Alterraun Verner vs Stephen Hill
I think we'll see McCourty (who plays on the right side) matched up with Holmes most of the day, which will leave SuperHorn's favorite WR; the speed-merchant, Stephen Hill, lined up opposite Alterraun Verner (the NFL's no.1 ranked corner) on the left. Geno Smith has been boosted by (some would say fortunate) deep plays down the field to both Holmes and Hill, and I think this will be a good test for Verner on Sunday. And I say that not necessarily because Hill is the best WR the Titans corner will play this year, but because he is probably the fastest. We will see how much Verner is actually limited in the speed department, which I currently look at as nothing more than nominally. With Verner on a hot streak right now, I would expect him to win this one and make life hard for Geno. There is a good chance, with the Titan's outside CBs playing well at the moment, that the Jets decide to focus on targeting Coty Sensabaugh in the slot instead.
Jurrell Casey vs Nick Mangold
This will be a clash of the Titans. Mangold has been the, one of, if not the league's best center for a long time now and while he may be on the downward slope of a storied career, he will no doubt provide a stout match-up for Casey and the other Titan interior lineman. This battle may well decide if the Jets can run the ball or not, and so far this year Mangold has struggled in this area. That alone is a huge factor when playing with a rookie QB.
Nate Washington vs Antonio Cromartie
Nate Washington vs Antonio Cromartie
Nate Washington had a field day last week against the Chargers, but this week he'll face a much better corner for most of the day. While we may see Milliner matched up against him as well (When Britt is inevitably benched), I think this will be a deciding battle. Jake Locker has shown that Nate is his go-to guy, and things will not run as smoothly if Washington can't get some separation and help move the sticks as much as he did last week. In that case, you'd like to see Loggains adjust and highlight Kendall Wright more, especially against the Jets nickel corner, Kyle Wilson, who struggled mightily last week.
Gray/Williams vs Geno Smith
The over-arching battle of the day will pit the turnover-happy rookie QB against a surprisingly good defense led by Jerry Gray and Gregg Williams. I have said this more than a few times now, but I really feel that the Titans will be hard to beat this season if you turn the ball over, and at this juncture, Locker is doing a lot less of that than Geno Smith. (0-INT vs 6-INT) If the Titans pressure the Jets QB early and often, the errant throws will come, and I am more confident than ever that this secondary pounces on the opportunities when they do. This isn't a match-up without risks though, Geno Smith can no doubt sling the football deep, and it will be on the Titans safeties to make sure things don't break down on the back end.
Before we wrap up here, a few things to note:
Both DL Sheldon Richardson (Shoulder) and Running Back Chris Ivory (Hamstring) didn't practice yesterday, and will be worth keeping track of to see their status for game day.
For the Titans Delanie Walker (Turf Toe), Moise Fokou, and Shonn Greene (Knee) did not practice yesterday either. Kenny Britt (Neck, Ribs) did practice but was limited. We'll see how he is Sunday but I'm guessing that Hunter/Williams/Preston will be getting more looks if he doesn't recover quickly...or they might even if he does. Greene is still out with injury but Walker and Fokou should be good to go Sunday per Munch.
Zaviar Gooden fully participated in practice as well, so that's some great news. It'll be good to see if he can get on the field.