Titans hope to start playoff push against Jets
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans’ margin for error is gone, and earning a second straight playoff berth will require finishing this season with a winning flourish.
The Titans (5-6) blew hopes of the franchise’s first AFC South title in a decade by losing two straight games in the division to cap a stretch of five losses in seven games. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard says the Titans’ backs are against the wall now.
“We got a chance to change and make up for what we’ve been doing these past couple weeks and not worried about what we should’ve done,” Woodyard said.
Coming off a 34-17 loss in Houston on Monday night, the Titans will try to make their stand at home playing four of their final five games starting Sunday with the New York Jets (3-8). The Titans have won 13 of their last 16 at Nissan Stadium, and linebacker Brian Orakpo says they understand the challenge they face.
A year ago, the Titans went 2-3 in December to miss out on the AFC South title but grabbed the second wild-card spot. Orakpo says they need to be realistic, ignore all the scenarios and see the Jets as the first step toward winning out.
“We have to give ourselves a chance, 10-6 looks pretty good to me,” Orakpo said. “And we have to make sure that’s a reality and not just some talk.”
Losers of five straight, the Jets are hoping they can get Sam Darnold back at quarterback after he missed the last two games with an injured foot, including a 27-13 loss to the Patriots last week. The rookie remains optimistic about the Jets’ goals for a season in which coach Todd Bowles’ future is on the clock.
“Just finishing strong, sticking together, doing what we can to win these last five, and who knows,” Darnold said. “We’ll go
Jets linebacker Avery Williamson will be in familiar territory when he plays in Tennessee. The former Milan High School star spent his first four NFL seasons with the Titans before signing a threeyear, $22.5 million deal with New York. Williamson leads the Jets with 117 overall tackles and is tied for second on the team with three sacks.
“It’s definitely going to be fun going against my old teammates,” Williamson said. “I haven’t seen them since January, so it’ll definitely be cool, especially going on the opposite sideline. It’ll be interesting.”