Nashville, TN — The push for the playoffs continues. After suffering a 34-17 defeat to division rival Houston Texans last week, the Tennessee Titans (5-6) are fighting for a wild-card spot in the playoffs. They faced the New York Jets (3-8) who are playing spoiler after a disappointing season.
Despite the loss, quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 23 passes for 303 yards and two scores. To win this week though, the Titans Tennessee would have to build on that game against a Jets defense that has struggled throughout the season.
Things did not begin well for the Titans. An early interception by Mariota to Trumaine Johnson was returned for a touchdown, garnering boos from the home crowd. Mariota and the Titans would struggle but eventually responded after giving up the first turnover for the Jets in five games.
The Jets had the game firmly in their hands through stifling defensive play and overwhelming special teams play. A blocked punt led to another field goal and a late second-quarter touchdown pass from Mariota was marred by a blocked extra point from New York. As the first half came to a close the Jets were decidedly in control, with a 16-6 lead and a command of the momentum.
The Titans found a way to maintain against the surging Jets, holding them to field goals instead of giving up touchdowns in the third period. By holding the Jets offensive push, Tennessee was able to cut their deficit to three points with two minutes left in the game, 22-19.
The Jets were unable to secure the game with a first down and failed to keep the Titans out of the end zone, as Tennessee drove down the field and captured the lead with a Mariota touchdown pass to Corey Davis.
“We did a good job of containing their offense the whole day and coming up with a big stop when we needed it most,” stated nine-year vet Derrick Morgan after the win.
The Titans defense stayed strong forcing a turnover in the last moments of the game as Malcolm Butler intercepted Josh McCown. In fact, the Jets didn’t score at all in the final period.
“I feel like we did a good job of playing complementary football when things got close. We found a way to win, it wasn’t pretty but we did it. We are right back in the race,” said Morgan on the playoff hunt for Tennessee.
After this win, the Titans are now 6-6 and their playoff hopes are still alive.
“We have a shot at the playoffs, but we need to be more consistent down the stretch,” shared Morgan.
The Titans will most likely have to win out in order to secure a playoff spot.