(Mandatory Image Credit: George Walker IV / Tennessean.com)
Written By: Joseph Yun
The Titans travel to Landover to take on the reeling Commanders franchise looking for a life raft. Can Tennessee escape the DMV with a winning record in tow? History says that they will play down to the competition and make it a struggle. Washington desperately needs a victory after losing three straight contests. Will the Titans get after a shaky offensive line and take down a familiar friend in Carson Wentz? Can Wentz find his targets against a wounded secondary to pull off an upset?
Commanders' key numbers + info
HC: Ron Rivera (91-85-1 career; 15-22 w/ Washington)
OC: Scott Turner
DC: Jack Del Rio
2022 Record: 1-3 (0-2 NFC EAST)
PPG Against: 26.8
Rush yards: 402
Rush yards allowed: 448
Avg. per rush attempt: 4.1
Avg per attempt allowed: 4.8
Pass completion rate: 62%
Pass completion allowed: 57%
Leading Rusher: Antonio Gibson (53 attempts for 173 yards and two touchdowns)
Leading Receiver: Terry McLaurin (14 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown)
Leading Tackler: Cole Holcomb (32 tackles, 18 tackle assists, one pass defense)
Key Additions: WR Jahan Dotson (rookie), OL Andrew Norwell, OL Trai Turner, QB Carson Wentz, K Joey Slye, RB Brian Robinson (rookie)
Key Losses: OL Ereck Flowers, DT Matt Ioannidis, DE Chase Young (PUP), DE Ryan Kerrigan (retired), C Chase Roullier (IR), DL Phi Mathis (IR/rookie)
Keys to a Titans Victory
Jekyll and Hyde
- The first half Titans are swaggering giants of the league Second half Tennessee are mere church mice looking for tiny breadcrumbs. Is this run of inconsistency going to continue for a staff that’s running out of ideas postscript indefinitely? It’s absolutely imperative that they get this issue corrected or it will be a doomed season.
- Rookie receiver Treylon Burks is sidelined for likely multiple weeks with a turf toe injury. Robert Woods is emerging as the clear-cut WR1. Who will step up in Burks’ role of WR2? There are a host of options including veteran Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Josh Gordon, Dez Fitzpatrick, and/or Kyle Philips. Rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo could be split out wide in some creative packages if need be.
The Titans are on a record pace to come close to or shatter their unwanted record for players used due to injury. The defense in particular has been hit hard with three linebackers out this week plus numerous secondary members listed as questionable. Man management will essential to get by an inferior in theory opponent this week. A broken record but it’s a constant worry about these injuries stacking up at key positions. Mike Vrabel and company will be strained to replace production as it is.
Keys to a Commanders Victory
Which defense will show up?
- The one during the first two games of the season where they allowed 314 rushing yards? Or will the defense that has limited run yards to a measly 134? Much will be determined by that factor. The Commanders are square in the middle in terms of rush defense with a 112 per game. Can the famed defensive line featuring Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen stop the even more infamous Titans’ rushing attack led by Derrick Henry?
Carson Wentz Nightmare?
- Speaking of enigmatic forces, which Carson Wentz will appear? Wentz to true-to-form has been wholly inconsistent as seen in his career. He has all the physical tools but has been turnover prone more than ever this year to date. Can he rebound against an injury-ravaged Titans secondary?
- Let’s just say it's a gross mismatch given the condition of the trenches of the Commanders and Titans. Wentz has been sacked 17 times thus far or a shade over four per game, including 11 times during the past two weeks. The run game hasn’t been overly productive, either. If the Commanders want to pull off the upset at home, they will need to get this unit in tip-top shape and quickly. The running game will need to get going against one of the worst run defenses in the league. Aiding the Commanders will be the imminent return of rookie rusher Brian Robinson who was activated on Saturday. Not aiding the Commanders on Sunday will be injuries ruling out Sam Cosmi and starting backup linemen at key spots. They will be tasked with the unenviable duty of stopping Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, and emergent talent Rashad Weaver.
Injury Report - Titans @ Colts
What are the Odds?
BetMGM has the Titans being 1.5-point favorites at -110, the money line at -130 for Tennessee, and the Commanders at +110. over/under is set at 43.
Caesar’s has the Titans being 1.5-point favorites at -110, the money line at -130 for Tennessee, and the Commanders at +110. The over/under is set at 43.
WynnBet has the Titans being two-point favorites at -110, the money line at -130 for Tennessee, and the Commanders at +110. The over/under is set at 43.
DraftKings has the Titans being 1.5-point favorites at -110, the money line at -130 for Tennessee, and the Commanders at +110. over/under is set at 43.