Jets-Titans First Half Analysis
*Brett Favre contined his flawless performance from last week’s win into the first quarter of today. On the Jets’ opening drive, Favre went 6-for-6 for 72 yards and one touchdown. He completed his first eight attempts on the day before overthrowing Laveranues Coles on a go-route. Favre did fumble after being sacked by the duo of Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth, but guard Brandon Moore alertly recovered the ball.
*Favre’s lone mistake came on an interception by cornerback Cortland Finnegan. As costly as the turnover could have been for the Jets, Finnegan made an outstanding play on the pass. He was one-on-one with Coles and the two jumped simultaneously, but Finnegan tore the ball out of Coles’ grasp.
*Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has to be given credit for the gameplan. The Jets are diversifying their looks through and quick screens and wide receiver reverses. The Jets figured the Titans would put pressure on Favre and the Jets have neutralized that rush by allowing the pressure and having Favre dump the ball off to the running backs. The Jets perfectly executed the screen on the ten-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Jones.
*Fullback Tony Richardson received a carry? The 14-yard handoff to Richardson was another brilliant job of playcalling by Schottenheimer. Favre faked the pitch to Jones, but he then pivoted to the opposite direction and handed the ball off to Favre. Richardson had just one carry for three yards leading into today, but he has two carries for 15 yards in the first half.
*Running back Leon Washington is as electric as any player on the Jets’ offense, but he has to hold onto the football in the first quarter. Points are coming at a premium today and the Jets have to hope that Washington’s fumble at the Titans’ 21-yard line doesn’t come back to bite.
*Nose tackle Kris Jenkins is again putting together a dominant half of football. The Titans have only compiled 88 total yards (54 passing, 34 rushing) on offense and Jenkins has been a big reason why. On a third-and-one carry, LenDale White was stuffed behind the line by the Jets’ massive nose tackle. The negative carry represented the first time in eight attempts this season that White did not convert a third-and-one carry for a first down. Jenkins also batted down a Kerry Collins pass on third down and has provided constant pressure in the pass rush.
*Collins’ numbers look ugly (7-for-21, 54 yards) but the story lies beyond the picture. The Titans dropped five passes in the first half. In facing a defense as physical as the Jets’, dropped passes hurt even more than one incompletion.
*Anyone else surprised the Titans have thrown the football 21 times? Tennessee was within one touchdown throughout the half and Collins continued to air it out. As dominant as the Jets have been against the run this year, Chris Johnson (eight carries, 35 yards) needs to get more involved in the offense.
*The Jets have two turnovers and three penalties for 27 yards. Head coach Eric Mangini always preaches his team to avoid ”self-inflicted errors.” Those numbers won’t sit well with anyone on the team.