Nov. 23, 2008
After upsetting the Patriots in New England 10 days ago, the Jets went into Tennessee for a matchup with the undefeated Titans, who at 10-0 were looking to become the second team to finish the regular season without a loss in as many years.
Unfortunately for them, they ran into a red-hot Jets team, who, led by Favre, dominated Tennessee en route to a 34-13 victory, ending any hopes for a perfect season down south.
The Jets were in complete control for much of the game, starting with their quarterback, who finished the day 25-32 for 224, 2 TD's and 1 INT.
Although he threw the one interception, Favre was nearly flawless, connecting on touchdown throws to Thomas Jones and Laveranues Coles. The two touchdown tosses gave him yet another NFL record, as he has now thrown for at least 20 touchdowns in a season 14 times during his remarkable NFL career, breaking a tie he held with Dan Marino.
Favre spread the ball around, as Coles caught seven balls for 88 yards with a score, Jerricho Cotchery was good for six catches for 55 while Dustin Keller (Favre's go-to receiver of late) had six grabs for 42 yards.
The running game was solid, as Jones added to his AFC leading total with 96 yards on 27 carries, while Leon Washington—good for at least one big play a game—ran 61 yards for a touchdown, while also punching in a second to ice the game late in the fourth.
The Jets got contributions from everyone, including the officials who made a number of questionable pass interference calls which extended drives for New York. The biggest came on a fourth-down attempt when the officials threw a flag on an incomplete pass to Coles down near the end zone, which resulted in an automatic first down and an eventual Jets score to go up 34-13.
Defensively, the Jets held Kerry Collins in check, although Collins' receivers didn't help much, dropping a number of passes throughout the game, never allowing the Titans offense to get in any sort of rhythm.
Collins finished 21-43 for 243 and a touchdown, and that didn't come until the fourth quarter, after the Jets had gone up by 21 points.
The run game was relatively ineffective for Tennessee, as the Jets held rookie running back Chris Johnson to 46 yards on 10 carries. Johnson started the day second to Jones in the AFC in total rush yards.
From start to finish, the Jets were the superior team, forcing a punt on Tennessee's first possession, and following that up with a touchdown drive.
At 8-3, the Jets held a one-game lead atop the AFC East, with the Patriots defeating the Dolphins, keeping them a game back, while Buffalo remains two back after they took care of the Chiefs. With their loss to New England, Miami sits two games back as well.
With five games left, coach Eric Mangini has his team in the driver's seat for not only a playoff birth but perhaps a first round bye, as those final games include matchups with Denver, Buffalo, and Miami at home, and trips out west to take on San Francisco and Seattle.
All five games are certainly winnable for a team that in back-to-back weeks went into both New England and Tennessee as underdogs and found ways to win.
While the local media will likely continue dreaming of an all New York Super Bowl, the best thing for Jets fans to do right now is enjoy the success they're experiencing.
Because as any Jets fan knows, with their team, nothing is guaranteed, and nothing comes easy, as evidenced by their 18-point collapse in New England last weekend before recovering to win.
Still lots of football left to play, and with five weeks to go, the Jets can control their own destiny if they continue to play as well as they have during this five-game winning streak.
They'll look to make it six when Denver comes to town next week.