Say what you want about the New York Jets and their array of issues, but three more wins and Rex Ryan's squad might find itself playing in an AFC Wild Card Game for the third time in four years.
New York's journey from laughing stock of the league to surprise postseason contenders will continue in Week 15's finale on Monday Night Football. The Jets will take on the reeling Tennessee Titans, who at 4-9 are playing for nothing more than pride and respect.
Before the two teams kick off from LP Field in Nashville on Monday night, here are my bold predictions for this pivotal clash.
Mark Sanchez Will Have a Passer Rating of 100-Plus
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez hasn't posted a passer rating of 100 or better since Week 11 at St. Louis. Even worse, only three times this season has he recorded a passer rating of at least 100.
Look for Sanchez to complete a high percentage of his passes like he did against the Rams last month. His Monday night opponent, the Tennessee Titans, rank dead last in opponent's completion percentage (67.8).
Sanchez is only completing 55.4 percent of his throws in 2012, but the last time he faced off against a secondary as bad at forcing incompletions as the Titans, he went 15-of-20 in St. Louis.
The Titans field one of the worst defenses in football. They are giving up nearly 30 points and over 377 total yards per game.
Tennessee's ineptitude more so than Sanchez's strength as a passer will make this prediction a reality.
Chris Johnson Will Rush for 100-Plus Yards
Never mind the fact that Chris Johnson hasn't surpassed 100 yards rushing in a game since Week 10 against Miami—on Monday night, Johnson and the Titans offensive line will be up against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.
New York ranks 29th against the run in 2012, surrendering over 136 yards on the ground per game, and 4.4 yards per carry.
Johnson has four 100-plus-yard games under his belt already this season. On Monday night, he looks poised to record his fifth. He's averaging 4.7 yards per carry and is one of only 10 running backs that surpassed 1,000 yards rushing on the season before Week 15.
Jets Will Win
Unlike the Titans, the Jets are still alive for the postseason, and can pull to 7-7 with a win on the road on Monday night in Nashville. The big-time implications are sure to motivate New York as it takes on a beatable, but dangerous team in Tennessee that will be playing with nothing to lose.
Still, these are two teams trending in opposite directions.
While the Jets have won three of their last four games overall and two straight on the road, the Titans have dropped five of their last six games, including three straight at home.
New York is gaining momentum at the right time. Although a lot of credit should go to their weak season-ending schedule, the Jets have begun stringing wins together at the perfect time, and I like that to continue on Monday Night Football.
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