Following a crushing loss last week to the powerhouse San Francisco 49ers, the Carolina Panthers will look to pick themselves up off the mat and entertain the Tennessee Titans in Week 9 action. Though both squads are in separate conferences, the playoff battle is already heating up and both the Titans and Panthers see opportunities going forward.
Carolina was dreadful in Week 8 in a cross-country showdown against the Niners. Their defense didn’t come to play, and young rookie quarterback Kyle Allen endured his first rocky start in the NFL.
Meanwhile, for the 4-4 Titans the shift at quarterback from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill seems to have paid off for now. The offense is slightly better and team seems reinvigorated. In a wide open AFC South division, a legitimate opportunity is there for the improving Titans, and they’ll be eager to capitalize on a road-weary Panthers squad come Sunday.
This game should already hold big post-season implications for both of these squads. Can Kyle Allen shake off his first down performance of his young career? It should be interesting to watch as Cam Newton inches closer to a return. Keep reading beyond the odds below for detailed game analysis and a betting prediction for Carolina vs. Tennessee in Week 9 action.
Titans vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
Tennessee Titans +3.5 (-108)
@ Carolina Panthers -3.5 (-112)
Over 42.5 (-105)
Under 42.5 (-115)
Titans vs. Panthers Pick:
Though it had been a bit of a magical start to young Kyle Allen’s quarterbacking career in the NFL, he snapped back to reality quite quickly in Week 8. Chances are, that’s more the real Kyle Allen as he finally went up against a legitimate defense, and made many poor decisions and turned the ball over.
He didn’t give his team a chance to be competitive last Sunday, and the Titans should be able to at least somewhat replicate what the Niners did with their ferocious pass rush. It also helps Tennessee that they are slated to get back Cameron Wake from injury this week, and that should result in the Titans getting to Allen early and often come Sunday. Wake, along with Jurrell Casey and Harold Landry represent a pretty elite trio of rushers, and should be able to get in Allen’s face for all four quarters. As a result, expect the Panthers to really struggle moving the chains on Sunday – especially once the Titans realize it’s literally only Christian McCaffrey that’s capable of moving the ball.
For the Titans, they have been better offensively of late with Ryan Tannehill back starting in the NFL. Though he’s feasted on some weakened defenses, Tennessee has moved the chains and shown good balance to their attack. He’s been getting solid protection from his offensive line, and guard Rodger Saffold is expected to play which is a huge boost for Tannehill’s time and space in the pocket. Having Saffold will also help to open up running lanes for Derrick Henry. We all saw how brutal Carolina’s run defense was last week in San Francisco, and look for the Titans to at least try to mimic that on Sunday.
This is a tough spot for the Panthers, with a lot of cross-country travel having been done of late, you have to wonder about their fatigue. Kyle Allen has finally been figured out, and with the Titans’ health and overall play improving – this seems like a good spot to side with a minor upset. Tennessee sees an opening in the AFC South and expect them to seize it with a big win on Sunday.