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Week 13 Game Recap: New York Jets 22, Tennessee Titans 26


What you need to know

New York Jets

At this point, having now watched both Sam Darnold and Josh McCown, that the lack of a vertical passing game isnít so much on the quarterbacks as it is on the offensive coordinator and head coach. Conservative is one thing, but the Jets play scared. The result is an offense which allows defenses to play close to the line, stifling not only the run game but the short passing game the team likes as well. That pretty much kills any fantasy production the Jets might provide.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans offense started off on the wrong foot in this game with six penalties, two sacks allowed, an interception returned for a touchdown, and a blocked punt all before halftime. Five of those first-half penalties were on the offensive line, which struggled throughout the day with very sloppy play. Marcus Mariota turned it around after halftime to help lead the rally, connecting with Taywan Taylor on a couple of impressive deep balls to propel Taylor to his first career 100+ yard game. The ground game was non-existent outside of a goal-line plunge from Derrick Henry (who led the team in carries with 10), while Mariota spread the ball out to nine different receivers. Tight end Anthony Firkser saw the first receiving touchdown, while Corey Davis got the game-winner.

New York Jets

QB Josh McCown, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 30 - 128 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0
In two of the three games McCown has started, the Jets have not had a passing touchdown, and Sunday against Tennessee was no different, as the Jets stalled every time they were on the Titansí end of the field and had to settle for field goals. While much of that falls on the lack of anything like creativity on the offensive side of things, McCown has certainly showed his age during this stretch, as well as his limitations. McCown wasnít horrible ó his interception was a hail mary to close the game ó but he isnít good either, and that showed in the fourth quarter when he failed to find a way to connect with receivers on critical throws which often overthrown, underthrown or just flat out off-target. McCownís general inability to create plays when the Jets needed them, along with the lame-duck offensive playcalling, made it impossible for the Jets to hold, or regain, the lead.

RB Isaiah Crowell, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 98 - 0, Rec: 4 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)
While Crowell had his best day since the Week 5 drubbing he delivered to Denver, his efforts werenít enough to salt away the game for the Jets in the fourth quarter. Crowell carried the ball once on the Jetsí first drive of the fourth and then didnít see a touch at all in the next series, while the Titans pulled to within a field goal. On the next drive he only got one touch, with the Jets calling a pair of pass plays to no avail, forcing them to punt. During the next drive, Crowell gained 13 yards on three carries before getting replaced by Trenton Cannon on 3rd and 5. Cannon didnít gain any yards and the Jets were forced to punt. Overall, Crowell looked good behind an offensive line which had issues opening holes and in an offense which is so short-yardage focused that it begs the defense to crowd the line of scrimmage.

RB Elijah McGuire, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 19 - 0, Rec: 1 - -4 - 0 (2 targets)
For all the talk in preseason that McGuire was someone the coaching staff was high on, the running back has seen very little use since returning from injury, and almost had his touches matched by Trenton Cannon, who actually got a critical carry in relief of Isaiah Crowell instead of McGuire. When McGuire did get on the field, he was the least efficient of the Jets running backs with just 3.2 yards per carry compared to 4.7 buy Crowell and 4.5 by Cannon. Some of that is the result of the playcalling, which is so short-field focus that the defense can play close to the line, and some of it is due to lackluster offensive line play. Still, itís clear that some of it is McGuire, who seems a bit slow to the hole when it is there and is not having as much success moving the pile when he receives contact. McGuire had one reception for a loss, which was the result of an obvious playcall the Titans read and were on top of before McGuire could do much.

RB Trenton Cannon, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 18 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Once thought to be headed back to the special teams unit with Elijah McGuire returning, Cannon has been more involved than anticipated. Sunday against Tennessee was no different, as he saw just two less carries and the same amount of catches as McGuire, while accruing a better yards per carry. The undersized rookie showed some decent burst getting through the holes the offensive line opened for him and occasionally made some tacklers miss. He also got the nod in relief of Isaiah Crowell on a key fourth quarter carry, but failed to get any traction. The Jets punted and the Titans turned that punt into a touchdown drive.

