Jets vs Titans: Easier to Pick a Loser Than a Winner?
Ii is quite possible that whichever team loses Sunday’s game between the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans will get the #1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, so from that standpoint there is some attention being paid to this contest. The difference between these teams at the moment, as Pinnacle patrons have seen, is that the Jets are losing games close, while the Titans have been losing by heavy margins. They get together at 4:05 PM ET at LP Field in Nashville.
After suffering a great deal of embarrassment in a 38-3 defeat at the hands of a handicapped Buffalo Bills team three weeks ago, the Jets have been very competitive in the last two games, dropping a 16-13 decision to the Miami Dolphins and then taking the Minnesota Vikings into overtime before losing 30-24. Mistakes and questionable game plans have been a hindrance; last week, Minnesota returned both an interception and a fumble for a touchdown. Then, Teddy Bridgewater burned the New York secondary with an 87-yard touchdown pass in overtime.
Tennessee is coming off a dismal performance, gaining just 207 yards from scrimmage against the New York Giants in a 36-7 loss. Their quarterbacks (they used both Zach Mettenberger and Jake Locker) were sacked eight times in the game. Tennessee scored only on an interception return.
Both of these teams are 2-11 straight-up on the season. The Jets are 4-9 against the football point spread, while the Titans are 3-10 against the NFL odds. Both clubs won their season opener, and have proceeded to lose eleven of the next 12 games.
NFL Betting Lines: Jets vs Titans
In the NFL betting lines at Pinnacle, the Jets are favored on the road:
Point Spread: New York Jets -2.5 1.813, Tennessee Titans +2.5 2.110
Money Line: Jets 1.689, Titans 2.310
Over/Under: 42 points
Tennessee has allowed 124 points over its last three games, and they have surrendered 141.5 rushing yards per contest. That would seem to fit right in with New York’s game plan, which is to run the football and disguise Geno Smith’s shortcomings. Two weeks ago against Miami, the Jets had 277 yards on the ground. They followed that up last week with 168. And Chris Johnson, who has averaged 4.5 yards per attempt this year, returns to the city where he achieved All-Pro status as a member of the Titans.
However, the problem with the Jets isn’t moving the chains to get to the red zone, it is converting those opportunities into touchdowns. They have scored just once in their last 10 trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Pinnacle customers have not necessarily been impressed with Smith since he returned to the lineup to displace Michael Vick, in the Jets’ effort to find out whether last year’s second-round draft pick has a future with the club. But at least coach Rex Ryan allowed him to throw the ball 29 times last week, after putting handcuffs on him against Miami.
While Smith’s future is somewhat in doubt, as is that of Ryan, who has to endure daily stories in the New York newspapers as to who is successor is going to be, the Titans and coach Ken Whisenhunt seem to be confident that Mettenberger can be their quarterback of the future. The general consensus is that he has a lot of courage in the pocket, and a rocket arm, but just needs to work on accuracy. Mettenberger averages almost eight yards per attempt, which is nearly two yards more than Smith. So he is not a guy of the “dink and dunk” variety. He is just slow-footed and therefore vulnerable to capable pass rushers. That’s where Ryan will probably turn up his blitz package and force Mettenberger out of the pocket.