Well, there's something to be said about a game like this one, that's for sure. The Tennessee Titans didn't do much right in their late-season prime time showing, but did just enough for eke out a 14-10 win over a New York Jets squad that earned their playoff elimination in a game filled with error after error, many of them by the New York Jets offense.
The first half lived up the billing you'd expect from a laughably bad Jets offense and a bad Titans team. The Titans got to their kryptonite, the red zone, on the opening drive, but a bad Jake Locker decision on a third down option call and a blocked field goal kept them off the scoreboard. The Jets then drove the field, but unforced errors on second and third down held them to a field goal. Chris Johnson had the one good play of the first half, taking advantage of the Jets blowing a gap to romp 94 yards for a score and a 7-3 lead that would last until late in the third quarter.
After a shanked Brett Kern punt when the Titans did nothing after being backed up put the Jets at the 35, a tight end burned the Titans again as Mark Sanchez found Jeff Cumberland over a seemingly-oblivious Tim Shaw for a 10-7 lead. For one of the few times in the game, though, Jake Locker looked like a competent quarterback on the ensuing drive, finding first Michael Preston, then Nate Washington, and finally Kendall Wright. In the red zone, Locker had his own number called on a QB sweep, and 13 yards later the Titans had a 14-10 lead.
After more Mark Sanchez fail, including his third interception of the night, a long Jets drive, including a third-down conversion on a roughing the passer call on Will Witherspoon, made it inside the Titans 25 before Sanchez just chucked another ball into coverage. The Titans ran three times into the line and punted, then another Kern punt while backed up gave the Jets great field position at the Titans 25. One bad shotgun snap later, though, Zach Brown had the ball and Jake Locker was taking a knee to end the game.
In terms of ugly games, this was one. Aside from CJ's big run and a couple throws on the second scoring drive, the Titans did very little right on offensive. CJ struggled to find yardage, and the Titans at times rightly showed very little trust in Locker's ability to throw the football, calling more designed runs. The Jets had intermittent success running between the tackles, but at crucial times just had Sanchez throw the ball with disastrous results. It takes a lot to get Michael Griffin an interception, as I've chronicled here in the past, but he had two tonight. in the end, a win is a win is a win, and while losing would have been better for draft position for a team with little to accomplish this year, I'll take it.
More on the train wreck later this week.
That might have been the worst football game I have ever seen. The QB play was absolutely pathetic for both teams. The similarities between Sanchez and Locker were readily apparent. Instead of celebrating a win, the Titans are left questioning their offensive strategy and their quarterback play. While sightly better than Sanchex, can anyone really think that Locker looked like the future of this franchise?
@Scott P I hate to say it but I felt the same way last night...With all those turnovers the Titans should have put up at least 30 points...it truly was a bad football game...and Locker...I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I am not seeing much growth there. He makes Sanchez like throws and takes stupid sanchez like sacks where he has to throw the ball away....