After an offensive skid and a rough two games, the Titans travel to London to play the Chargers. I, for one, am very excited to be able to watch this game. London Games are very unpredictable and the outcome is very much up in the air, despite the Chargers being favored by almost a touchdown. These 3 matchups need to be won in order for the Titans to win.
1 – Titans WRs vs Chargers DBs
The Titans receivers haven’t been got at all over the last couple weeks. They’ve dropped the ball and struggled to get seperation on a lot of plays. The Chargers secondary is no slouch as well. Despite missing star Jason Verrett they have former pro bowler Casey Hayward, and future star Derwin James. Corey Davis will have his work cut out for him trying to seperate from Hayward, but he does have the physical edge, as he is 6”2 compared to the 5”11 frame of Hayward.
In order to win this game, seperation and holding onto the ball will be critical. Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe need to win and give some help to an offensive line constantly facing blitzes. Last week, Marcus Mariota held on to the ball and got sacked far too often, and while some blame can be deflected onto the offensive line and Mariota himself, the receivers need to do a better job.
2 – Taylor Lewan vs. Chargers pass rushers
The Chargers have a terrific defense, but it has been decimated by injuries. Their best defensive player, Joey Bosa, will not play. Additionally, EDGE Kyzir White will also miss the game. The front 7 for the chargers is incredibly thin, but they do have star Melvin Ingram III available. Expect the Titans to get blitzed a lot given how poor the offensive line was last week, giving up 11 sacks.
Mike Herndon at Music City Miracles made an interesting point that Taylor Lewan’s foot injury limits his quickness off the snap, making him more susceptible to speed rushes. Usually, teams want to put their best pass rushers against opposing right tackles, but given Lewan’s injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Lewan and Ingram, two of the best in the business, duking it out.
3 – Titans Secondary vs. Keenan Allen
Last week, the Titans made Michael Crabtree look like he was 5 years younger. Crabtree went for 6-93-1, mostly on Malcolm Butler. Allen is a better player than Crabtree, and will be tougher to guard. Tyrell Williams and RB Austin Ekeler can also be problems for the Titans pass defense that has been decent, but nothing special.
I doubt Butler gets to face Allen. He’s struggled mightily this season and looks like he may have been a poor free agent signing. Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson have been solid this season, so expect them to draw Allen in coverage.
Game pick: Chargers 20, Titans 17
London is an unpredictable setting, but the Chargers are playing great football now. Titan up!