The Tennessee Titans travel to face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6, and will meet the fifth top-10 defense the team has encountered this season. Tennessee has been one of the many bold new contenders to step forward in the current campaign after a free-agency raid during the offseason.
The Titans head into Week 6 with a 3-2 record and are fighting to stay afloat until their starting quarterback is able to return to action. In Seattle, they face a serious Super Bowl contender coming off its first loss of the season.
It will take quite a bit for the boys in two-tone blue to come out with a win after this weekend's action, but here's what they need/will do to keep the ship headed in the right direction.
That's right—I'm coming out of the gates swinging for these bold predictions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had to shake off a lot of rust last week, starting off 1-of-9 before finally getting the passing game going.
Ask Tony Romo what throwing for 500 yards and five touchdowns got him.
Russell Wilson has quietly thrown an interception in each of the last four games. In fact, the Seahawks have committed two turnovers in each of the last three contests.
The Titans have forced 11 turnovers and rank second in the league in turnover differential. If not for a fluky "fumble" on the team's first punt return, the Titans would come out even for turnovers in last week's action.
The Titans will extend the Seahawks' turnover trend by one more week and force three.
We all saw Chris Johnson scamper into the end zone from 49 yards after Ryan Fitzpatrick showed some improvisational skills, pitching him the ball on a busted play last weekend.
While I'm sure the sight of Johnson showing off his speed and elusiveness in the open field doesn't hurt, there is another reason for this particular prediction.
Fitzpatrick was 0-of-8 with an interception on passes traveling 15 or more yards downfield on Sunday, according to this week's ESPN Power Rankings. The eight attempts on such throws is the most a quarterback has had in a game this season without a completion.
If offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains wants to keep his team in the game, he will have designed the game plan around quick passes. That may have you thinking of Kendall Wright, but the Titans' receiving corps is in a state of flux, and Kenny Britt continues to receive snaps.
After seeing the success he had last week, and facing the pressure of Seattle's impressive front seven, Fitzpatrick will find CJ2K early and often.
While the Seahawks defense has been highly touted, the Titans defense is no slouch itself. Seattle's defense is ranked sixth overall, having played against the offenses ranked No. 32, No. 25, No. 24th, No. 13 and No. 7.
The Titans, on the other hand, have played against offenses ranked No. 19, No. 17, No. 14th, No. 7 and No. 5. There's a clear disparity in the quality of offenses each team has faced, yet Tennessee's defense is still ranked ninth overall.
The conversation seems to be aimed directly at the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick and his propensity for throwing interceptions, but Russell Wilson has thrown four picks and has been sacked 15 times this season.
Wilson was hurried 22 times, hit six and sacked twice against the Indianapolis Colts during Week 5, and the Titans pose a more serious threat as a blitz-heavy team. One thing the Titans will need to do, however, is put a spy on Wilson.
I'm expecting Fitzpatrick to throw for more yards than Wilson in this week's tilt.