After the New York Jets lost Monday night at the Tennessee Titans, 14-10, they now are mathematically eliminated from the 2012 NFL Playoffs. Five turnovers did in the Jets and an inconsistent offense that developed no rhythm during the game, since the defense was stout as usual.
The Titans received the opening kickoff and on third and one Calvin Pace snuffed out Chris Johnson for a loss back at the 30 yard line after the Titans had driven inside the Jets 25 yard line. Rob Bironas attempted a 46-yard field goal that Muhammad Wilkerson was able to get enough of to block. On second down Mark Sanchez attempted to connect with the newly reacquired Braylon Edwards on play action, but it was incomplete. A holding call on the Titans while in coverage of Jeff Cumberland gave the Jets a first down on third and one. Then Sanchez found Edwards for 14 yards and another first down. On another third down and one yard play, Tim Tebow came in and ran for the first down. The Titans defense then handed the Jets back-to-back first downs on penalties, pass interference and a facemask. On third and goal it appeared Cumberland caught a touchdown pass from Sanchez, but it was overturned due to not having complete control before ball hit the ground. Nick Folk made a 22-yard field goal then to open the scoring.
The Jets would had Sanchez split out and Shonn Greene took a direct snap for 10 yards on their first play of the quarter. Powell made a catch right at the first down marker on third down and six to get the Jets another first down. The drive stalled, but Robert Malone's punt was downed at five yard line by Nick Bellore. Chris Johnson broke off a 94-yard touchdown run on second down as the Jets run defense did not seal the middle between Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha. Tebow got the next series of plays to run when Joe McKnight got 10 yards and a first down to start the drive. Tebow ran an option play that he kept himself for another 10 yards and another first down. Then the Jets went backwards, and on third down and 16 Tebow threw a nice tight spiral out of bounds. After Jeremy Kerley fair caught the Titans punt at the 39 yard line for good field position, Sanchez threw his first of four interceptions of the game to Jason McCourty. Garrett McIntyre sacked Jake Locker on second down to help force another punt. Bilal Powell helped move the Jets down to 35 yard line after a 15-yard run on second down when they got the ball back. The half ended with the Titans sacking Sanchez.
Edwards caught a nice slant pass from Sanchez to 47 yard line after the Jets received second half kickoff. Unfortunately, pick number two of Sanchez by McCourty occurred one play later when Sanchez overthrew Cumberland. On the Jets next drive, Sanchez got a tight pass into Kerley to the 27 yard line. Then Sanchez found Cumberland along the left sideline to just short of midfield. A penalty got the Jets a first down and five, but two straight incompletions and a sack of Sanchez ended that drive. The Jets answered that sack with one of their own from Quinton Coples on third down to end the Titans subsequent drive. After a very bad punt, Joe McKnight ran for 20 yards to put the Jets in scoring position at 15 yard line. Then Sanchez found Cumberland for a proper touchdown pass play that gave them the lead 10-7. The Titans drove down the field and some designed runs by Locker confused the Jets enough to eventually lead to him running it in for a touchdown to put the Titans back up, 14-10.
Mark Sanchez was sacked to end the Jets next possession, but again the Jets answered that with a Yeremiah Bell sack of Locker to end their drive. Michael Griffin made the third pick of Sanchez when he tried to fit one into double coverage to Edwards on the next Jets drive. The Jets got moving on the next possession with a pass to Edwards getting them to 45 yard line. Then Shonn Greene ran for six yards to get them just into Titans territory. A roughing the passer penalty gave the Jets a first down on a third down play. Powell fought hard for a first down on a second and eight pass play since he was open in the right flat of the field. Griffin made his second interception of Sanchez at the two yard line as Sanchez threw into what became triple coverage. Another bad punt by Brett Kern, as he had pressure up the middle by Antonio Allen, went to only 25 yard line with about 53 seconds remaining. The Jets blew it yet again from there when a low snap from Nick Mangold bounced through Sanchez then, inadvertently, off the right foot of Powell and into Titan hands.
Now the New York Jets must decided upon utilizing the final two games of the season to give many younger players more time on the field. Besides Greg McElroy starting at quarterback, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen, Demario Davis, Jordan White and Hayden Smith should all audition. Some tough decisions on who to retain and whom to part ways with will be coming in the following weeks as well since the 2013 salary cap is problematic at best.
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