There are a few underachievers in the NFL this season. Off the top of your head, you can name the Oakland Raiders right off the bat. You can find another underachiever in Nashville, the Tennessee Titans. The Titans were pegged as a breakout candidate of 2017, and while they can still reach the postseason and do damage, they haven’t gotten off to an inspiring start to the year.
The Titans enter Week 9 with a record of 4-3, so they could go one way or the other. There hasn’t been a team that has really exploded this season yet, and the Titans could still possibly get hot. The responsibility of their resurgence was put on quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Titans were looking at a breakout year, as was Mariota. Mariota hasn’t been great, but if he turns it around, the Titans should flourish.
The Honolulu native and former Oregon signal caller has passed for just 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The only game that has stood out was against the Seahawks, where he passed for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Mariota hasn’t passed for more touchdowns than interceptions in any other game this season. Note, though, Mariota is coming off an injury from last season, so he could have just been shaking off the cobwebs through the first-half of the season. The Titans are certainly hoping that’s the case.
The Titans are coming off what should have been a much more comfortable win over the Browns. They won, but is a 12-9 win over the Browns in overtime really a win? It counts in the win column, but in the column of popular opinion, people are not going to be so quick to want to say they deserved a victory. Meanwhile, the Ravens had a much different story on Thursday night a week ago, demolishing the Dolphins for a final score of 40-0. Joe Flacco needed a game like that. We’ll see if they can carry it over to Tennessee on Sunday. Head below for our free Ravens vs. Titans pick.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans Betting Odds:
vs. Titans -3.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ravens vs. Titans Pick:
Flacco really had to settle down and find a rhythm, which he had against the Dolphins. The Dolphins didn’t provide any resistance, allowing 40 points while scoring none. Flacco didn’t play bad, but they didn’t need him past the 2nd quarter. He passed for only 101 yards and a touchdown. The key was that he looked comfortable in the pocket and avoided making mistakes. He’s been prone to turning the ball over this season, which he didn’t do against the Dolphins. Running back Alex Collins ran well with 113 yards on 18 carries for the best game of his career.
Flacco also didn’t last through the entire contest. He was rocked on a crushing hit from Kiki Alonso on a slide deep in Miami territory. Ryan Mallett played out the rest of the contest, in other words, hand the ball off and kill the clock. Flacco is listed a questionable, but is expected to get the start on Sunday. He needs all the time he can get to improve his dreadful numbers. Flacco enters with 6 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on the year. It equates to an abysmal QB rating of 72.3. He is 31st out of 32 starting quarterbacks in that regard. The only quarterback who has been worse is rookie DeShone Kizer.
Despite rattling off 40 points against the Dolphins, the Ravens on the year, are only averaging 280 yards per game, 31st in the NFL. They will be down a running back again, as Terrance West has already been ruled out. I don’t know if Collins can have a repeat performance here on the road. The Titans are pretty good at defending the run, allowing 100 yards rushing per game. Tight end Delanie Walker, and receivers Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin are all questionable.
Note that wide receiver Corey Davis is reportedly due back for the Titans in the passing game this week. Davis was selected in the first-round out of Western Michigan as one of the most electrifying players in college football. I expect some regency bias in affect this week. Ravens blew out the Dolphins, and the Titans barely beat the Browns. So, it must mean the Ravens win or keep it within 3 points, right? It doesn’t exactly work like that. The Titans should win and cover.
PICK: TITANS -3.5 (-110)