Week 9 NFL Picks - Tennessee Titans vs San Diego Chargers

Tennessee Titans players celebrating

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 3, 2016 3:09 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 3:09 PM GMT

The Tennessee Titans invade sunny San Diego as they prepare to face the Chargers on Sunday afternoon. Let’s review the NFL odds on this one and build our bankroll.

 

Swinger’s Overall 2016 NFL Record: 18-17 (after Week 8)Tennessee Titans vs San Diego Chargers 

If you want a stat that really tells a tale then I submit this one. The Tennessee Titans rank 2nd in the league in yards per pass when tight end Delanie Walker is on the field, but plummet to 27th in that category when he is off the field. Do ya think QB Marcus Mariota has a best buddy? The Titans aerial attack, in general, is in the bottom third of the league with an average of 225 passing yards per contest (26th). But that meager number has more to do with a lack of weapons at the wide receiver position than Mariota’s lack of ability. However, Tennessee has seen an uptick in their passing attack with the return of Kendall Wright.

The problem for the Titans in this game is the relentless pass rush led by Joey Bosa, the rookie holdout who has been even better than advertised. Coupled with Melvin Ingram, they form a menacing one-two punch and should give Mariota plenty of pressure. But the good news for Tennessee backers is that the Titans have a pair of spectacular tackles in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin defending Mariota who should be a stern test for the 6’6” Bosa and his counterpart Ingram.

But passing is not what the Titans are all about as they have DeMarco Murray and former Heisman winner Derrick Henry in the backfield who are prone to blowing away defensive fronts. They are both power backs with deceptive speed and the run game could easily open up lines of the vertical attack. The issue there is that the Chargers have two fine cornerbacks in Casey Hayward and Brandon Flowers who are equipped to stifle a pedestrian receiving corps, Delanie Walker excluded, with relative ease.

Both teams have fine run stop units with the Titans ranking 5th, allowing 82.5 rushing yards/game while the Chargers trail right behind them at No. 6, allowing 86 yards per contest. The Chargers have the elite Melvin Gordon in their backfield while the Titans have a two-headed monster in Murray and Henry. Both running attacks are good enough to do damage even against those stout run defenses.

 

Final Analysis

The NFL odds makers have given, in my mind, a considerable head start to the Titans in this one. Phillip Rivers can move the chains as we all know and is opposed by the 20th ranked passing defense this coming Sunday, which bodes well for the Bolts aerial assault. Yet, top San Diego receivers Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin are both dealing with nagging knee injuries and are not premier threats. Don’t discount that fact despite San Diego’s 7th ranked passing attack. My take is that the Marcus Mariota to Delanie Walker connection coupled with the bruising rushing attack of Tennessee should be more than enough to allow them to stay within the posted number. Make the Titans one of your NFL picks this Sunday.

 Free NFL Pick: Tennessee Titans +5 Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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