Rex Ryan and his New York Jets got their first road win this season. The Tennessee Titans couldn’t protect a lead yet again.
Chris Ivory scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:09 left, and the Jets beat the Titans 16-11 on Sunday in a game marked by a brawl between teams playing only for pride with the loser hoping for better draft position.
The Jets (3-11) also won the first NFL game to end with a 16-11 score while snapping a three-game skid.
Geno Smith threw for 179 yards and a TD. He also was apparently hit by Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, starting a brawl in the third quarter. Casey was flagged, but not ejected.
The Titans (2-12) now have lost eight straight and 11 of 12 in their worst skid since 1994 when home was in Houston. They got the ball twice late, and reached the Jets 9 after three laterals on the final play came up short.
The Jets trailed 11-10 when Chris Johnson, playing against the team that cut him in April, ran 37 yards out of the wildcat to the Titans 4. Ivory capped the drive running wide left for the TD. The Jets went for the 2-point conversion, but Jeremy Kerley couldn’t hold onto Smith’s pass keeping it a 16-11 lead.
The Titans got to the Jets 22 with 2 minutes left before turning it over on downs with a sack by Quinton Coples and three incompletions.
They got it back with 21 seconds and were near midfield for the final play. Charlie Whitehurst, playing with Jake Locker out with an injured left shoulder, threw to Dexter McCluster, who lateraled to Nate Washington. The receiver threw back to Whitehurst, who lateraled to Delanie Walker — who was tackled by Dawan Landry to seal the Jets’ win.
This game nearly got out of hand in the third quarter as referee John Parry was reviewing an 81-yard pass to Eric Decker.
After Casey appeared to hit Smith, the teams started pushing and shoving with Casey also hitting Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini twice. Casey’s helmet knocked off in the melee before officials broke it up. The review turned Decker’s TD to a 48-yard completion, and Casey stayed in the game despite being flagged for a personal foul.
Smith finished the drive with a 9-yard TD pass to John Conner on fourth-and-1.
Casey later added a sack, and the defensive tackle also pressured Smith in the end zone for a forward pass that gave the Titans a safety and a 5-0 lead in the second quarter.
Ryan Succop kicked three field goals for Tennessee, the last a 51-yarder with 2:02 left in the third quarter for an 11-10 lead.
Locker was starting with rookie Zach Mettenberger out with his own sprained shoulder. He was hurt when hit by Coples late in the first half, sending him straight to the locker room holding his arm against his body. Coples also helped knock Locker out of the game the last time these teams met last season.