Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers Pick
Tennessee Titans (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2 SU, 3-2) ATS)
When: October 21, 2018, 9:30 AM EST
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
By: Rick Wie
Point Spread: TEN +6.5/LAC -6.5
Takeaways From Week 6
The Titans laid their biggest egg of the season Sunday in a 21-0 shutout at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, putting themselves in a tie with Jaguars and Texans for first place in the AFC South.
What stood out the most about Tennessee’s dreadful showing, aside from zero points and a ridiculous 106 yards of total offense, was how poorly the offensive line played. The Ravens own the NFL’s best total defense, yes, but 11 sacks is something out of a pee wee football game where offensive lines are mostly made up of 50-pound pipsqueaks. Eight different Baltimore players posted at least one sack and Za’Darius Smith had three, breaking a franchise record for the most sacks in a single game.
Another burning question to come out of the game is what the heck happened to the Titans’ ground game? Derrick Henry finished with 21 yards on 7 carries and Dion Lewis carried 5 times for 9 yards. Marcus Mariota was the leading rusher with 2 carries for 25 yards. Mariota doesn’t win many games with his arm, so the ground game needs to show up. And it darn sure didn’t against Baltimore.
Meanwhile, the Chargers had quite the day in a 38-14 pasting of the Cleveland Browns, moving them within one game of the KC Chiefs for first place in the AFC West. They piled up 449 total yards, including 246 yards on the ground and big performances from Melvin Gordon and Tyrell Williams.
The offense was firing on all cylinders, with both the pass and the run proving impossible for Cleveland to contend with. Tyrell Williams came basically out of nowhere to nab three catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 45-yarder in the second quarter. This after mostly forgettable showings all season long in which he dropped some pretty big ones.
Melvin Gordon is the second-best back in football behind Todd Gurley right now and he once again showed it in this game. He carried 18 times for 132 yards and 3 touchdowns, marking the first time since 2010 that the Chargers have had a running back go for three touchdowns. Gordon also caught 2 balls for 18 yards and has now gone over 100 scrimmage yards in four of six games this season.
These two teams have a fairly long history as they’ve met up 45 times, with their first game taking place in 1960 when the Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers. The Chargers lead the series 27-17-1 and they’ve also had the upper hand as of late, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings dating back to 1993.
For Tennessee, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are LB Wesley Woodyard (shoulder), LB Derrick Morgan (shoulder), LB Will Compton (hamstring), DT Bennie Logan (elbow), G Quinton Spain (shoulder)
For the Chargers, listed as questionable for Sunday are WR Travis Benjamin (foot), K Caleb Sturgis (quad), LB Jatavis Brown (groin), LB Kyzir White (knee). T Joe Barksdale (knee) has been upgraded to probable for Sunday.
When the Titans Have the Ball
Marcus Mariota and company may feel a little bit of relief after battling a brick wall for 60 minutes last week against the Ravens, but probably not that much. The Chargers rank 13th in the NFL in total defense, 11th in run defense and 15th in scoring defense. Which is to say, it could be another long day for the Tennessee offense. Once again, it looks like Mariota or bust.
When the Chargers Have the Ball
After last week, OC Ken Wisenhunt must be thinking that this offense can do whatever they want against the Titans. And he might not be that far off. While the Ravens offense certainly didn’t flummox the Titans defense, who are by the way the NFL’s 7th-ranked total defense, they controlled them with a nearly perfect balance of running and passing—37 passing attempts to 35 rushing attempts. The Chargers employed a more run-heavy attack against the Browns last week (36 rushing attempts, 21 passing attempts) and that looks to be the way they should lean against Tennessee’s paper-thin 26th-ranked run defense.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 5 games
- Tennessee is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
- Tennessee is 1-10 SU in its last 11 games when playing LA Chargers
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
- LA Chargers is 12-6 ATS in its last 18 games
- LA Chargers is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of LA Chargers’s last 6 games
- LA Chargers is 9-0-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Tennessee
- LA Chargers is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing Tennessee
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Chargers’s last 5 games when playing Tennessee
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Clear, sunny skies with temperatures of 63 degrees are expected for this one with 64 percent humidity and 6mph winds from the west.
Rick Wise’s Pick
Tennessee has been minus an offense in three out of six games this season and certainly in the last two. It’s a miracle that they rank 30th in the league in total offense and not 32nd. While the Chargers are no juggernaut defensively, they’re good enough to cover 6.5 points against a team that averages 14.5 per outing. The over also looks like the play on the points.