Titans offense is the best in the league.

Are Titans the best offense in the league?

The Titans are 5-0.  Along with the Steelers and the Seahawks they are the only teams in the league with a still undefeated mark.  They have built their team around an offense that has been impossible to stop. Despite not featuring the premier names in the league they have built an offense that has a bit of old school in it while constantly evolving into the trends of the league. 

Tennessee features an offense that can do anything it wants to move the ball.  Ryan Tannahill has broken away from the cesspool that was Adam Gase to finally meet the expectations of a former first round draft pick. Ryan Tannahill since being named starter in 2019 (Week 7) has led the league in touchdown passes (40), and yards per attempt (8.6 YPA). He has the 4th highest QBR of the season (83.3), that puts him in front of Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, and Kyer Murray.  His ability to throw on the move and develop with the young receivers has made him an unstoppable force in a league that is seeing a boom in athletic quarterback play.  He has made stars of players that most teams had overlooked, AJ Brown and Jonnu Smith have emerged in this dynamic offense because Tannahill has led them to this point.  His trust in his receiving core allows him to make plays that we had not seen early in his career.  Looking at the highlights from Sunday’s victory over the Texans shows a couple of plays that utilizes his mobility (watch 2:19) and his trust of second year star AJ Brown (watch at 13:14). 

Highlights from Texans/Titans:

The Titans offense is built around the bell cow Derrick Henry.  Everyone knows he is going to get the ball but stopping him is another story.  His bruising runs punish opposing defenses to the point where they are forced to sell out to stopping him.  He currently leads the league in rushing yards by 100 more yards than the next ranked player.  He is as dominant as any player we have ever seen in the league.  The Titans added another weapon in the backfield, Jeremy McNichols, the 2017 fifth round pick out of Boise State brings a different tempo to the field when he is in the game.  He has a lot of Dion Lewis/James White in him.  He is a perfect fit to change the pace up when Henry gets a breather.  

The Titans offense is a throwback, built around the run to open up the pass.They have been able to run this efficient offesne despite being held backby multiple Covid-19 issues.  Wide receivers Adam Humphries and Corey Davis have missed time but they will all be healthy soon and this offense will continue to thrive. They are backed up by a coach that has all the confidence in his team that will allow them to go out and take chances.  The Titans are no longer a run first team that can’t be successful without Derrick Henry.  This is a team that can match up with the powerful offesnes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans are a real threat in the AFC, this offense is going to be tough to stop.

What I learned from Week 5

Aaron needs help.

443 yards and 3 touchdowns from your QB.  Most of the time that wins a game for any team, not if you are the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers didn’t have a flawless game, fumbling the ball twice in bad positions that led to two Lions scores.  He did however do enough to win the game.  The Packers continue to have an issue with the game calling.  With a defense that can’t stack up against even the most mediocre offense the Packers have to work to establish the run.  The Lions came into this game dead last in defending the run yet the Packer came out slinging the football all over the field even though they were undermanned due to injuries to Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

I get that the Packers have the best QB in all of football when he is healthy but the defense and play calling just does not do enough to complement his abilities. Mike McCarthy’s time as head coach may be up.

Mason Crosby……

The Chiefs are the best in the AFC.

I have been fighting the fact that the Chiefs are the best in the AFC, but after the domination of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday its an argument that can’t be ignored. They go against the team holding the crown on Sunday when they matchup with the New England Patriots.  Mahomes vs. Brady, the future vs the current.

The Chiefs head into Foxboro confident as they should be.  This will be a shootout, first defense to make a play will win, very intrigued!

Titans are the most confusing team in the NFL.

The Tennessee Titans continue to be a thorn in the side of bookmakers and themselves losing to the Josh Allen led Buffalo Bills on Sunday.  They still sit on top at the top of the AFC South due to two division wins over the Texans and the Jaguars accompanied by a win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.  This team seems like they should be good…but they really aren’t.

The Titans offense has become the definition of inconsistent.  Are they are running team, passing team, defensive team??? These questions continue to be a mystery to anyone that watches them play.  Losses to the Dolphins and the Bills will be something that they look back on when the playoffs are looming. These were missed opportunities that will haunt them.

The Falcons are missing the playoffs.

The Falcons have been crushed with injuries on the defensive side of the football.  Giving up 43, 37, and 41 over the last three games.  Things won’t get any easier this week as Jameis Winston and the high powered Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into Atlanta for what should be an offensive showcase. Sitting at 1-4 in a crowded NFC playoff picture this is as close to a must win as you get in week 6 of the NFL season.

