The Detroit Lions suddenly look like a rejuvenated group under new head coach Jim Bob Cooter. Going back to last season, the Lions are 7-2 straight up in their past nine contests, and fresh off a week one victory against the Colts, they’ll be looking to continue that run against another AFC South team.
The Titans meanwhile enter with a bunch of optimism, but still some clear flaws. In a wide open AFC South, it’s not unreasonable to suggest Tennessee has a shot, but they’ll need to be better than they were last week against the Vikings on home soil. Tennessee showed some holes on defense and all in all turned in a disappointing showing. Expect a better and hungrier group with added focus here in Week 2.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Lions are for real in 2016 and if they can keep this wave of momentum going. The Titans are an intriguing, young group that can pose problems for the hottest of teams. It promises to be a match-up to keep your eye on during the early slate of Sunday afternoon’s games, so read on below for some added detailed analysis and a betting prediction for Titans/Lions.
Titans vs. Lions Betting Odds:
Tennessee Titans +6 (-105)
@ Detroit Lions -6 (-115)
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Titans vs. Lions Pick:
The Detroit Lions can score, that’s no secret. Even with the sudden retirement of former star wideout Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford still has some talented receivers at his disposal. Detroit looked solid on offense in Week 1, albeit against a very pedestrian Colts’ stop unit, but they remain a group that can score their way out of trouble.
And that is certainly a good thing, because their defense still leaves a ton to be desired. For starters, their pass rush is simply non-existent. In Week 1 against Andrew Luck, it was imperative for them to generate some pressure and as a group, the Lions just couldn’t do it. Now in Week 2 against another young QB in Marcus Mariota, Detroit will again struggle getting to the quarterback. Mariota oozes talent and potential, and with time and space, he’s got the ability to pick apart a questionable Detroit secondary. Tennessee is also a much better blocking team than Indianapolis, so look for the Titans to be able to move the ball through the air on Sunday. Expect big games from youngster Tajae Sharpe, and one of the league’s most underrated tight-ends in Delanie Walker.
The key to Tennessee’s attack this year though is likely through the ground game and establishing the passing game with a solid start in the run game. They play a smash-mouth brand of football, and with big backs such as the veteran DeMarco Murray and the rookie Derrick Henry at their disposal, the Titans should be able to run through a lot of defenses. Minnesota last week was the exception, likely explaining why their offense sputtered. The Lions are nowhere near as beefy or talented in their front-seven as the Vikes, and as such the Titans should steamroll right through Detroit’s defensive line, putting pressure on their linebackers.
On defense, Tennessee will definitely try and should succeed in turning the Lions into a simple, one-dimensional offense. Their run game leaves a lot to be desired, and the Titans are quite adept at slowing down the ground and pound. The Titans totally limited Adrian Peterson last week and should be able to handle the unproven duo of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. It won’t be all that easy, but if Tennessee can have the luxury to sit back and focus on the passing game, the Titans have a shot at limiting the Lions’ high-powered aerial attack.
The line for this match-up was set at 3.5 points just before Week 1 and the Lions victory over the Colts. It has sailed to 6 points now, way too much of an overreaction to just one game. People are even talking about the Detroit Lions as playoff contenders now, which seems a tad early and excessive. Marcus Mariota is a high-rising talent and should be able to pick apart the Lions both in the air and with his feet. On defense, look for the Titans to keep Detroit one-dimensional en route to a tough, back-and-forth, high-scoring contest throughout. I see Detroit squeaking it out late, but Tennessee will certainly be with them every step of the way.
PICK = Titans +6 (-105)