The Tennessee Titans opened the 2018 season on the road in Week 1 only to fall in Miami. Ryan Tannehill made his return to the starting lineup, and like his career, it was an up and down affair. He tossed 2 touchdowns but also had 2 interceptions. There was no up for Marcus Mariota, though. In what is a critical year for him, he fell on his face in the first act of 2018. Mariota got banged up after passing for 103 yards and 2 interceptions.
The Dolphins’ defense posed plenty of issues for Mariota and then Blaine Gabbert who threw an additional interception. Between Mariota and Gabbert, they passed for 220 yards and 3 interceptions. Not a good look at all for a team who was expected to be a breakout candidate of 2017. They reached the playoffs and won a game, but it all felt a bit hollow, like they didn’t belong there almost. The Titans sneaked past the Chiefs, 22-21, and then met the Patriots the following week.
I wasn’t impressed despite going to the playoffs and management apparently wasn’t either. Mike Vrabel was hired to get the Titans over the hump and live up to expectations, but if Week 1 was any indication it’s going to be a work-in-progress. Nobody has much more patience for Mariota, though. He has to do something within the next two years, or the Titans are going to be in search for their next quarterback. If he continues to struggle, at least he had more than a career than Jake Locker in Tennessee, that’s one way to look at it.
The Texans had the Patriots in Foxborough in Week 1 and came up short by a score of 27-20, the same score as the Titans last week. However, the Pats are a little bit more of a challenge than the Dolphins. The Patriots handed the Texans a late score to but the lead to a touchdown. Riley McCarron muffed a punt return to give the Texans a free score.
McCarron was swiftly cut the next day, so the Pats weren’t too keen on his screw up. Deshaun Watson was okay with 176 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He’s operating behind a very bad offensive line, so I wouldn’t expect him to just jump right back at put up huge numbers. The Texans are going to have to address it to help Watson out in the future. Head below for our free Texans vs. Titans pick from Tennessee in Week 2 of the NFL.
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans NFL Week 2 Betting Odds:
vs. Titans +3(-110)
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Texans vs. Titans Pick:
There are a lot of expectations for Deshaun Watson this season, there is no doubt about that. Is it fair to him, though? I don’t necessarily think with this offensive line he has to work with that it’s too fair to expect the world from him. He looked sharp as ever as a rookie before going out with the knee injury.
Watson passed for 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 269 yards rushing and an additional 2 touchdowns on the ground. With those kinds of results, yeah, there are going to be lofty expectations. However, I would pull the reigns in and take a look at their offensive line first. For the Titans to win this ball game, they’re going to do it by bullying the Texans in the trenches.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Texans have the worst offensive line in football at 32nd. They were bad last season, but Watson made it work with his legs being slippery in the pocket. He’s coming off a knee surgery, though, so I don’t think the Texans want him running around with reckless abandoned. The Texans are hoping that a fourth-round selection, Martinas Rankin, can hold up after Seantrel Henderson broke his ankle against the Patriots. So, things went from bad to worse for the Texans heading into Nashville.
The Texans’ offensive line is going to have issues in this game with Jurrell Casey. He quietly went about his business last season and had a Pro Bowl season with the Titans. That line is also going to have to worry about Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan coming off the edge. They combined for 18 sacks a season ago. The defense forced Tannehill into a couple of mistakes last week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get to Watson in Tennessee.
Mariota is expected to play, but if he struggles the Titans may go with Gabbert. When your head coach says that both quarterbacks may play, it doesn’t sound like there is much confidence in the starter. After that pitiful performance last week, I look for Mariota to look more comfortable at home. However, he is going to be without Delanie Walker, and his offensive line is banged up as well. Taylor Lewan will be out after suffering a concussion last week. I think it’s going to be difficult for both offensive lines in this game to get something going. This should be an ugly one, with a low-scoring final coming to fruition in Nashville.