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Titans vs. Jets: 3 Matchups to Watch

New York Jets v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Titans will meet the winless Jets in Week 4 for what should be a routine victory. Mike Vrabel and Co. will be looking to make it three in a row and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win this game with relative ease, even if A.J. Brown and Julio Jones watch this one from the sidelines.

Putting it mildly, the Jets are a young team that is struggling. It’s par for the course. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has thrown six (!) interceptions over his last two games and the Jets were blanked to the tune of 26-0 by the Broncos in Week 3. This should be a great game for the Titans to work on their negative turnover differential. In fact, the Jets have scored just 20 TOTAL points through three games. It’s safe to say they’re having a tough time getting anything going on offense right now.

There are some intriguing one-vs-one matchups that will be worth monitoring when these two teams take the field. Here are three battles we are particularly excited to keep our eye on.

KRISTIAN FULTON VS. COREY DAVIS

Could we start with anything else? The Titans allowed Corey Davis to walk in free agency and replaced him (upgraded) by acquiring Jones in a blockbuster trade with Atlanta. Davis ultimately signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal in New York.

On Wednesday of this week, ESPN’s Rich Cimini asked Davis if the Titans ever showed interest in bringing him back to Tennessee. Davis’ answer was quite telling.

“No sir,” Davis said. “Did it bother me? Yeah, a little bit. I’m not going to lie to you.”

It’s safe to say Davis will be pumped up for this one, as he tries to turn in a typical “revenge” game type of performance. Davis started his Jets career on the right foot by hauling in five catches for an impressive 97 yards and two touchdowns. Since then? The Jets scored a combined six points in two games, and Davis managed just two catches for eight yards in Week 2, and five catches for 41 yards in Week 3. The stats don’t always tell the story, but Davis was downright bad in both games. He struggled with drops, and often failed to separate from man coverage.

Davis should see a lot of his ex-teammate Fulton on Sunday. The two of them spent time practicing against one another on a relatively consistent basis last season, and will be familiar with their opponent’s habits. As you know by now, Fulton is off an excellent start this season. He’s allowed just five catches for 88 yards on 18 targets (27.8%), while covering the likes of D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Green and Michael Pittman Jr., via Pro Football Focus.

Davis represents another tough challenge for Fulton. This should be a great battle.

RODGER SAFFOLD VS. QUINNEN WILLIAMS

This is low-key the matchup I’m most excited to monitor on Sunday. Williams is a former No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama. His pro career started slowly given the hype, but Williams turned in an excellent season as a sophomore in 2020, and he’s off to a great start in 2021 as well. Through three games, Williams has already recorded nine tackles and 1.5 sacks. It’s early, but Williams is starting to look like the dominant defensive lineman the Jets hoped he was when they spent a premium draft pick on him.

The Jets typically move Williams all around their formation, but he spends most of his time lined up over the left guard, which means he’ll see plenty of Saffold on Sunday. Saffold is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the league. The 33-year-old Saffold has continued to play at a high level in 2021, earning a respectable pass protection grade of 69.7 through three contests, per PFF.

This is a heavyweight battle that will see a savvy veteran square off with an up-and-coming defender. I am pumped up for this one.

CHESTER ROGERS VS. MICHAEL CARTER II

You probably didn’t expect to see this one, but it’s a sneaky good battle. Rogers played roughly 40% of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 3, and we expect that number to rise a bit against the Jets. Rogers opened the scoring against the Colts by catching a crucial six-yard touchdown on third-and-goal, but later made an error on Tannehill’s second interception of the day.

Rogers should line up opposite Carter on plenty of occasions, given that Carter has served as the Jets’ starter at the nickel back position. The Jets have gotten excellent value out of Carter thus far. A fifth-round rookie out of Duke, the 5-foot-10 Carter has earned himself an excellent pass coverage grade of 72.6 (PFF) so far. It’s a well-deserved grade for a rookie corner that has given up just 50 yards on 11 receptions this season, or 4.5 yards per catch. Day 3 rookies are rarely able to handle such a large workload, but the Jets are a young team and Carter has proven himself plenty capable of shutting down slot receivers thus far.

This should be a fun one.