With the injuries to the secondary I don’t see Atlanta have much of a chance to stop Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and underrated Chris Godwin on Sunday.  That will drop them to 1-5 and will most likely put them in the mindset of what will we be doing to rebuild for next season.  This team can’t play defense and can’t find their most valuable target Julio Jones in the Red Zone, this weekend has doom written all over it.

The NFC East stinks

The East sucks. All four NFC East teams took an L this weekend.  Two of the four were on primetime Sunday and Monday Night.  Right now the Redskins sit on top of the division with a 2-2 record.  Everyone else is under .500 and they are lucky to be there.

The Giants can’t keep their diva receivers happy.  They are 0-2 at home and don’t seem to have a clue what to do on both sides of the ball.

The Cowboys offense is in shambles.  With no go to receiver in sight teams are stacking the box to keep Zeke at bay.  This team needs another playmaker to have any chance to make a run.

The Redskins seemed like the team that had it together.  But a butt whooping at the hands of the Saints on Monday night has brought them back to reality.  The Redskins got the quarterback that Jay Gruden wanted when they traded for Alex Smith they still have the talent to win the division but a run in the playoffs seems unlikely.

The Eagles need a runningback.  Go get LeVeon Bell and become real contenders.

 

What I learned from week 4.

Greatest Show on Surf.

The LA Rams were good last season.  This season they may be unstoppable.  Adding downfield threat Brandin Cooks has opened up the middle of the field for slot receiver Cooper Kupp as well as forcing teams to play Robert Woods one on one.  This team can throw, run and control the tempo.

This team has offensive talent throughout the roster.  The Vikings defense has not been the dominant force that it was in 2017 but they still were completely dominated an overmatched.  The only defense that can maybe slow them down would be the Jaguars but they won’t have to deal with them during the season.  Every player on this team is a must start in your fantasy lineup and its not even debatable.

Steelers will finish third in the AFC North.

The Steelers fell to 1-2-1 on Sunday night getting handled easily by division rival Baltimore.  The Steelers gave up 14 points right off the bat and never truly were able to overcome the deficit.  The Steelers defense is bad and it won’t get much relief for the next two weeks.  The Falcons come to town next week followed by a trip to Cincinnati.  Both of those games are tough matchups for a Steelers defense that has given up 26. 27, and 42 over the last three games.

It is realistic that the Steelers are going to be 1-4-1 before they get the relief of the Browns coming to Pittsburgh. The Steelers also need to make a decision on what to do with their disgruntled RB LeVeon Bell, it is causing a rift in the team.  They are in trouble and are very likely to not make the playoffs this season.

Patriots still own the Dolphins and the AFC East

Last week I wrote that I learned the Patriots may be in trouble.  They were beaten on the national stage by a team that had been dominated by Sam Darnold during the first week of the season.  Then the Patriots got exactly what they needed to turn themselves around a trip to Miami against their whipping boys the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins were a mirage of 3-0 that had people buying into the potential of them winning the division.  Bill Belichick and Tom Brady quickly reminded us that they are the class of the AFC East and they are an AP class while the Dolphins are trying to work their way out of entry level.  The Patriots will not have the returning Julian Edelman next week which will only make this team even more dangerous and it will open up the playbook for Gronk and Josh Gordon.  The Pats were also able to establish rookie Sonny Michel and the run game.  This team is dangerous and I quickly have learned that you never count out the Pats.  My bad.

Titans may be for real.

I have been a hater of the Tennessee Titans since the season started.  They don’t play the brand of football that grabs your attention.  But you cannot ignore what they have done over the last three weeks.  Wins over Houston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville put the Titans at 3-1, first place in the AFC South.  They have found themselves there despite inconsistent play on the offensive end.

Corey Davis and Marcus Mariota seemed to build a rapport with each other, Davis going for 9 catches 151 yards and a touchdown yesterday against a suspect Eagles secondary.  The Titans have found the mojo with their arial attack which can open up the run game for Derrick Henry.  With the victory over the Jags the Titans sit in the drivers seat for the division and could be a tough matchup for any AFC teams.

I Talk Sports- Picks ATS (NFL, NCAAF

I will be the first to admit that a 1-4 start to my season was not ideal.  Meltdowns from the Steelers, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas were a grocery list of bad beats.  Oh and the Saints forgot how to play defense.  Luckily late adds like Penn State and the Rams kept me in good graces.  Let’s get into this weeks picks.

