The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 18, 2012

Titans destroy Jets’ playoff hopes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The New York Jets’ playoff hopes are gone, lost in a wave of turnovers by struggling Mark Sanchez.

Chris Johnson went 94 yards for the longest touchdown run in the NFL since 2006, and the Tennessee Titans beat the Jets 14-10 on Monday night to eliminate New York from postseason contention.

Jake Locker’s first touchdown run of the season put Tennessee ahead to stay late in the third quarter, and the Titans intercepted four passes by Sanchez to snap a three-game skid.

After bumbling around all night, the Jets somehow still had a chance to win when they took over at the Tennessee 25 with 47 seconds left following a 19-yard punt by Brett Kern. But Sanchez fumbled a low shotgun snap, Bilal Powell inadvertently kicked the ball away and the Titans recovered to seal it.

It was a fitting end to an ugly game that left New York coach Rex Ryan cursing to himself as he walked off the field. Sanchez finished with five turnovers — one on each of his team’s final three possessions — and has 24 this season.

The Jets (6-8) needed to win their final three games and get help elsewhere to earn a playoff spot. Instead, the Titans sacked Sanchez three times and got a fourth on Tim Tebow. Jason McCourty and Michael Griffin each had two interceptions, keeping the Jets out of the playoffs for a second straight season after reaching consecutive AFC title games.

Johnson, with the names of the victims of Friday’s shootings in Connecticut written on his cleats, ran a franchise-record 94 yards for a TD in the second quarter. Locker’s 13-yard quarterback keeper around left end put the Titans (5-9) ahead with 20 seconds left in the third.

The Jets had plenty of time and opportunity in the fourth to take the lead, but Sanchez kept giving the ball away.

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