2013 Titans Look A Lot Like The 2009 Jets
By Mike Edler
The Titans are sitting pretty at 3-1 and Jake Locker is going to play again this season. All is well and in historic context, this Titan team doesn’t fit the stereotype of a football team. They don't throw for 300 yards consistently and get into shoot outs that light up the scoreboard. There is only one team that really comes to mind when looking at this Titans team. That team is the 2009 New York Jets. With a combination of superb defense and a great rushing attack. When you look at the two teams, the similarities are overwhelming.
The Titans offense is based on great offensive line play and using the pass to set up the run. Jake Locker throws the ball very cautiously and makes decisions that are low risk, but also accurate. This sets up Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle to chip away at a open tackle box. Mark Sanchez was used in the same way with Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene and had success. Locker is more athletic than Sanchez, Johnson and Battle are better than Thomas at this point in his career, even though he fits the scheme perfectly, and Green is/was a part of both teams. The 2013 Titans wide receivers are a better group than the Jets too. The closest battle would be the offensive line and I’ll give the advantage to the Jets because Mark Sanchez didn’t get hurt like Jake Locker did behind his line.
Advantage: 2013 Titans
The Jets defense was an elite group for the start of the Rex Ryan era and now they have come back down to Earth. With players like Bart Scott, Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins and Lito Sheppard, the Jets were an intimidating and physical presence. We know how great that group was with blitz packages drawn up by Rex Ryan and with a shutdown corner, like Revis, half the field was cut off. The Titans have a ways to go to be considered elite, but with Gregg Williams using his blitz packages, players like Zach Brown, Akeem Ayers, Alterraun Verner and Jurrell Casey could become as good as the Jets group. It’s simply too soon to call this group elite for the Titans.
Advantage: 2009 Jets
These two teams do look a lot alike, but only time will tell if the 2013 Tennessee Titans will have anywhere close to the success that 2009 Jets team had.