Houston Texans -2 at Tennessee Titans

Following the longest game in NFL history the hobbled Tennessee Titans return home to take on division foe Houston. Both teams will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the regular season.

Let’s start with the obvious, the Texans have dominated the Titans winning 9 of the last 12 meetings.  They are also 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games against the Titans.  Houston’s defense will look to bring the heat on a Marcus Mariota whom is likely to start despite an elbow injury that caused him to leave their week 1 game.  All signs point to Mariota playing on Sunday but with some injuries to the offensive line the Titans could be looking at a long day trying to stop powerhouses JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney.

The Texans have lost 8 straight games on the road but this matchup with a healthy DeShaun Watson and and a returning Will Fuller will be to much for the Titans to handle.

PicksTexans -2

 Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins -5.5

The Washington Redskins have been flying under the radar during the preseason.  The addition of Alex Smith was not a sexy one but could pay dividends during the season.  His first game was as success full as you would think completing 21 of 30 for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns against an above average Cardinals secondary.  Veteran Adrian Peterson showed he’s still got it by rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 touches. He also caught two passes for 70 yards.

The veteran Redskins will now have a chance to feast on a Colts defense that has been its achillies heel for an eternity. Statistically, they finished in the middle of the pack in total yards allowed this past Sunday. However, Andy Dalton averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, sixth-highest in Week 1, and Cincinnati gained 5.1 yards per rush as a team, second-most in Week 1. Alex Smith will have homefield advantage and the weapons necessary to pick a part the secondary.  Luck will keep the Colts in the game but the Redskins are to solid on offense to let this game slip away.  I would love this line to get to three but that won’t happen I’ll settle for where it is.

Picks Redskins -5.5

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons -6

The Carolina Panthers play a gritty style of football.  The Falcons don’t like to score in the red zone.  This game has tightly contested written all over it.  The Panthers come into Atlanta as 6 point dogs most likely due to a litany of injuries including long time tight end Greg Olsen.  Cam Newton’s go to receiver broke his foot, he will likely be out for at least three weeks.

The Falcons are dealing with their own injuries as well. The loss of Keanu Neal for the season is a huge blow to the defense, linebacker Deion Jones has also been missing practice due to a foot injury.  Other injuries for the Falcons includes mental injuries, offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian tends to forget that he has arguably the best wide receiver in football on his team in the red zone.  Matt Ryan has forgotten how to throw a pass with any velocity as well.  This game is a tough one to pick.  So I am going to go a different direction.  I am looking under for this one and leaning towards the Panthers covering.

PicksPanthers +6 and under 44.5

Ohio Bobcats at Virginia Cavaliers -3.5

Virginia fell to Indiana in week two of the college football season but they intrigued me with their ability to keep it close.  Virginia Quarterback Bryce Perkins has been good for the Cavaliers, dealing with tough weather conditions last week, he will have a favorable matchup against an Ohio secondary that was picked a part by Howard Quarterback Caylin Newton.

Virginia will need to get out to a lead quickly and not look back.  Ohio’s best option will be to play a grind it out style to control the clock.  Keep the bad secondary off the field.  I don’t think Ohio has it in them.

PicksVirginia Cavaliers -3.5

Mizzou Tigers -6.5 at Purdue Boilmakers

The season could not have started in better for the Missouri Tigers.  Two dominate offensive games.  Drew Lock looks like a legit NFL prospect, as a team they have scored 91 points in two games and have covered both weeks spreads…Lock is also averaging 396 passing yards per game over the first two.

Purdue on the other hand has not started the season they way they had envisioned.  A tough loss to Northwestern in game one was followed up last week with a surprising defeat at the hands of Eastern Michigan. A big problem for the Boilermakers has been on the offensive side of the ball. They are averaging only 23 points per game. They have also had an issue with throwing interceptions. Giving a talented offense like Mizzou multiple opportunities will lead to a long night.

PicksMissouri Tigers -6.5

James “Why Not” Pick of the Week 0-1

PicksDolphins +3

My “Why Not” pick of the week fell just short of cashing due to a late interception thrown by DeShaun Watson.  This week I am sticking with the NFL and going with The Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins will head into the 1-0 New York Jets looking to build on their upset victory over the Tennessee Titans. Sam Darnold looked great outside of his first throw of the game but I still see a rookie QB in a divisional game.  The Dolphins also have a passing attack that can be a problem for any secondary.  Establishing veteran Frank Gore alongside Kenyan Drake will also give the Dolphins a solid run game to back up Ryan Tannehill.  I am not only looking for the Dolphins to cover but I think they win outright.