Six Things to Watch in Titans at Jets on Sunday


NASHVILLE – The Titans face the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here's a look at six things to watch:

Next in Line

Titans receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Brown didn't practice all week, and they've been ruled out for Sunday's game. What that means is receivers like Josh Reynolds, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, Cameron Batson and others are in line to play big roles in New York. Westbrook-Ikhine and Rogers made nice contributions in the team's Week 3 win against the Colts, and Reynolds is eager to do his part as well. The Titans, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, will also get a boost with the return of tight end Anthony Firkser, who hasn't played since Week 1.

King Henry

Of course, one way to ease the burden of the receiving corps is to ride running back Derrick Henry, something the Titans have done plenty of lately. Henry is coming off his 22nd career 100-yard game, and with 353 rushing yards so far this season, he's ahead of his 2,000-yard pace from a year ago on two fewer carries. Henry has also proven to be a bigger threat out of the backfield in 2021. The Jets are no pushovers against the run, however – they're big up front, and as a defense they're ranked 10th in the NFL. Henry has 215-plus scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 road games, so the Titans would like to keep this train rolling.

Fluster the Rookie QB

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has had his share of struggles so far during his rookie season. In three games, Wilson has completed 58-of-105 passes for 628 yards, with 2 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a passer rating of 51.5. And, oh yeah, Wilson has already been sacked 15 times. The Titans need to make Wilson uncomfortable while forcing him into mistakes. The best way to do that would be by stopping the run and putting the Jets in third-and-long situations as many times as possible. Harold Landry has been close to a breakout game, so perhaps he'll take center stage in the Big Apple. Other Titans, like Ola Adeniyi, would love to play a starring role as well.

Turnover Battle

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has been reminding everyone, including his players, that right tackle David Quessenberry leads the team in forced fumbles. But the team's inability to force turnovers has been no laughing matter, especially when they've been turning the ball over way too much. The Titans survived last week after turning the ball over three times. On the season, the Titans are a minus-6 in the takeaway/giveaway category (1/7). The Jets, meanwhile, and minus-6 (2/7) in the same category. Something has to give here, and the Titans want to make the Jets do the giving.

Hello, Corey

The Titans don't have time for mushy reunions, so after some pregame handshakes, it will be all business when the team squares off against Jets receiver Corey Davis, a former Titan. Still, it will be fun to watch the competition between Tennessee's secondary and Davis, the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Safeties Kevin Byard and Dane Cruikshank were solid working as a tandem last week. The Titans need to be good in the secondary again, and not allow Davis, or Jets receiver Braxton Berrios, to get going.

Special Teams

Just when new kicker Randy Bullock started getting settled in, Titans punter Brett Kern suffered a right groin injury, a setback that prompted the team to sign another punter, Johnny Townsend, on Thursday. The Titans hope Kern's injury doesn't keep him out long, but he's been ruled out for Sunday. Townsend is the next man up. The Titans don't need to make any mistakes here to make life easier for the Jets. Ideally, punt returner Chester Rogers could break one, and the encouraging news is he's been close, averaging 12.7 yards per return.

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