While it certainly isn’t the best game of the week, the matchup between the Cardinals and Titans will most definitely mean a bunch to fans of Tennessee in Week 14. Though they haven’t really played their best football, Marcus Mariota and his Titans squad enters with an 8-4 record. They’ll be taking on a struggling Cardinals team that is simply playing out the stretch. They enter with a 5-7 record and given their recent outings – would probably rather be at home than playing football.
It looks like it’s going to go down to the wire to see who wins the AFC South. The Titans have a legitimate shot, but these are the types of contests they need to win, and easily. Can they do it and prove they’re contenders? Read on below for full game analysis and a betting prediction for Titans/Cardinals.
Titans vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Tennessee Titans -2.5 (-115)
@ Arizona Cardinals +2.5 (-105)
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Titans vs. Cardinals Pick:
I’m expecting the Titans to enter Arizona and have their way with the Cardinals on Sunday. Their offense going against the Cards’ stop unit is a big mismatch and look for Marcus Mariota and his crew to establish that early on. Arizona really only has one decent pass rusher in Chandler Jones that can be effective, and he will likely be negated by Taylor Lewan in this contest. This will allow the Titans all kinds of time and space to set up their offense. Delanie Walker and RIshard Matthews should both have time to get open downfield, and keep the chains moving.
The Cardinals also have some of the worst linebackers in the football, and they typically do not win coverage battles. This should allow them to be exploited by some of the Titans’ pass-catching backs emerging from the backfield. Both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry could be deployed effectively and use this strategy to take advantage.
Even though the Titans’ defense looked weak last time out, I’m expecting them to rebound in Arizona. The Cards’ only legitimate receiver Larry Fitzgerald, primarily plays in the slot – and as a result will likely be blanketed by promising rookie Adoree Jackson.
It will also help that the Titans are likely going to be able to apply a ton of pressure on Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert in this one. Arizona can’t protect or block and Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Jurrell Casey will all be able to beat their coverage and wreak havoc on Gabbert. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Gabbert reverting to his turnover-prone ways in Week 14.
On the ground Arizona will be missing Adrian Peterson and even with Kerwynn Williams assuming lead duties, there will likely be no room to run. Tennessee stifles opposing running games, and they actually have not allowed more than 73 rushing yards since Week 5.
This is going to force the Cards into being a one-dimensional offense and that’s bad news for Gabbert. I foresee a stellar Titans’ defensive outing, and Mariota should be able to get points when he wants on Sunday. I’m surprised this spread is so low, since this contest means a lot more for the Titans compared to Arizona. Tennessee rolls here, and it wouldn’t shock me if this entered blowout territory.
PICK = Titans -2.5 (-115)