Five things we learned: Titans-Jets
NASHVILLE -- Five things we learned from the Jets 34-13 dismantling of the previously undefeated Titans
There's nothing preposterous about that statement given what "Brett and the Jets'' have accomplished in their past two games. In a span of 11 days, New York went into Foxboro and beat its nemesis, the defending AFC champion Patriots, and then took to the road once more to resoundingly knock off the 10-0 Titans, ending any thought of perfection in Tennessee.
At 8-3, with five straight wins and seven in eight games, these Jets with every passing week are looking like a tough-minded team capable of beating you with their running game, their passing game, or some well-timed defense. The more I think about it, they're looking like the 2007 Super Bowl Giants once they got on that unstoppable late-season/playoff roll. If the Jets are capable of handling both the Patriots and the Titans, I'm not sure who in the AFC they should fear at this point?
"I'm not going to sit here and say we've established ourselves as the best team in football,'' New York quarterback
Which is exactly our point. The Jets just beat the team they could never beat and the team that nobody could beat in back-to-back games. After climbing those twin peaks, I don't think first-place New York is going to be intimidated by the likes of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, Miami or whoever else the conference can throw at them. During New York's five-game winning streak, it's averaging 34 points a game.
Favre himself sees what's building in the Jets locker room. He's been around long enough to know when a team has got that magic mojo going, and the Jets lead the AFC -- and forgive us, Giants, maybe the league -- in that department right now.
"I've started sensing a belief, where it's, 'All right, okay, we can get it done,' '' Favre said. "We have a long ways to go, but that's where it starts. I've started sensing that guys are believing what we're trying to do here.''
Jets nose tackle
"I don't think as a team we have the right to be feeling ourselves,'' Jenkins said. "We're not invincible. We've got three losses, and I'm pretty sure we could have three more if we don't take care of things.''
But these Jets are taking care of things, and they've got something going right now that could take New York somewhere it hasn't been in 40 years: the Super Bowl. It might sound a bit funny now, but it's becoming less of a joke with every passing week.
These Titans are largely a lunch-pail type team, that works hard and isn't built around the star system. These are not your 2007 Patriots, where
I'm sure Tennessee, which hadn't lost a regular-season game since Week 14 of last year, was starting to enjoy 100 percent success. Who wouldn't? But it's not mandatory, and all you have to do is ask last year's Patriots whether or not they'd trade their 18-1 season for one where the loss came in late-November rather than early February?
This loss to the Jets, as humbling as it was, might even serve to re-stoke the Titans' competitive fires just as the season's backstretch begins. Nothing wrong with that, because human nature being what it is, complacency can set in when every week ends with another victory.
"We got embarrassed at home,'' Titans linebacker
The 10-1 Titans at least get the chance to quickly wipe away the stench from Sunday's game, given that they're playing at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. Nothing like a game against the winless Lions to make an NFL team feel better about itself.
At halftime, New York had just 54 yards rushing on 17 attempts, a modest 3.2 average. But in the second half, the Jets pounded out 138 more rushing yards on 22 carries, a whopping 6.3 yards a carry. New York's total of 192 yards on 39 rushes (4.9 average) is going to put a serious dent in a Titans rushing defense that came into the game ranked 10th in the league, giving up 95.1 yards per game.
"The offensive line once again this week did a really good job of controlling up front,'' said Jets running back
"That's a fun day for us to be able to go out there and accomplish that,'' said Jets guard
The truth is, he has no go-to receiver, because he'll go to all of them -- if they're open. And sometimes even if they're not. Against Tennessee, Favre was a model of fairness, completing passes to seven different receivers, with the top four of those having three catches or more.
Titans defensive coordinator
On Sunday, Jets nose tackle
"I've got the luxury of playing with somebody who's almost my dad's age,'' cracked the 29-year-old Jenkins, of the 39-year Favre. "I was watching him play when I started growing my adult teeth.''
Sometimes you hear locker room stuff like that and you can tell its forced-sounding camaraderie, offered up for the media only. This isn't. The Jets really like Favre, and he likes them back. It's a decent fit all the way around. Being 8-3 of course helps. But that's not the whole story. After all those years in Green Bay, Favre is a Jet, and I think you can't overestimate what his presence has meant to this team.