- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE -- Did I overestimate the New York Jets or what?
I actually picked them to beat the Tennessee Titans, thinking they'd build on the positives that emerged last week against the Buffalo Bills. Silly me. The Jets reminded us Sunday of exactly who they are -- a young, rebuilding team that lacks maturity and consistency.
It's part of the growing process, and it can be a painful process, as it was Sunday. You can't go on the road and expect to win with four turnovers and 10 penalties. The Titans aren't an elite team, but they're smart (still no turnovers this season) and tough. On this day, the Jets were dumb and weak, falling 38-13.
Rookie Geno Smith reminded everyone of Mark Sanchez last December in Nashville, giving away the ball with reckless plays. But it wasn't all his fault. The offensive line was overmatched by the Titans' blitz, the receivers struggled to beat press coverage, cornerbacks couldn't cover and the coaches failed to adjust.
The Jets did only two things well: They ran the ball and stopped the run. That's usually a good formula for winning, but they failed to stick with the run (welcome to MartyBall) and the defense couldn't overcome too many short fields.
It's going to be one of those years: Up. Down. Up. Down. I've always maintained that the hardest team to cover is an 8-8 team or something close to that. In this business, we're quick to praise and quick to criticize, and you tend to get caught up in the seesaw of an inconsistent team.
Strap yourself in, there's a long way to go.
ICYMI: Yes, Smith was horrendous, but it's not time to think about a quarterback change. ... The Jets' best hit of the day was delivered by Antonio Cromartie -- on the back judge. ... As if they didn't have enough problems, the Jets lost wide receivers Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes to a possible concussion and a pulled hamstring, respectively. ... They've committed 30 penalties in the last two games. It's not a becoming look for the Jets. ... You hate to see this: Titans QB Jake Locker was knocked out of the game with a hip injury. Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson claimed it was a clean hit.