The Los Angeles Rams look to finish up their improbably 2017 with a strong push into the postseason. As they stand now, the Rams would be hosting a Wild Card Round game if the postseason started today. The Falcons would be going to Los Angeles. They control their own destiny at this point, and if they can hold on, will be hosting a postseason game at the LA Coliseum. Jeff Fisher isn’t around to botch this, so we’ll see what the future brings the Rams. In Week 16, they go to Tennessee where they’ll be pitted against a hungry Titans team who are just trying to find the postseason. They have only themselves to blame. It shouldn’t be this hard, but they’ve allowed games to get away that they should have won and here they are.
The Titans caught a low-blow the last two weeks, as they lost games against beatable teams, the Cardinals and 49ers. Wins were staring them right in the face, but the Titans didn’t want it badly enough. They currently hold a record of 8-6 which puts them at the cusp of the postseason. The Titans were dealt a blow with the Ravens beating the Colts yesterday, but it was pretty well expected they’d win. The Titans need to win this game to stay on track for the postseason. If they beat the Rams, they have a chance to potentially clinch against the Jags next week.
This would have been a lot easier if they could have at least won one of those games out west. There were no excuses for losing to the 49ers. They could make up for it with a win over the sizzling hot Rams, though. The Rams have gone 7-2 in their last nine to bring their record to 10-4 overall. Jared Goff took that bust tag that people were jumping at the chance to throw on him and buried it 6 feet under ground. I still want to see another season of results like this, but Goff has silenced more than a few doubters in 2017. He’s thrown 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for a QB rating of 98.9. Goff has been looking like the guy the Rams envisioned he’d be when they drafted him. We’ll see what Sunday has in store for him on Sunday.
L.A. Rams vs. Tennessee Titans Betting Odds:
vs. Titans +7(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rams vs. Titans Pick:
It’s time for Marcus Mariota to have a signature game. He’s been flat, the entire offense has been flat, and given the talent it’s inexcusable. Not every quarterback has a Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray to hand it off to. Mariota has this luxury, but he’s been unable to get the offense zipping. He is a bad year away in 2018 from losing a job. Mariota has regressed significantly after his knee injury. He threw for 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions a year ago, and that’s fallen to 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2017. He’s also rushed for 5 touchdowns. Mariota is currently battling through a sprained knee but has been able to play.
Derrick Henry has emerged as the starter in the backfield. He owns a 4.8 average per carry, while Murray has struggled to get on track with a 3.6 average. They’re sharing carries, but it’s clear that Henry is the clear-cut favorite in the backfield. The Titans are averaging 316.1 yards per game for 22nd in the NFL. On paper, just by looking at their roster, you would expect those numbers to be better. Their defense has been holding their own with 329.8 yards allowed per game, 13th in the NFL. The Rams are a shade better in that regard, with 328.9 yards allowed per game. Armed with Goff and Todd Gurley, the Rams are scoring at a clip of 31.3 points per game.
The Titans should feel much more comfortable at home after their two-game trip in the west. They’ve been a force at home with wins over the Seahawks, Colts, Ravens, Bengals, and Texans, a record of 5-1. Their only loss at home came in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders. I expect us to see a rejuvenated Tennessee team on Sunday. The line on this game is due to the Titans previous two shoddy performances, but they’ve been a rock at home. We should see a different team in Nashville in a do-or-die spot. Look for a close contest throughout, with the Titans offering plenty of resistance.
PICK: TITANS +7 (-115)