The Tennessee Titans have the Baltimore Ravens right where they want them. The Titans are a 3 point underdog Sunday at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee is a perfect 3-0 as an underdog this season beating the Texans, Jaguars and Eagles.
Both the Titans and Ravens come in off of disappointing losses that saw neither team score a touchdown.
Inconsistency on offense has plagued the Titans during the first five weeks of the season due in part to the installation of Matt LaFleur’s new system, but mainly due to injury.
The Titans have lost Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker for the season and have played portions of this season without Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert, Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin and Dennis Kelly. They also lost receiver Rishard Matthews who demanded his release.
The result, Mariota desperately looking for help on offense.
The Titans offense has only 8 passes over 20 yards this season and receiver Corey Davis has 6 of them. The other 2 belong to tight end Luke Stocker and safety Dane Cruikshank who caught a pass on a punt fake for a touchdown.
So, Mariota desperately needs the rest of the receiving corps to step up. That was made glaringly clear when Nick Williams dropped a touchdown pass last week in Buffalo. Williams was cut 2 days later and replaced by Cameron Batson.
The Titans also made a change at tight end elevating Anthony Firkser from the practice squad. Titans tight ends have not caught a pass in 2 weeks and they face a Ravens team that gave up 6 and 7 receptions in their two losses.
Defense is expected to dominate the day Sunday Both of these teams have thrived defensively this season.
Defensive points per game –
Titans – 17.2
Ravens – 15.4
Defensive third down % –
Titans – 33.3
Ravens – 28.7 (1st in NFL)
The Titans defense faces a massive challenge with new Ravens receiver John Brown who comes in averaging 20.8 yards per catch. The Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco will certainly go after cornerback Malcolm Butler who has been beaten deep several times this season.
Defensively the Titans are also looking for a stronger effort in the run game. The Ravens, led by Alex Collins, are averaging only 3.4 yards per carry but the Titans are giving up a whopping 4.4 and defensive coordinator Dean Pees says he is looking for a lot more consistency in that department.
The Titans are also struggling to run the football with Derrick Henry averaging only 3.4 yards per carry and Dion Lewis 3.2. Facing CJ Mosley and that Ravens front it will not be any easier.
Tennessee enters the game 3-2 and still first in the AFC South. The Ravens are also 3-2.