Jets-Titans: Leon Washington the Key, As Jets Smack Titans in Tennessee

Jonathan SzenicsCorrespondent INovember 23, 2008

The Jets went into their game against the Tennessee Titans trying to establish themselves as quite possibly the class of the AFC. After a 34-13 beheading of the Titans in their stadium, the Jets now have an argument to back their case up. 

Led by Brett Favre, who moved the chains all day long, Thomas Jones, who made the key runs to keep drives alive, and Dustin Keller, who is looking more like a young Wayne Cherbet with each passing week, the Jets went up early and never let the Titans back in the game. 

The scoring started on the very first Jets drive, as has been the case lately for this solid football team.  Thomas Jones scored on a pass from Favre, and this was only the beginning. 

The defense stopped the Titans almost all day long, holding them to three points in the first half, and, more importantly, held the Titans to no points after two quick turnovers that could have altered the game to an incredible degree. 

These turnovers occurred deep in their own territory, and the Titans could have scored each time, which would have had the Jets on their heels all day long.  They did not though, the Jets kept on playing hard, and a 10-3 halftime lead was the result. 

Going into the second half, with the game still in doubt, the Jets scored 10 points off a Jay Feely field goal and another Favre touchdown pass, which made the score 20-3 in the Jets favor. 

The Titans then scored a field goal to pull to within two touchdowns, and with the game still up in the air, considering the Titans' knack of coming from behind, as shown last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets still had to take care of business. 

Insert Leon Washington, and business was more than taken care of. Not realizing that the Titans were supposed to be among the best in the NFL at stopping the run, he ran for the fourth longest rushing touchdown in Jets' history, and, later in the game, he ran for a second as well. 

The first score made the score 27-6 in the Jets favor, and put the Titans six feet under for the day, at least seemingly. 

The Titans drove down the field for a quick score to make it 27-13, then, the Jets did what they do best. 

They held the ball for almost half of the fourth quarter, and Washington capped the scoring late in the quarter with his second touchdown plunge. Providing the perfect change of pace from the power running of Jones, Washington, and his game breaking speed and vision, cemented the game for the Jets. 

As a result, the Jets are now at 8-3 and still in third place in the AFC. They have now beaten the Patriots, a wild-card contender, the Titans, who were undefeated going into the game, and have the Broncos at home next Sunday in another big game for the team. 

This is a game that should go the Jets way, considering that the Raiders went into Denver and won 31-10, which almost nobody saw coming. The games are played for a reason though, so, until a win is the result, the Jets still have to play hard. 

Regardless of this though, they have beaten two playoff teams in the AFC if the season ended today, and are on a five game winning streak now. 

Are they among the best in the AFC?  Without a doubt, they are. 

Considering the Steelers did not score a touchdown for almost two games before their 27-10 win Thursday against the Bengals, they are a team that can be beaten. 

The Broncos are to tough to put a finger on from week to week, and the Colts, yes, they are playing much better football, but they are quickly becoming an older team who the Jets could beat with relative ease as long as they do not make mindless turnovers. 

As previously mentioned, they beat the Patriots in New England in overtime, getting over the huge hump that took them a half decade to climb over. 

As long as this group plays like they did against the previously unbeaten Titans today, they can beat anybody in any one game. 

The key is playing smart football the rest of the way. The task starts Sunday against the Broncos in a must-win game, one that would put the Jets at 9-3, and one that would, more than likely, cement their status in the playoffs, while, at the same time, getting, at the very worst, a first-round playoff game at home. 

Another week of practice starts very soon. As long as the Jets keep up the hard work, the sky is the limit for this group, and the Broncos will merely be the next team in line for a beating at the hands of the Jets.