The Jets were hoping that Marcus Mariota would fall to them in the 2015 draft, he didn't as the Titans took him No. 2. Now Gang Green faces Mariota Sunday, the Jets are -7 with a total of 43.
NFL Pick: Jets -7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Titans Better Off By Losing
Obviously the Titans (3-9) aren't going to be in the playoffs or sniff .500 so it would behoove them to lose the rest of their games and pick No. 1 overall in the 2016 draft. The good news (if you want the team to lose out) is that Tennessee finishes against all teams in the playoff mix: this game, then at New England, vs. Houston and at Indianapolis. The Titans to have to have Cleveland (2-10) lose once more, however. Tennessee wouldn't take a quarterback with its first pick and probably would look defense with no great receivers or running backs worthy of going that high. Of course the Titans' first job this offseason is hiring a new coach; highly doubtful that interim coach Mike Mularkey gets the full-time job. It almost surely will be an offensive-minded guy to work with Mariota.
Tennessee ended a three-game losing streak with a 42-39 shootout win over Jacksonville this past Sunday to end an 11-game home losing skid. Mariota was spectacular, throwing for 268 yards and three touchdowns and rushing nine times for 112 yards and an 87-yard touchdown. The 2014 Heisman winner was the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 250 yards, run for more than 100 and throw three TD passes in a game. The run was the longest by any NFL player in 2015 and the third-longest by an NFL quarterback since 1960. Also, Mariota and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record three touchdown passes four times during their rookie seasons.
Titans rookie receiver Dorial Green-Beckham had his best game of the season with five catches for 119 yards and a score; DGB has all the talent in the world at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds but is still very raw after not playing college football last year but still being a second-round pick.
The Titans are 4-7-1 against the spread on NFL odds and 6-5-1 'over/under.' They are hoping to get back running back Dexter McCluster for this one after he missed the Jaguars game with a knee injury. McCluster has rushed 51 times for 235 yards and caught 27 passes.
Jets Control Playoff Fate
New York (7-5) moved back into the AFC playoffs with a 23-20 overtime win "at" the Giants on Sunday. G-Men coach Tom Coughlin has been pilloried on the New York media this week for his decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 4 with his team ahead 20-10 with under nine minutes left. That backfired as Rontez Miles intercepted an Eli Manning pass. The Jets would tie the game on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Brandon Marshall with 27 seconds left. Randy Bullock gave the Jets the OT lead with 8:35 left and then the Giants' Josh Brown missed a 48-yarder to end it.
Fitzpatrick had a huge game, completing 35-for-50 for a season-high 390 yards and two scores. Remember, this is supposed to be a running team, not one that throws 50 times. Marshall caught 12 for 131 and Eric Decker eight for 101. Marshall is having a Pro Bowl season, catching 83 balls for 1,062 yards and 10 scores. He's the first Jet to reach 1,000 yards since Jerricho Cotchery in 2007 and first player in NFL history with 1,000-yard receiving seasons with four different teams. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, started nine games for the Titans in 2013.
The Jets currently hold down the final AFC wild-card spot but there's a bunch of teams right there with them. Pittsburgh is also 7-5 but at No. 7 because of worse conference record. The Jets conclude the season at the Cowboys, home to the Patriots and at the Bills. New York has been without star cornerback Darrelle Revis the past two games and he's still in the NFL's concussion protocol and questionable here. New York is 6-5-1 ATS on NFL picks and 7-5 O/U.
In Week 15 last season, the Jets visited Nashville as 3.5-point favorites at sportsbooks (total of 42) and won 16-11 for their first road win of 2014 -- amazingly, it was the first NFL game to ever end by that score. Chris Ivory scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 3:09 left. The Titans got to the Jets 22 with two minutes left before turning it over on downs. The quarterbacks that day were Geno Smith for the Jets and Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst for Tennessee. There was also a brawl in the third quarter after a hit by Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey on Smith. Casey is still with the Titans for what that's worth. This is Tennessee's first game at the Jets since 2009.
Final Analysis & NFL Pick
Go Jets -7 (-115) and 'UNDER' 43.5 (-110) at Bookmaker. Tennessee is 2-7 ATS in its past nine after a win. New York is 4-0 ATS in its past four December games. The 'under' is 5-2 in the Titans' past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The 'under' is 6-2 in the Jets' past eight December games.