The Carolina Panthers put their perfect record on the road this Sunday against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. Mariota has appeared this season to be the quarterback that the Titans have longed for. However, lets not jump to conclusions on Mariota, I’m not even going to come to a conclusion on him at the end of this season. How many quarterbacks have shown promise in the early stages of their career and went on to slowly fade away? A lot. So, jumping in and playing well is no indication if it is going to translate to a successful career in the NFL. Vince Young, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin all come to mind. Mentally, Mariota looks better than the other three abovementioned quarterbacks in my opinion. That is subjective, but it always felt like to me that all three of them wouldn’t be able to keep their heads straight with the schedule of the NFL. Very talented guys, but I believe all three didn’t have clear heads that lead to their demise. Mariota looks cool, calm, and somebody that can handle the pressure of being an NFL quarterback.
Mariota has currently passed for 1610 yards with 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The Titans were wise to turn him into a pure pocket passer. He can scramble when need be, but he isn’t running the ball nearly as much as he did at Oregon. Again, look at Young, Kaepernick, and Griffin who were abused with many hits over a short time. The Titans are keeping him away from that damage. Mariota never played under center at Oregon. The only time is when they went into the victory formation to take a knee. In the NFL Mariota has had to make some adjustments and he has welcomed them well. He also owns a 101.5 quarterback rating, which looks good for a guy that has only played in the NFL for under three months.
He isn’t going to have some defense on the other side that gives Mariota much room to work with. The Titans have the Panthers on their hands this afternoon. A Panthers team that hasn’t been garnering much respect in my opinion. I hear people allude to the fact that the Panthers are the new Seattle Seahawks, I’m not going to go that far just yet, but I do want to say they aren’t getting much respect. This season in the NFL there are a lot of bad teams and a lot of good teams, the Panthers fall in the good category. The Titans lean towards the not so good side, but they have shown some good things at times. Big test for them today as the Panthers come to Nashville for a visit.
Carolina Panthers vs. Tennessee Titans NFL
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Titans Pick:
This would be a big one for the Titans if they could win against the Panthers. Not so much for making the playoffs or anything, because they aren’t going to do that, but confidence wise it would be huge for Mariota. The Panthers are 8-0 and have avoided the letdown spot frequently this season. This is another one of those games where the lines makers are expecting a letdown spot from the Panthers. That is the only reason I can conclude from this line of -4. Makes you scratch your head a bit. Take a look at the Panthers, who have fended off the doubters all season long. Carolina has won four straight games against well above average teams. Including the Packers last week, Colts, Eagles, and Seahawks. Now with the Titans in store, they’re going to lose?
This is one of those games where you look like a genius or a moron. Take the Titans and they win, you look like a genius. Take the Titans and they lose, then you are a moron for betting against the Panthers. Tennessee lost six straight games before beating the Saints on overtime last week. Losses against teams like the Texans and Dolphins. The Panthers are 2nd in the NFL running the football. The Titans are great against the pass, but the Panthers are not going to play into that trap and air it out in this game. They are going to try and take advantage of the 17th ranked ground defense in the league. This makes too much sense, but I can’t fade the Panthers the way they have been playing.
PICK: PANTHERS -4 (-110)