Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots
The Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots kick off their 2012 NFL seasons as they face off in Nashville on Sunday. The Patriots are -7 point favorites over the Titans with an over/under point total set at 47.5.
The Tennessee Titans had a strong finish to last season but came up short as they were unable to overcome their slow start but they appear armed and ready for this year. At QB Jake Locker gets the start over Matt Hasselbeck as he has looked solid in action last season and in the preseason. Chris Johnson gets a full camp this year after holding out last year as he looks to regain his Pro Bowl form. Kenny Britt is suspended for this one but rookie Kendall Wright and Nate Washington will try to pick up the slack< The Titans tried to improve their offensive line as the picked up future Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson but we’ll see how much he has left in the tank. On defense the Titans look to better their pass rush as they picked up Kamerion Wimbley who knows how to bring pressure. Colin McCarthy has developed into a steady MLB and Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux and the rest of the Titans secondary will be tested early and often in this one. This is a big game for the Titans as facing the defending AFC Champs should prove to be a nice barometer of where they stand.
The New England Patriots are thinking only one thing this season: getting back to and winning the Super Bowl. QB Tom Brady took last year’s loss in the Super Bowl hard and he is focused and ready for this season. Wes Welker is back as is Brandon Lloyd but Brady loves going to the tight ends and in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez he has two very good ones. Stevan Ridley takes over at running back for the Pats and he will be spelled by Shane Vereen among others. Defensively New England simply gave up too many yards and too many points and while they were able to outscore most of their opponents they couldn’t do it when it counted most. Vince Wolfork still anchors the defensive line and Chandler Jones was drafted to improve the pass rush. Dont’a Hightower will start as a rookie at OLB and Jerrod Mayo may be the Patriots best defender. New England is hoping a healthy Patrick Chung improves the secondary along with Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty as if New England is going to be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy they will need the defense to be able to stop people. New England are the favorites to win the AFC once again and it all starts here for them.
Tennessee is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home games, 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five games against AFC teams, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five openers. New England is 49-24-3 against the spread in their last 76 road games and 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games on natural grass.
Home openers have a lot more emotion involved even at the pro level and this one will really be all about the Titans being able to slow down the Patriots’ offense and being able to run the ball themselves. I am not sure the Titans can pull off the upset but getting nearly a touchdown at home it’s tough not to take the points.
Tennessee Titans +7 New England Patriots