Joe Public, how you doing? 78% bets can’t scare me away from this Titans game, as much as my inner contrarian wants it to. Before we dive into why I love the Titans, this week, let’s look at the Vikings:
- Coming into the season, the Vikings had a LOT of turnover on defense, losing six key veterans. What does that mean exactly? They lost a combined 281 starts, 9 pro bowls, 62.5 sacks, 19 interceptions, and 16 forced fumbles.
- The Vikings of course made replacements, but even in pre-season, there were murmurs of a defensive letdown, to which Coach Zimmer said there would be growing pains, but they have 16 weeks to figure out.
- Weeks 1 and 2? Safe to say they haven’t quite figured it out.
- The Vikings are currently ranking 20th in defensive efficiency (down from 4th in 2019), giving up 43 points to the Packers in Week 1 and 28 points to the Colts in Week 2.
- On top of that, they’re ranking 23rd in Rush D-Eff, and have to face the ferocious Derrick Henry in Week 3.
Tennessee on the other hand has been a mixed bag so far in 2020: 2-0 yet 0-2 ATS. Of course, this includes Gostkowski leaving 10 points on the board for an easy win/cover in week 1 against Denver, and they allowed 13 4Q points last week to JAX to make the game far more interesting than it probably should have been. Dare I say they were looking past JAX to MINN? Perhaps, perhaps not - but I think that bodes well for the Titans this week.
The Titans offense has seemingly picked up where they left off, ranking 9th in O-EFF, but looking under the hood, that reveals that they’re currently 2nd in Pass Efficiency and 24th in Rush Efficiency. Surprisingly, the pass efficiency is nothing new: Henry’s presence on the ground opens up the air for Tannehill, and he’s taken care of the ball (they ranked 5th last season and 6th in rushing). This week poses an excellent “get-right” spot for Henry, as MINN defense ranks 23rd against the run, mentioned above.
Tannehill has found a strong connection with tight end Jonnu Smith while Corey Davis and Adam Humphries have looked like reliable targets, and as such, the Titans offense should keep rolling this week (especially vs. MINN 19th ranked Pass D-EFF).
Kirk Cousins has looked lost without Stephon Diggs to blow the top off of coverage (coming off an abysmal 133 yard, 3INT effort vs. the Colts), and while he should bounce back, it won’t be enough to get past a solid Tenn Defense.
Taking the Titans -2.5