Patriots vs. Titans: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
The Tennessee Titans handed over the keys to their franchise to second-year quarterback Jake Locker. The Titans hope Locker can accomplish half the career of his Week 1 opposition: Tom Brady.
The Patriots star QB was merely a slight overthrow away from tasting his fourth Super Bowl ring last season. It's back to the drawing board in 2012; the Patriots road starts in Tennessee.
The matchup clashes two altering styles of football: the tough-nosed Titans or the scheming Patriots. Let's look into the spread, fantasy implications and make some predictions.
When: Sunday, September 9, 2012 @ 1 p.m. EST
Where: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: CBS (check local listings)
Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen (radio): 98.5 The Sports Hub (New England) or 104.5 Titans Radio (Tennessee). Sirius- Channel 92
Spread: Patriots -6 (Bovada)
Hard not to go with the Patriots to win by a touchdown or more.
Tennessee will try to play a ball-control game with a heavy dose of their rushing attack.
It may work for a little while, but Tom Brady and co. putting up points is inevitable.
Jake Locker will be pressured to put up points against the Pats once they get behind. I’m not sold on the second-year QB to handle any test beyond a game-managing role.
The opportunity for a seven-point win is too tasty to pass up New England.
Over/Under: 47 (Bovada)
The over is the play in this matchup.
This line seems perfectly placed as I think the a late touchdown will put the total over 47 points, whether the Titans get a garbage-time touchdown or the Patriots are piling on points.
Even if Tennessee is able to control field position, no distance will stop this Patriots offense from exploiting the Tennessee defense that Belichick has been planning for all year.
The Titans should be able to contribute to the total by virtue of some late-game scores. Let's not forget their kicker Rob Bironas, who possesses a strong leg for long field goals.
Key Injuries (via NFL.com)
Shane Vereen (RB)—FOOT--DID NOT PARTICIPATE
Nick McDonald (OL)--SHOUDLER--DID NOT PARTICIPATE
Sterling Moore (CB)--KNEE--LIMITED PARTICIPATION
Sebastian Vollmer (OT)--BACK--LIMITED PARTICIPATION
Patrick Chung (S)--FULL PARTICIPATION
Sen’Derrick Marks (DT)—KNEE--DID NOT PARTICIPATE
Jurrell Casey (DT)—FULL PARTICIPATION
Big Fantasy Play
Brandon Lloyd (Patriots)
The Patriots have so many weapons to account for, including a pair of stud tight ends down the seams.
That leaves Pats new acquisition Brandon Lloyd to reap the benefits of single coverage.
The Titans defense will have to choose between guarding Wes Welker or Lloyd at the receiver position; the latter will sneak behind the defense for a couple deep gains and a touchdown hookup.
Without any game tape of what to expect from Brady and Lloyd together, the tandem will surprise the Titans game plan.
Chris Johnson (Titans)
Call me a fantasy frontrunner, but Johnson will have a big day against the middling Patriots run defense.
The Titans will look to run early and often to keep the Patriots offense at bay. As the main cog in Tennessee, Johnson will be on display.
Locker will rely on Johnson in the passing game as well and the running back is a YAC-machine. Sounds ideal for fantasy owners if the Titans get behind early.
Not to mention this guy has world-class speed, and regardless of the opposition he can break a big play at any point.
Keys to Victory
Tennessee: Pressure Tom Brady Endlessly
How do you stop the Patriots? Look no further than the New York Giants' game plan.
The Titans have some injury concerns on the defensive line, but Kamieron Wimbley and Derrick Morgan have the ability to give the revamped Patriots line fits.
Weaker play in the secondary without Cortland Finnegan warrants even better pressure from the defensive line this season. Tom Brady isn’t the opponent they want to allow to sit in the pocket.
New England Patriots: Force Jake Locker into Third and Longs
While the Patriots offense gets all the publicity, Tennessee’s offense has the potential to keep them off the field for extended stretches.
If Vince Wilfork and co. can prevent the Titans rushing attack from moving the chains, more Jake Locker takes the Titans out of their comfort zone.
Locker’s accuracy issues have been documented time and time again. Forcing the second-year quarterback to force the issue should be too much too soon for the youngster.
Patriots 31, Titans 20
The Titans will get off to a strong start at home, but the Patriots offense will prove to be too explosive.
Tom Brady has too many weapons for the Titans to account for and will turn this matchup into a shootout.
Once Locker and co. show up, the touchdowns will be too late.
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