Tennessee Titans (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: Ford Field
TV: CBS, DTV 706
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEN +6/DET -6
Over/Under Total: 47
Who would have thought the Detroit Lions could engage in a shootout without wide receiver Calvin Anderson, who retired during the offseason. Well, they did just that last Week when they prevailed 39-35 against the Indianapolis Colts. As for the Tennessee Titans, they faced off against the Minnesota Vikings and focused on stopping Adrian Peterson, which they did holding him to just 31 yards on 19 carries. Unfortunately, some costly turnovers cost them late in the game and they lost 16-25.
This week, the Titans will hit the road to take on the Lions, and by all accounts they’ll have their hands full. Last week, the Titans allowed Shaun Hill to go 18 of 33 for 236 yards through the air. This week they need to contend with more polished Matt Stafford, who went 31 of 39 for 340 yards and three touchdowns for a 128.6 passer rating.
Not only that, the Titans will have to deal with a tougher receiving corps. Instead of Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, the Titans will be up against Marvin Jones and Golden Tate, who caught four and seven passes for 85 and 41 yards respectively. What’s more, the Lions did an excellent job working running backs Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah into the passing game. The former caught five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown while Abdullah also had five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. The point it, the Lions know how to spread it out.
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As for the Titans, they need to rely a little less on Marcus Mariota, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 271 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception last week. The two touchdowns went to Demarco Murray, who caught five passes for 35 yards. Not too shabby, but they really need to get him going on the ground. He rushed just 13 times for 42 yards. Likewise, the Titans need to work in their weapons a bit more. Both Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews have a ton of talent, but they need more opportunities.
So what can you expect for the Week 2 matchup? Look for the Titans defense to try to create turnovers (they didn’t get a single one in Week 1) and ease the pressure put on their offense. They demonstrated they can shut down one of the league’s top backs (as such they’re ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense right now), but they’ll need to show they can contend with a top passing attack. With the ball in the air so much, there should be some opportunities for turnovers. They’ll also need to put some pressure on Stafford (they didn’t get a sack in Week 1 neither).
Chad Holloway’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Titans have the talent to be a great team, but the pieces don’t seem to be coming together. Hopefully they’ll start to gel as the season progresses, but in the meantime they’ll have their struggles. This week it’ll be against the Lions, who more than held their own against the Colts. It was an impressive win for the Lions, who had been somewhat written off in 2016. That changed on Sunday as they demonstrated they’re legitimate contenders.
The long and short of it is the Lions have shown they’re legit, and the Titans have not. Until they do, I have no reason to believe they can prevail on the road against a stacked pass attack. The Lions will give the Titans more than they can handle and will win while covering the spread.
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