Tennessee Titans (6-3) +2, 38 O/U at Denver Broncos (4-5) -2, 38 O/U Invesco Field at Mile High, 8:30 PM Eastern, Monday
by Badger of Predictem.com
The Tennessee Titans will travel to play the Denver Broncos in the week 11 installment of Monday Night Football on ESPN.
The Titans, at 6-3, sit tied with Jacksonville for second place in the AFC South. They are coming off of a disappointing 28-13 loss to division rival Jacksonville, a game that many thought they should have won considering the Jaguars were playing with a second-string quarterback.
Denver meanwhile sits at 4-5 on the season, which is also good enough for second place in the very mediocre AFC West. The Broncos rebounded from their embarrassing loss to Detroit two weeks ago by beating the rival Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, 27-11.
The oddsmakers opened this game with the Broncos as a 2-point favorite, with a 38 over/under.
The last time these two teams met in the regular season was on Christmas Day in 2004, a game won by the Broncos 37-16. But there are very few players from either team that were even around back then, so it really doesnt mean much. Historically, the Broncos are 3-2 verses the Titans/Oilers straight up in head-to-head matchups.
Tennessee is winning, but they are winning ugly. The Titans feature an old-fashioned style of NFL offense grind it out on the ground and then go play defense. The running game averages 139.8 yards per game (4th in NFL) led by LenDale White, while the passing game with quarterback Vince Young is still a work in progress (29th at 158.1 ypg). Together it gives the Titans an offense that ranks 22nd overall in the NFL at 297.9 yards per game.
Denver is much more efficient on offense, falling right in the middle of the pack in just about every offensive category (10th overall at 345.8 ypg; 13th in passing at 228 ypg; 13th in rushing at 117.8 ypg). The Broncos offense has been strong enough to go over the total in seven of their nine games (7-2), including a 4-1 mark at home. Ironically, the only home game the Broncos didnt go over was their game verses Green Bay earlier this season on Monday Night Football.
Defensively, this is a classic case of one teams weakness verses the others strength. Tennessee is 4th in rushing offense, Denver is terrible against the run (31st at 151 ypg). The Titans cant pass the ball (29th), while the Broncos sport a strong secondary (8th overall) led by corners Champ Bailey and Dre Bly. Denver puts points on the board, while Tennessees defense does a good job of stopping that from happening.
Denver is 1-4 SU and also 1-4 ATS at home in 2007 (only a last second 23-20 win over Oakland). Tennessee is a pretty good road team as their 3-1 SU record and 3-1 verses the number record would indicate (5-4 ATS overall). The over/under numbers do show some conflicting numbers though, as the Broncos are almost always over (7-2 overall, 4-1 at home), while the Titans are almost always under (2-7 overall, 1-3 on road).
As far as playing in the showcase game on national television Monday Night, Denver is 2-3 SU on MNF (since 2003). The Broncos did lose to Green Bay, 19-13, in overtime on MNF back on October 29th. Tennessee won a 31-14 decision over New Orleans on MNF in September of this year, the first time in a long time the Titans have played on Monday Night (1-1 SU in 1994).
The Titans are a little banged up coming into the game, with RBs White and Chris Brown on offense and corner Nick Harper all listed as day-to-day on the injury report. Big defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is also listed as day-to-day with a sore hamstring.
Denver is also hurt in skill positions with RBs Travis Henry and Mike Bell, WR Brandon Marshall and safety John Lynch all listed as day-to-day on the injury list.
Badgers Pick: I fully expect the Broncos to stack the line of scrimmage and make Vince Young throw the ball to beat them. Im not sure if he can do it, but the Tennessee defense will make things hard for the Broncos offense too. The best bet in this game may be the under of 38, but if you have to pick a side, Id take the Titans plus the points.
Relaterd: Editor’s Monday Night Football Picks.