WR Robby Anderson, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (7 targets)
As long as the Jets insist on throwing close or behind the line of scrimmage, Robby Anderson will not see much production. A vertical threat in a short-yardage offense, Anderson is also starting to look frustrated and it shows in some lackluster route running and efforts to catch the ball, and on Sunday, a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty which wiped out a 16-yard gain he had on a short pass across the middle. Anderson really only does one thing well, and right now that makes him a bad fit for this offense. McCown still got him involved, and Anderson had flashes, but for the most part he was very limited in his impact again this week.

WR Andre Roberts, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Roberts had a nice catch for ten yards in the first half and then showed some speed on a run for 18 yards in the third quarter. Otherwise he was strictly a special teams player.

WR Quincy Enunwa, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (6 targets)
One of the aspects of the Jets offense which is hardest to figure out is the lack of impact plays by Enunwa. The one guy who really seems to be a great fit for a dink and dunk offense, Enunwa once again saw just six targets and the three directed towards him in the second half were not high quality chances.

TE Chris Herndon, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 31 - 0 (6 targets)
Since Week 8, Herndon hasnít seen a red zone target, much less the end zone. Heís still seeing targets, but that isnít translating to production, although that wasnít helped this week when a really impressive 28-yard catch and run at the end of the first half was called back by a flag for holding. That short pass was turned into a big gain due to Herndonís speed and nose for open field, and is worth noting even if it didnít stand. More often than not, though, Josh McCown struggled to give Herndon manageable balls to catch. Herndon has good athleticism and has shown nice hands, but right now itís hard to know what he brings to the table week to week despite being on the field for 70-75% of the offensive plays each game.

TE Jordan Leggett, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets)
Leggett continues to be a blocker first and foremost, though he did have a really nice 14-yard catch and run called back due to an illegal block in the third quarter. Josh McCown went back to him eight plays later on the same drive for an 8-yard play which gained enough for a first down.


Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 35 - 282 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 43 - 0
Mariotaís day started off terrible as his first five drives went nowhere, hampered largely by very poor offensive line play that helped cough up multiple sacks and a blocked punt. Mariota did not help himself early on as he held on to the ball far too long while also throwing an interception returned for a touchdown on this second possession of the game. He would get some momentum before halftime as Mariota led a 68-yard drive highlighted by a well-thrown ball about 20 yards downfield to Davis, a 14-yard rush up the middle helped by some solid blocking from Anthony Firkser, then rewarding his blocking tight end with a 12-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Firkser. The second half started slowly, but it was a much better half overall for Mariota. He would toss a couple nice deep balls to Tajae Sharpe to set up a touchdown in the third quarter, then a couple drives later, Mariota managed to lead a full speed Taywan Taylor to a 44-yard gain from an excellent deep ball that was right on target. Mariota would deliver another deep strike to Taylor on the next drive as he completed a 55-yard ball, also right on the money. Despite having 1st-and-goal on both drives, Mariota couldnít lead the Titans into the end zone as they had to settle for field goals on each drive. He had been under pressure all day long, even on the final drive of the game when Mariota almost took sacks on two consecutive plays but managed to use his legs for a magical gain that almost ended in heartbreak. Mariota tucked it and scrambled for 25 yards, making a nice sidestep on Jets defenders while breaking a couple tackles before taking a huge hit that knocked the ball loose. The Titans recovered the fumble, which allowed Mariota to continue this impressive game-winning drive with a couple more quick completions capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis for the win.

RB Derrick Henry, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 40 - 1, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)
Derrick Henry led the Titans in carries with 10 as he finished with a respectable 40 yards and a touchdown considering the relatively soft workload. Neither Henry nor this Titans offense could get much going in the first half. Henry did contribute with a couple productive runs on their final drive before halftime, but one of them was called back due to a defensive penalty. Midway through the third quarter, Henry had a nice first down run of 11 yards to put the Titans near the goal line before he was afforded the opportunity to punch it in on the very next play. Henry would initially be stopped behind his linemen, but on a second effort, Henry found a hole to the right and easily made it in for the short touchdown. With the Titans in pass-first mode during their second-half rally, Henry saw very limited looks for the remainder of this game.

