Tennessee Titans: At 0-2, Can They Turn The Tide Against High-Flying Jets?

Bryan Hollister@too_old_4stupidAnalyst ISeptember 26, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws a pass against the New England Patriots at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Backed up by a solid running game and rock-solid defense in Week One, he earned his first NFL win against the Houston Texans.

Again bolstered by a highly efficient defense in Week Two, he outdueled a still recovering Tom Brady to triumph over the New England Patriots.

Folks, know one thing: Mark Sanchez is gonna be good—real good.

In interviews, he is unflappable. He is also confident, happy to be where he is, aware of the magnitude of the opportunity, and determined to make the most of it.

And he is bringing that attitude, that will to succeed, into Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.

Tennessee sit at 0-2 coming into the game, and they don't appear to have gotten a grasp on just what their problem is.

Identified before the season by pundits across the nation as a team likely to continue its run near the top of the defensive standings, the Titans have at times looked confused, overwhelmed, and out-gunned.

The safeties and cornerbacks aren't communicating, which means big plays are on the verge of becoming an issue. Up front they aren't too bad off, holding opponents to under 50 yards per game rushing in their first two contests. But their pass defense is atrocious, and Mark Sanchez is likely chomping at the bit to exploit that.

Considering that Texans' quarterback Matt Schaub went for 367 yards against the Titans, this isn't too far-fetched.

And rookie quarterbacks don't carry quite the stigma they have had in past years. Remember, it was rookie quarterback Joe Flacco who overcame a stalwart Titans defense to win in Nashville in the 2008 Divisional Playoff game.

It's difficult to identify just what the problem is. Defensive Coordinator Chuck Cecil is new to the position this year, but he can't really be called a rookie coach. He was the defensive backs coach last year, so it's not as if these guys aren't used to his style.

And Head Coach Jeff Fisher has long been known as a defensive kind of guy, so it isn't as if the team's philosophy has drastically changed.

It can't even be blamed on new personnel; there isn't any. Nick Harper, Cortland Finnegan, Chris Hope, Michael Griffin: All these guys were there last year when the Titans were at the top.

And all four of them are responsible for the Titans being near the bottom.

Whatever the problem, they need to figure it out by gametime on Sunday. The Jets have owned the Titans lately, winning four of their last five meetings, including the Titans first loss last year after a 10-0 start to an eventual 13-3 record.

In their first two contests, the Jets were able to harangue the opposing quarterback at will, resulting in limited production in both meetings.

The Titans, by contrast, allowed both Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub to eclipse 300 yards passing, with Schaub racking up four touchdown passes. In Week One, the Jets held Schaub to just 166 yards and no touchdowns.

What started out for the Titans as a promising season where they could make a run at the title has rapidly degenerated into a season where if they fall any further behind, they'll be watching the playoffs from their living rooms.

At 0-2, they are stretching their fortune to the limit in making a playoff appearance.

At 0-3, they may as well buy their Super Bowl tickets.


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