Arizona Cardinals (7-3 6-4 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-6 5-5 ATS) LP Field, Nashville, TN, Week 12 NFL, Sunday November 29, 2009 4:15PM EST on FOX
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cardinals +2.5 / Titans -2.5
This Sunday, the streaking Tennessee Titans host the Arizona Cardinals. The Titans came into this season with a lot of hope after finishing last season with the league’s best record. That hope was dashed, as the Titans began the season losing their first 6 games. However, since Vince Young regained his stating QB position the Titans have won 4 in a row.
The Cardinals are on fire winning 3 in a row and 6 of their last 7 and they should make the playoffs with a 3 game lead over the San Francisco 49ers in the weak NFC East.
You would think that this is not a good match up for the Titans, even though they have won 4 straight, as they have a weak secondary and the Cardinals have one of the best passing offenses in the NFL. However, the Titans beat the Texans last week and Houston has a great passing offense.
Last week the Cardinals beat the St. Louis Lambs, I mean Rams, 21-13 and the Titans beat the Houston Texans 20-17.
In their win over the Rams last week the Cardinals controlled the game with more passing yards and rushing yards. However, they allowed St. Louis to score 10 points in the 2nd half and almost come back but could not score deep in Arizona territory late in the game. Kurt Warner was kept out of the 2nd half because of a blow to the head, but he will play in this game. The Cardinals finally got some rushing offense tallying 183 yards for the game. The Cardinals were favored by 9 points so they did not cover and the posted total of 47 was not reached.
The Titans won on Monday night when Houston missed a last second field goal that would have tied the game. The Texans did have more passing yards than the Titans (283 yards to 116 yards), but the Titans totally dominated the ground game, as they had 253 yards rushing and the Texans only had 57. Chris Johnson had another solid game with 151 rushing yards making him only the 4th RB ever to have 5 straight games of over 120 yards rushing. The Titans were underdogs by 3.5 points so they covered the spread and the posted total of 48 was not reached.
Even though Vince Young has got a lot of press for the Titans and their 4-game winning streak RB Chris Johnson should get the credit. He has been awesome all season and he leads the NFL in rushing yards (1242) leading 2nd place Steven Jackson by over 200 yards.
The Arizona defense only ranks 21st in the league, but luckily for them they are solid at defending the run, but weak at defending the pass. If the Cardinals can somehow contain Johnson and make Vince Young beat them with his arm they will be in great shape.
Johnson having a big game will not only help the Titans’ offense, but it will keep Kurt Warner and the dynamic Arizona offense on the sidelines.
The Cardinals faced 2nd leading rusher Steven Jackson last week and allowed him to rush for 116 yards.
The Cardinals’ offense ranks 10th in the league and they have one of the best passing offenses in the league averaging 270 yards per game through the air.
Kurt Warner has been solid all season and the WR tandem of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin may be the best in the league.
Tennessee’ secondary has been torched this season and they rank dead last in the league allowing an average of 271.7 passing yards per game.
Because the Titans’ pass defense is so weak the front line D will have to get to Warner and not give him time in the pocket. This season the Titans do have 25 sacks and if they give Warner time to find his targets they will be in for a long day.
Last week the Titans allowed the Texans to go for 283 passing yards.
Because the Titans will focus on stopping the pass Arizona RB Tim Hightower may have a big game and he had his first 100 yards game last week rushing for 110 yards.
The Cardinals are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games and the Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
Jason’s Pick: Sure, the Titans have won 4 in a row, but only one of the teams they have beat are currently is over .500. The Cardinals are playing well and their one main weakness is defending the pass, which is good for them since the Titans do not have a good passing offense. Look for Kurt Warner to have a huge day, as the Cardinals will win this game and easily cover the spread.