Red Zone League Articles

Game of the Week: Week 4
By Kurt Ison
Special to rzl-football.com

GAME OF THE WEEK
(3-0) TENNESSEE TITANS V NEW YORK JETS (1-1)



History:
Played 10
Titans 6 - 4 Jets

Recent Form:
Titans: WWW
Jets: WLB

Week four of the RZL is already upon us, teams are starting to separate themselves from their division while others fall behind. This week we see the undefeated Tennessee Titans travel to New York to face a upcoming Jets team fresh off the bye. The Titans have impressed with close wins in each of their opening three games while the Jets have been in two close contests with two of their rivals. This game is big for both teams, Tennessee needs to prove they can win and win comfortably against a competition heavy weight while New York needs to keep pace with it's strong division. Andrew Luck hasn't played up to his lofty expectations this season and must have the Jets worried. The defence in New York is also under pressure to force more turnovers and record sacks. The Titans on the other hand are flying high, tough wins in the openings weeks have them in a good position early.

Team Leaders
Passing:
TEN - QB T.Thigpen - 38/63, 628 YDS, 5 TD's, 1 INT = 113.7 RAT
NYJ - QB A.Luck - 29/56, 480 YDS, 3 TD's, 3 INT's = 76.5 RAT

Rushing:
TEN - HB L.Thompson - 64 CAR's, 227 YDS, 3.55 AVG, 4 TD's
NYJ - HB B.Tate - 31 CAR's, 163 YDS, 5.26 AVG, 0 TD's

Receiving:
TEN - WR J.Gutowski - 15 REC, 245 YDS, 2 TD's
NYJ - WR J.Konz - 5 REC, 123 YDS, 1 TD

Tackles:
TEN - LB A.Curry - 27 TAK's
NYJ - LB J.Romero - 12 TAK's

Sacks:
TEN - LB A.Curry - 2 SCK's
NYJ - DE C.Jordan - 1 SCK

Interceptions:
TEN - LB A.Curry, CB D.Cox, CB K.Ryan - 1 INT
NYJ - CB N.Marcus - 1 INT for 2 YDS

Injury Report:
Titans - WR Columbus Bolling Out for Season, QB Bret Meyer 7 Weeks .
Tennessee comes into the game with no major injuries. The loss of wideout Bolling is a no factor. Meyer is some cause for concern, he would be the first to fill in if Thigpen would leave the game. If a injury occurs the Titans would have to turn to the unreliable Josh Freeman which could be disastrous.

Jets - HB Darius Marshall 3 Weeks, QB Brian Brohm 2 Weeks, HB Ben Tate 1 Week, QB Ryan Lindley Probable.
The Jets have only played two games this season but they are banged up. The loss of running back Ben Tate and the loss of their own backup Brian Brohm makes things difficult in New York. They are left with only one healthy running back in Bilal Powell who has been solid but now shoulders all the workload.

Key Match-up:
Jets Pass Rush V Titans QB Tyler Thigpen
Thigpen has completed over 60% of his passes so far this season and the Jets will need a way to lower his percentage this week. New Yorks pass rush in the first two games hasn't been impressive, with only one lone sack among the team they need to improve this week. The Titans passer is one of the quickest in the league and will need to be surrounded if they hope to bring him down. If Thigpen gets comfortable and into a rhythm the Jets won't be able to match point for point with Tennessee.

Watch out Jets!
A league icon, cornerback Sean Smith is looking for his first interception as a Titan and will look to fool the young Andrew Luck and make him pay. Smith has come close to snagging a take away but only to see the passes hit the ground. Any takeaways in this game will be huge, watch for Smith to make a big play.

Watch out Titans!
A Titan for six years, tight end Jameson Konz was drafted by the Titans in the first round back in 2015. He was traded in the off-season and now gets a early chance to repay his old team. Konz has become Luck's favourite target for a check down and he has the speed to make a short play a long one. Watch for Konz to slip behind the blitz and turn a short pass into big yards.

What they said..
Tennessee Titans GM - Nic St.Marie
"Spencer and I have been here since the beginning, and there are only eleven who have been here from start to finish. Of that group, I've probably traded him more of my players than anyone. He's had a team that's only been rebuilt once. That process resulted in a seven win season. The only blemish in the middle of a thirteen other seasons with eight or more wins. Those thirteen seasons included an outstanding seven season run of a nine win season, three ten win seasons and three eleven win seasons.

Spencer is still looking for a ring, and I believe he has the QB that'll lead to his first ring. Will it be this season?

My team is trying to rebuild the Jets way, trying to keep the down years in the eight to nine win range. A win against these Jets would go a long way towards ensuring that happens. But the trends seen to be telling me not to expect that to happen. Luck is as good as Thigpen, but doesn't take unnecessary sacks. The Jets are probably a better team, and I'm just hoping to keep the momentum and win."

New York Jets GM - Matt Spencer
"Not much to say about this team that hasn't been said or isn't widely known. Tons of experience, tons of playmakers on both sides of the ball. Tough matchup for our defense with those tall receivers. They're not just tall either, they're very athletic and it will be a big challenge for our secondary. Our offense must be up to the task against a very experienced secondary for the Titans. It's always fun going up against that organization, a very well run machine they've had for years now."

Prediction:
Both these franchises are well run and always competitive. The Jets are at home in the big apple but they are battered and with a one dimensional offence against a skilled and experienced Titans outfit spells trouble. Tennessee look like true contenders, they have had narrow wins in their first three games and I think they will finally enjoy some breathing room. Titans by 10.
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