RB Dion Lewis, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 36 - 0, Rec: 2 - -2 - 0 (3 targets)
Dion Lewis got the start in this one but finished with very little volume as he was not much of a factor in the Titans offense. The first half was a rough one for this offense as a whole as they couldnít sustain drives due to poor offensive line play and penalties. Lewis had basically one productive rush on each of the first two drives before hauling in a couple passes and busting an 11-yard run to the right side against soft defense on a long second-down. He would see just one more touch before halftime, then basically disappear after the half with only one touch for the rest of the game. That one touch came on a play where Lewis was caught off guard, not expecting the handoff on a play to close out the third quarter. He fumbled on the surprise exchange, but scooped up the ball immediately and actually gained eight yards. The Titans were in pass-first mode for much of the second half while Mariota was airing it out to his wide receivers with Lewis or Henry needed in the backfield to block.

WR Corey Davis, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0, Rec: 3 - 42 - 1 (7 targets)
Corey Davis had an up and down outing as Mariota spread the ball out to nine different receivers with no one receiving option seeing more than three receptions. Davis led the team in targets, but he only managed to haul in three of those seven. His second touch of the day was an end around that Davis took for 12 yards to the left side--matching the longest run of any Titans rusher outside of Mariota. Only a couple plays later, Davis was flagged for an illegal block that negated what would have been a 20-yard pass play to Cameron Batson. Davis also didnít help himself by dropping a routine screen pass thrown right to him on their drive midway through the second quarter. His first big catch and longest gain of the day was for 22 yards, coming from a dig route late in the first half as Davis found plenty of room in soft coverage. Outside of a couple deep balls near the start of the second half, Davis was virtually invisible until what would be the final meaningful play for the Titans offense as Davis hauled in the game-winning touchdown from 11 yards out. He caught it just a few yards from the goal line and managed to power his way over the line for the score--his third touchdown in the last four weeks.

WR Taywan Taylor, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 104 - 0 (5 targets)
Taywan Taylor made a boisterous return to the field this week after being sidelined since Week 9. Taylor would lead the Titans in receiving yards highlighted by a couple of spectacular deep balls in the fourth quarter. He would not even see a target until the first play of the fourth quarter when Mariota missed him deep over the middle. On the next drive, they connected on a 44-yard deep ball where Taylor leaped forward to make a spectacular catch over his shoulder. On the first play of the next drive, Taylor streaked downfield on his way to a 55-yard reception as his straight-line speed was simply too much for the Jets secondary. Taylor was again the target of the first pass of the next drive as he hauled in the short one for five yards to get him over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career.

WR Tajae Sharpe, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 51 - 0 (6 targets)
Tajae Sharpe looked healthier in this game after nursing an ankle injury for the past few weeks as he saw the second-most targets for this Titans passing offense. The majority of Sharpeís production came on just one drive as he would take advantage of soft zone coverage to catch an easy pass about 14-yards downfield before doubling his gain by turning it upfield and fighting for extra yards at the end of the play for a 28-yard reception. Just two plays later, Sharpe Streaking across the field, Sharpe went up high to pluck a well-thrown deep ball out of the air for another big reception--a 20-yard gain. Sharpe saw a few more targets here, one of which was a deep ball, but he finished with just one more three-yard reception on the final drive of the game.

TE Anthony Firkser, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 1 (3 targets)
Anthony Firkser continues to be involved in this Titans offense as he actually finished with an identical receiving stat line as Corey Davis in this game despite receiving just three targets compared to the seven of Davis. Firkser got started just before halftime with a short reception followed just a few plays later by a 12-yard touchdown catch on which he was left wide open, ignored by the secondary. Firkserís next and final target came on the last drive of the game where he hauled in a massive 24-yard catch to set the Titans up in the red zone.

TE Jonnu Smith, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (3 targets)
Jonnu Smith had a quiet day highlighted by continued effort displayed after the catch. Smithís first catch of the game wasnít until after halftime as he hauled in a reception near the line of scrimmage before powering downfield for an 11-yard gain. Smith would rack up more impressive yards after the catch on a screen pass late in the third quarter. He did drop a ball in the end zone to close out that drive, wasting his only red zone look of the day as Anthony Firkser ended with more receptions than Smith with an equal three targets each.