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Jets vs. Titans: 3 keys to victory

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throws

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a pass in the first half of a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

To paraphrase Michael Corleone: Jets fans think they're out, and Gang Green keeps pulling them back in.

The Jets (7-5) have bounced back from a 1-4 stretch in October and November, now riding a two-game winning streak as they host the struggling Titans (3-9) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

As one of five AFC teams -- including the Chiefs, Steelers, Bills and Texans -- at 7-5 or 6-6 and battling for the two wild-card spots, the Jets can't afford complacency even against a cellar dweller.

Here's a look at how the Jets can take care of business against floundering Tennessee.

Resurgent Ryan

Before Thanksgiving, patience was wearing thin with the play of Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had completed less than half his passes and four interceptions over consecutive losses. Since then, Fitzpatrick has completed 58 of 87 (66.7%) passes for 667 yards, six touchdowns and no picks while winning both games. Fitzpatrick should be strong against a Tennessee defense that allows 8.2 yards per pass attempt, which ranks 30th in the NFL.

Meddle with Mariota

Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota has been a bright spot in an otherwise dark year for the Titans. He's multitalented, but he's not Superman. He absorbs sacks at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL, and he has the league's eighth-worst interception percentage. A turnover-minded Jets defense -- especially if Darrelle Revis plays -- will feast on the rookie's mistakes.

Mo' for Mo

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson must be itching to take the field against the Titans' porous pass defense. Wilkerson leads the Jets with nine sacks on the season, including four over his past four games. No other Jet has more than Sheldon Richardson's 3.5 sacks in 2015. As long as the Jets prevent Mariota from breaking contain, look for Wilkerson and the Jets to enjoy a hearty sack lunch on Sunday.


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