Clash of the Titans: Jets’ Improbable Run to Crash in Tennessee

The NFL’s week 15 comes to a close with the New York Jets (6-7) heading to LP Field to take on the Tennessee Titans (4-9).

Despite a losing record and a season-long controversy at quarterback, after two consecutive wins the Jets still have an opportunity to make the playoffs. While they do not control their own destiny, a win over the Titans will keep them in the hunt. They’ll have to run most of the way as QB Mark Sanchez is 33rd amongst active quarterbacks with a  rating of 71.8 and a completion rate of only 55.4%.

The team brought back WR Braylon Edwards, who had previously had good chemistry with Sanchez but it is unknown how much playing time he will get due to a lingering hamstring injury. The good news is the   team’s running game has stepped on the gas lately and RBs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell have combined for 317 yards over the past two games.

Defensively, with many players looking to contain the explosive runner Chris Johnson, the Jets are going to have to watch the corners. While Antonio Cromartie has really stepped up his game after the injury to Darelle Revis, one spot to watch will be how the other CB, Kyle Wilson, will hold up. With Cromartie likely covering speedy receiver Nate Washington, Wilson will often find himself across from the talented rookie Kendall Wright, who is a favorite target of Titans QB Jake Locker.

The Titans sit in third place in the AFC South but have the chance to play spoiler to the Jets playoff longshot. While Locker continues to develop, look for the team to give the Jets a heavy dose of Johnson. Johnson’s play has been up and down all season but he is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has broken a run of 83 yards, which is the second longest of his career, and put up 195 yards against Buffalo.

The Jets are 29th against the run, giving up 136.5 yards per games which should give Johnson some opportunity to break a long one and keep the Sanchez on the bench of they can get an early lead. A key match up for the Titans defense will be how its defensive ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley fare against OTs D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Austin Howard. Ferguson is a Pro-Bowl contender and Howard has come on since being acquired earlier in the season, but if Tennessee can put some pressure on Sanchez he is prone to turning the ball over. If the Titans can step up their run defense, which is 25th in the league allowing 127 yards a game and force Sanchez into mistakes, it could tip the game to Tennessee.

FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.

The Dow Industrials ended last week down 0.15% and the S&P 500 was down as well, closing out the week with a 0.32% loss, with both snapping three week winning streaks. Positive momentum from a stronger-than-expected industrial production report and the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures was quashed by ongoing concerns about the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff.

Over the past 20 years, the Jets have played 21 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .500 when the Dow closes the prior week down, and .667 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them a MNM rank for this week of .584.

During the same 20-year period, the Titans have played 20 Monday night games and have a rank of .667 when the Dow is down and .636 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them an MNM rank this week of .652.

Monday Night Markets picks the Tennessee Titans at home over the New York Jets.

Week 15 FBN Staff Picks:

Jets @Titans

The Monday Night Markets (MNM) rank is derived by taking the number of games won during each market condition of up or down during a twenty-year period, over the total number of games played. Each result for the Dow and S&P are averaged to determine a final rank between 0 and 1.