24 yards rushing on the day. Mariota threw for 202 yards in the second half but it took a trick play, as the Titans went to the Wildcat, to get the Titans on the scoreboard as Antonio Andrews took the snap and threw a 41 yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Mariota.
On offense the Jets didn't have to rely on the running game to set up the pass or the pass to set up the run, today they had both working as they were able to rush for 183 yards (Chris Ivory rushed for 101 yards on 22 carries, Bilal Powell added 36 yards on three carries, Ryan Fitzpatrick tacked on 23 yards and even Stevan Ridley got in on the fun rushing for 23 yards on six carries) and Fitzpatrick continued to throw the ball as good as he has his entire career finishing with 263 yards and three touchdowns.
"I've tried to simplify it a little bit," Fitzpatrick said. "There's a lot of different things that go into it, but I just have to continue to try to play smart football and not turn the ball over and getting into the end zone, whether it's throwing it or running it, just get our guys in the end zone. That's what my focus has been."
Once again Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker led the way with Marshall catching six passes for 125 yards, Decker with seven catches for 74 yards and Powell caught five passes for 46 yards and all three of those weapons caught a touchdown pass.
"I just think the guys are starting to gel with everyone. Not just Brandon and Fitz, but the offensive line, the tight ends, the receivers," Bowles said. "Everybody is starting to gel and understand. To have a comeback win like we did last week helps the confidenc going forward. I think it helped us today."
It most certainly did help them today and it helped them improve to 8-5 with three games left and no room for error as the Steelers and Chiefs both won to improve to 8-5 as well setting up a three team race down the stretch for the two Wildcard spots.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)