by Charles Jay, Total Action Extra
The New York Jets are still alive in the hunt for the AFC playoffs, and to keep those hopes alive they are going to have to beat the Tennessee Titans in the Monday night football game, which takes place at LP Field in Nashville beginning at 8:40 PM ET.
New York has won its last two games, and if they lose to the Titans, they are out of contention entirely.
In the NFL football betting odds that are being posted at BetAnySports on this game, the Titans are ever-so-slight favorites:
New York Jets (6-7 SU, 7-6 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (4-9 SU, 5-8 ATS)
Monday, December 17 – 8:40 PM ET
Tennessee Titans -1
New York Jets +1
Over 41.5 Points -110
Under 41.5 Points -110
The Jets (priced at even money to score first in this game at BetAnySports) have absolutely no margin for error. The Cincinnati Bengals saw to that this past Thursday as they beat the Philadelphia Eagles. So it is imperative that the Jets win this game, in addition to the two other remaining games, in order to have any hope for a playoff spot. if they don’t get there, you’d have to wonder about the futures of two key figures in the Jets’ puzzle. Rex Ryan got the team to the AFC championship game in his first two seasons, but this could be two straight post-season misses for the bombastic coach.
Mark Sanchez has been much maligned since he came out of USC, and instead of being a major threat in this offense, the staff is looking upon him as someone to play “safety-first,” as the three interceptions he had a couple of weeks ago against Arizona led to him being benched in favor of Greg McElroy, who actually led the Jets on their only touchdown drive. Sanchez is just 55% on the season, and a decision will have to made at the end of the season on his status as the so-called “quarterback of the future.”
His counterpart, Jake Locker – another “quarterback of the future” type – has enough mobility to make plays but has found the going rather rocky in his first season as an NFL starter (second overall). He has tossed seven interceptions over his last three games, and his quarterback rating is a little higher than Sanchez’s. The saving grace for Locker is that he is elusive enough that he can avoid getting sacked; in fact, he has hit the turf courtesy of the opposition only once about every 20 attempts.
Tennessee would like to think they can make up for Locker’s inefficiencies by trotting Chris Johnson out there, but while Johnson (who is +450 at BetAnySports to score the game’s first TD) has had his moments, he hasn’t been a consistent performer. During this three-game losing streak, he has just 175 yards (3.3 ypc). What’s really disappointing is the fact that the Titans can’t put together a lot of time-consuming drives; in fact, they are holding the ball for just 27 minutes a game. As we know, that puts pressure on their defense as well. Of course, some of this tale of offensive woe is relative, because defenses find that they are better off stacking the line and seeing if Locker has the passing ability to beat them.
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