Buffalo Bills (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS), Week 10 NFL, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 15, 2009, LP Field, Nashville, Tenn. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bills +7/Titans -7
The Tennessee Titans started the season 0-6 after reaching the playoffs last year. But a quarterback change has turned their season around a bit, as Vince Young has led the Titans to two straight wins. The Bills have had their own issues at quarterback, as Trent Edwards hasn’t lived up to expectations in Buffalo. After missing the last two games with an injury, Edwards has had the bye week to recover and is now ready to go when the Bills face the Titans.
The Titans started their season with three losses that easily could have been wins. They opened with an overtime three-point loss to the Steelers, followed by a three-point loss to the Texans and a seven-point loss to the Jets. All three of those teams have proved to be solid teams. But then the Titans spiraled out of control with blowout losses to the Jaguars, Colts and Patriots. After their bye week, a quarterback change was made. Kerry Collins was no longer under center. Instead, Vince Young is now the man in Tennessee. He has led the Titans to a 30-13 win over the Jaguars and a 34-27 win over the 49ers. This is a different team now. The Titans averaged 14 points per game in their first six games, but are averaging 32 per game in their last two. Their defense was giving up 33 points per game in their first six but is giving up 20 per game in its last two.
Young hasn’t been spectacular in the last two games, but he has been making good decisions and getting the job done. In the two games, he has completed 27-of-37 pass attempts for 297 yards and one touchdown. Most importantly, he has zero turnovers.
While Young hasn’t been spectacular, running back Chris Johnson has. Johnson leads the league in rushing yards with 959, and has six rushing touchdowns. He has rushed for over 100 yards in four of the eight games, including two games over 200 yards. He even has two rushes this year of at least 89 yards. He has at least 128 rushing yards in each of his last three games, including 363 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games. As long as Young keeps handing the ball off to Johnson, the Titans will be successful.
Edwards started the season strong, but he and the Bills tailed off quickly. The Bills started off 1-1 with a win over the Buccaneers and a one-point loss to the Patriots. In those two games, Edwards had 442 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception. But the Bills lost their next three games, and in those losses Edwards failed to reach 200 yards in any of them. He had one touchdown pass and five interceptions. After taking a few weeks off, the Bills hope Edwards can rekindle the success he had early in the season when he was one of the highest rated quarterbacks in the league.
Terrell Owens still has not even come close to living up to expectations. Owens has failed to surpass 60 receiving yards in any game this season, and even had one game with no catches. He has a total of 79 yards in the last three games.
Fred Jackson started the season strong when he was starting in place of the suspended Marshawn Lynch. But since Lynch has returned, it’s been a different story. Lynch has a total of 217 rushing yards and one touchdown in the five games he has played. Jackson had 425 total yards in the three games without Lynch, but he has a total of 197 yards in the five games since then.
The total has gone under in five of the Bills’ last six games. The Bills are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. The total has gone over in five of the Titans’ last seven games.
The Titans pass defense was awful in their first six games. But in the last two games, they’ve given up 425 passing yards and two touchdowns while coming away with five interceptions. The Bills rush defense has been suspect this season, not a good sign heading into a game against Johnson, one of the best running backs in the NFL. Against the Jets and Dolphins, the Bills gave up a combined 568 rushing yards.
Ryno’s Pick: The Bills have trouble stopping the run against good running teams, so Johnson should have his way with the Bills defense. If he can gain over 100 yards, like has the last three games, it will once again make things easier to manage for Young. The Titans pass defense has been solid the last two weeks against mediocre quarterbacks, so it’s unlikely that Edwards is going to come back from injury and light it up in the passing department. The Bills are only averaging 11 points per game in their last six games. The Titans have been very good in their last two games. Even coming off a bye, the Bills won’t be able to stop Johnson and they won’t be able to score enough points to win this game. Take the Titans -7.