Final

Jets 6

(3-12, 1-7 away)

Titans 10

(9-6, 5-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, December 23, 2007

LP Field, Nashville, TN 

1 2 3 4 T
NYJ 0 6 0 06
TEN 0 7 3 010

Top Performers

Passing: C. Pennington (NYJ) - 264 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: L. White (TEN) - 23 CAR, 103 YDS

Receiving: J. Cotchery (NYJ) - 8 REC, 152 YDS, 1 TD

Sacks spark Titans' defense in tight victory over Jets

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans have a chance to win their way into their first playoff berth since 2003, thanks to help from Cincinnati and their own stingy, quarterback-hitting defense.

Pro Bowler Kyle Vanden Bosch had three of Tennessee's six sacks and Chris Brown ran for a touchdown as the Titans beat the New York Jets 10-6 on Sunday for their third victory in four games and their first winning season since 2003.

Game Time Change

Next Sunday's season finale between the Titans and Colts at Indianapolis has been moved to prime time with Tennessee in position to secure an AFC wild-card berth.

The NFL said after Tennessee's 10-6 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday it was switching Titans-Colts from 1 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. under the flexible schedule for late-season Sunday games. The originally scheduled Kansas City-Jets game moves to 4:15 p.m. EST.

Also being moved to 4:15 p.m. ET will be Dallas at Washington and Pittsburgh at Baltimore.

If the Titans beat the defending Super Bowl champion Colts, they will earn the sixth seed in the playoffs. They can't get in with a loss, regardless of what Cleveland does at home to San Francisco in an afternoon game.

-- Associated Press

The Titans (9-6) knew the Bengals defeated the Cleveland Browns 19-14, giving them the edge in tiebreakers if tied at 10-6 for the AFC's final wild-card berth once the regular season ends. It gave them a boost, but they still had to beat the Jets (3-12) in the easiest path to the playoffs.

"We knew the outcome of that game before kickoff," Vanden Bosch said. "We like being in control of our destiny."

Now they must close out the season with a victory over the defending Super Bowl champs in Indianapolis, a game that will be in prime-time after NBC chose to move from a 1 p.m. EST kickoff to 8:15 p.m. under its agreement with the NFL.

The Jets had originally been scheduled to play in that game against Kansas City, but it will be played at 4:15 instead.

It wasn't pretty Sunday.

The Titans went out and survived a sloppy game in which Vince Young was sacked three times and lost two turnovers. It was more than enough for Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who gave his players a pep talk on the sideline before the second-half kickoff.

"We did what we had to do to win this game, and I'm very proud of them," Fisher said.

The Jets started Tennessee native Chad Pennington for the first time since Oct. 28. He had been 2-0 with some of his best games against the Titans. He did his best to rally the Jets, but Tony Brown sacked him with 1:50 on fourth-and-4 to allow the Titans to run out the clock for the victory.

Tennessee blew a 14-point lead here Dec. 9 and lost in overtime to San Diego, which is why the Titans needed help in their playoff chase.

This time, LenDale White ran for 7 yards on third-and-6, allowing the Titans to kneel down and run out the clock. He finished with 103 yards for his first 1,000-yard rushing season in his second year.

"We won today. That's all I'm happy about," White said. "We fight and we live to see another day."

The Titans had their TVs on and knew exactly what Cincinnati had done earlier. The public address announcer gave the score of the Bengals game with 11:46 left in the first quarter, bringing a big cheer from the fans.

But the Jets, who held New England to season lows offensively in a 20-10 loss last week, did their best to make it tough on Tennessee. Coach Eric Mangini didn't announce his starting quarterback, letting Pennington take the field with Kellen Clemens sidelined by sore ribs.

He finished with 264 yards passing, and New York outgained Tennessee 296-273 on offense.

But Pennington's interceptions were costly. His second was by Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck in the end zone after the Jets took off a 36-yard field goal by Mike Nugent in the second quarter that had given them a 9-6 lead. Tennessee was penalized on the field goal, giving New York a first down.

Pennington said he didn't see Bulluck until it was too late.

"We played great team defense," Bulluck said. "We're not happy with the big plays we gave up. For the most part, we played great team defense. That's of what we look and hope to do."

The Jets had planned to try and slow down Vanden Bosch. But with Robert Turner and Clint Oldenburg playing their first NFL games on the Jets' line, it was a mismatch.

"He's a very, very good player that has an intense motor," Mangini said of Vanden Bosch. "You can't ... be a little bit off in your technique or else he's going to hurt you. He hurt us today. He's an impressive guy."

The Jets did their best to confuse Young, blitzing and hitting him repeatedly. Linebacker Victor Hobson was the first, sacking Young on the Titans' opening drive. The quarterback had to be stretched out on the sideline before the next series.

Young showed the Jets that wrapping him up didn't always mean they had him. Safety Kerry Rhodes blitzed and had both arms around Young, who slipped out and threw the ball away.

Reynaldo Hill, starting for cornerback Nick Harper who was deactivated because of what team officials called pregame warmup issues, got Tennessee going. He picked off a pass by Pennington intended for Cotchery, and Brown scored five plays later on a 4-yard run early in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.

Pennington answered with a drive highlighted by two passes to Cotchery for 57 yards, the second a 9-yard TD. But Antwan Odom sliced through a gap and blocked Nugent's extra point.

Game notes


Fisher passed George Allen for 27th in NFL history with 119 career wins. ... It was Vanden Bosch's second game this season with three sacks, third of his career. ... Bulluck leads the team with a career-best five interceptions. ... Jerricho Cotchery finished with eight catches for 152 yards for his first 1,000-yard receiving season of his career. He now has 1,054 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NYJ
TEN
1st Downs1417
Passing 1st downs
810
Rushing 1st downs
57
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
6-167-14
4th down efficiency
1-20-0
Total Plays6261
Total Yards296273
Yards per play4.84.5
Total Drives1011
Passing228146
Comp-Att
26-3212-22
Yards per pass
6.05.8
Interceptions thrown
21
Sacks-Yards Lost
6-363-20
Rushing68127
Rushing Attempts
2436
Yards per rush
2.83.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-21-1
Penalties4-355-39
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
21
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:1129:49

Passing Leaders

NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Pennington26/322648.3126-36
TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Young12/221667.5013-20

Rushing Leaders

NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones21582.8010
Pennington252.503
TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
White231034.5014
Brown5153.014

Receiving Leaders

NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Cotchery815219.0148
Smith5459.0029
TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams45413.5019
Gage34816.0029

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERNYJTEN
tenTD14:26Chris Brown, 4 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:38
07
nyjTD11:05Jerricho Cotchery, 9 yd pass from Chad Pennington (Mike Nugent kick blocked)
Drive info: 6 plays, 77 yds, 3:24
67
THIRD QUARTERNYJTEN
tenFG6:40Rob Bironas 46 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:02
610