Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans Pick 10/20/19
Los Angeles Chargers (2-4 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Point Spread: LAC +2/TEN -2 (WagerWeb)
Over/Under Total: 40
The Los Angeles Chargers take to the road to face the Tennessee Titans in an AFC battle from Nashville on Sunday. Both teams need a win, and a lot is on the line. Both sides can still salvage something at 3-4. At 2-5? It becomes an uphill battle that is hard to overcome. Some identified both teams before the season as contenders, especially the Chargers coming off a 12-win season and now having lost as many games as they did all season. Against Pittsburgh at home on Sunday Night Football, they got smoked, with 17 fourth-quarter points making it look closer than it really was at 24-17. The Titans didn’t have it any easier on Sunday, falling to the Broncos, 16-0, and hitting rock-bottom in a season that started so well with a 30-point win over the Browns. Which is the best side to be on this weekend?
What Went Wrong?
Both teams really found a new layer of bedrock last week. When the Devlin Hodges-led Steelers led 21-0 before the end of the first half, reality started to set in for a Chargers’ team that has lost all its mojo from last season. Not that there aren’t things to build on, but the combination of poor play and missing personnel has exacted a costly toll. Philip Rivers hasn’t been playing well. They’re turning the ball over. The combination of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler isn’t delivering in the ground-game. The offensive line, which wasn’t great when healthy, is now battered and suffering most of the time. Key people on the other side of the ball have also made a rising defense become quite ordinary. Stars like Derwin James are out, and they lost their fangs.
Then you contrast them with a Tennessee team that gets shut out by a one-win Denver team. And yes, the Broncos can still play some defense, but that’s disgraceful. After going 7-for-18 with three picks, Marcus Mariota was yanked for Ryan Tannehill, who didn’t fare a lot better. Granted, Mariota wasn’t on-point, but it’s hard for any quarterback to look good behind that offensive line. Getting Taylor Lewan back at LT was supposed to help, but it hasn’t, and the moves they made upfront haven’t panned out. It’s also a part of the reason Derrick Henry hasn’t been able to pick up where he left off last season. So far this season, he hasn’t really gotten started. Guys like AJ Brown, Adam Humphries, Delanie Walker, Corey Davis, and other targets have been pretty flat. After scoring 43 in their season debut, the Titans have scored a combined 14 points in their last two games.
More Picks: Baltimore at Seattle O/U Prediction
Who Can Summon Some Morale?
With both teams going into last week at 2-3 in winnable games, the fact that they fell so flat has to be crushing. The Chargers looked to be poised to at least get back to .500, and then a tattered Steelers’ squad just squashes them. Week after week, you expect a struggling 12-win team from last season to step up, but the reality is setting in that they’re simply a diminished force. There have been so many losses in personnel, and the bodies keep falling. All that firepower on offense and between the line falling apart, the holdout of Gordon, the role players who keep getting injured, the penalties, and untimely mistakes—it just hasn’t worked. Maybe against a Titans team that is perhaps on a steeper downward spiral, they can see some things work better. It just has to be a letdown to look up at 2-4 with all the promise created from last season. Now, they’re getting beat up. Their home-stadium roots for the other team, and you have to wonder where their heads are at. Are they pining to “right the wrongs” or down in the dumps?
But the Titans face their own crisis. Mariota is at the lowest he has been at since coming into the league, benched for Tannehill after performing remarkably bad. Quality performances from the other side of the ball are being wasted with an offense that looks like it didn’t get ready for the season. It’s a living example of how even good pieces can’t thrive with a line getting dominated on the line of scrimmage. Watching them meander through a shutout loss to a Denver team not going to the playoffs made one wonder where they go from here. Can they get it together at home?
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Looking for Silver Lining
It’s remarkable in a sense that despite being hung out to dry repeatedly by a backward-moving offense, the Titans’ defense has been very stout. In the last three games, they have given up a combined 40 points. In the secondary, Kevin Byard, Malcolm Butler, and Logan Ryan have been making a lot of plays. Against a wayward Chargers’ aerial attack, that stands out as a potential matchup quirk in this game. The pass rush as a whole hasn’t been great, but a lot of quiet moves and draft picks have started paying off on this side of the ball, and at home, they won’t make it easy for a Chargers’ offense that is mired in some dysfunction heading into week 7. For the Chargers, though, they can still gain big chunks of yardage through the air. Rivers had 320 yards last week, even amid all the issues. Hunter Henry was excellent in his return, and having a big tight end getting in rhythm along with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Ekeler, and others makes the Chargers’ air-attack still dangerous. And with Gordon getting warmed-up after the holdout, maybe he can heat up this week.
Take the Home Favorite
This isn’t about which team is mired deeper in a funk because that’s a tough one to call. This game just has the looks of a grind, and the Chargers have become too erratic of a proposition to be count on to step up. I see the Titans and an under-fire Mariota doing a little better this week, while the Tennessee defense does enough for the Titans to emerge with the close win and cover on Sunday.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Tennessee Titans minus 2 points. Both of these teams struggle to score at times. Their Week 7 over/under is posted at 40. Something to think about is to insert this game into a 20 point teaser and move the total to 60 and hit the UNDER. You can find this bet option at Wagerweb Sportsbook. They also give new users a 50% real cash bonus up to $1000! Click here to sign up now!