Sunday, September 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Titans 38, Jets 13
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE -- Rapid Reaction from the Tennessee Titans' 38-13 win against the New York Jets at LP Field.
What it means: The Titans rank as one of the NFL’s surprise teams at 3-1 a quarter of the way into the season. But they are likely going to be moving forward without their quarterback, at least for a while. Jake Locker left the game with a right hip injury. He needed to be carted off the field and was eventually taken to the hospital, according to Titans Radio. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced him. Locker threw three touchdowns and posted a 130.0 passer rating.
Stock watch, defense: Cornerback Alterraun Verner is on fire. He collected two interceptions in the first half and scooped up a fumble that he would have returned for a touchdown if he had not tripped. The Titans wanted Tommie Campbell to win Verner’s job in the preseason, but Verner raised his game and Campbell wasn’t up for the challenge. Now Verner has four interceptions in four games. (Campbell got charity snaps late in the game.)
Stock watch, offense: Nate Washington is now over 5,000 receiving yards in his career. He pulled in four catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns, one from Locker and one from Fitzpatrick. He slowed down and went over Antonio Cromartie to collect Fitzpatrick’s deep ball, then bounced off back judge Billy Smith and headed for the end zone on a 77-yard score.
Abusing the rookie: Two Geno Smith interceptions and two Smith fumbles led to 28 points by the Titans. Once upon a time, defenses with a heavy Gregg Williams influence had a tendency to give up plays to rookies. Not on this day or with this rookie.
Tough sledding: The Jets are very hard to run against, and Chris Johnson couldn’t find any room. He wound up with 15 carries for 21 yards. In the second half, while trying to milk some clock and while they were stalling without Locker, they turned more to Jackie Battle, not that he had much more success. He finished with 11 carries for 42 yards.
What’s next: The Titans complete a three-game homestand with a game against another of the NFL’s most improved teams -- the Kansas City Chiefs. Will Fitzpatrick be starting at quarterback for Tennessee?