On Sunday afternoon the New York Jets visited the Tennessee Titans for the second time in the last seven games they have played going back to last season, and again they came away with a loss, 38-13. The air came out of the bubble early as Geno Smith committed four turnovers – the first was an interception on the second play of the game.
On the second play from scrimmage Geno Smith threw an interception to Alterraun Verner where Stephen Hill was bulldozed by Michael Griffin, left the game and would not return. Jake Locker led the Titans to the opening score on a touchdown pass to Delanie Walker. The Jets went three and out on the next series, and after the Titans got the ball back they drove down for a Rob Bironas 26-yard field goal. Tennessee was up 10-0. Former Jet Ropati Pitoitua sacked Geno Smith for the first time on the Jets next drive, but Geno drove the Jets to a field goal. The drive was highlighted by a nice diving stretch catch by Santonio Holmes for 25 yards near midfield.
Nick Folk connected on that field goal, 45 yards, as the second quarter opened. Unfortunately, on the Jets next drive Smith did not hold onto the ball well while running, fumbled, and Verner returned the ball to the 26 yard line. Locker found Nate Washington for another touchdown to stretch the lead to 17-3. Bilal Powell then became the go-to guy as he ran for 13 yards to the 35 yard line, then caught a pass from Smith and rumbled to the Titans 30 yard line. The Jets caught the penalty bug on back to back plays, first a hands to the face penalty on Willie Colon then illegal shift that negated a first down catch by Kellen Winslow. Nick Folk made a 47-yard field goal to end the drive. Antwan Barnes got the second sack of Locker on the Titans next drive. Verner picked off Smith again as he tried to find Holmes, and Locker turned it into another touchdown just before the half to Hunter. Titans up 24-6.
After the teams traded possessions and punts the Titans got the ball back. Jake Locker was hit by Muhammad Wilkerson just after a throw and landed on his back holding his right hip and groin. He was carted off the field, never moving, but giving a thumbs up. Former Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Locker. On the next Jets drive Pitoitua sacked Smith again on what looked like a safety but was ruled down at one foot line. The Jets moved the ball after that, when Smith found Winslow to 26 yard line on a third down and nine yard play. Then after a penalty moved the Jets back, Geno ran for 20-plus yards to the 40 yard line as pocket collapsed. Winslow made another catch near midfield for another first down, but the drive ended in another punt.
After a Titans punt pinned the Jets inside the 15 yard line, Smith was sacked on the goal line, fumbled the ball as he tried to switch it to his left hand, and the fumble was recovered for a touchdown by Karl Klug, who made the sack. Titans were now up 31-6. Smith kept targeting Kellen Winslow, first to the 32 yard line to start up the Jets next drive. Then Geno found Kerley at midfield for another first down. On the play, away from the ball, Holmes came off the field quite gingerly with a hamstring injury. Smith found Tommy Bohanon, then again to Winslow to combine for another first down. Jeff Cumberland got open in the middle and Smith connected with him for a 34-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 31-13. The final nail though was a busted play as Fitzpatrick found Nate Washington on a 77-yard pass play for the final touchdown on which Antonio Cromartie collided with the back judge that allowed Washington to run in untouched.
Now the New York Jets will have an extra day to prepare for their opponent next Monday night as they visit the Falcons in Atlanta, who lost a close one late to the Patriots Sunday night. Hopefully the Jets will find better ways to protect the ball, and still correct for certain mental lapse penalties they are still committing in order to give themselves a better shot at a victory.
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