Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 4 AFC East game picks: Jets at Titans

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the AFC showdown between the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans.

Nick's take:
Both the Jets and Titans got into severe penalty trouble last week but found a way to win. With their respective rushing attacks and defenses rolling, discipline could be the difference when the two face off. Geno Smith won't be given the amount downfield opportunities he had last week against the Bills, but good early production from Bilal Powell against a so-so run defense will open things up in the second half.
Prediction: Jets 20, Titans 10

Dan's take:
Though there won't be an on-field reunion between Shonn Greene and his former teammates, the running game will have a big impact in this one. Chris Johnson, the AFC's leading rusher, takes on a Gang Green defense ranked sixth against the run, while Powell will be mostly on his own with Chris Ivory out with a hamstring ailment. Turnovers will be key here, as Tennessee touts a plus-five turnover rate and the Jets currently hold a minus-six rate.
Prediction: Titans 17, Jets 13

Sean's take:
The Titans have unexpectedly jumped out to a 2-1 start by playing sound football on both sides of the ball and, most importantly, avoiding turnovers. The Jets haven't been forcing many turnovers on defense, but both become more frequent as New York bottles up the Tennessee running game and forces quarterback Jake Locker to try to make plays through the air. A dominating defensive performance coupled with the continued improvement of Smith leads to a convincing Jets victory.
Prediction: Jets 21, Titans 3