2015 NFL Preview – Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans

This NFL Week 7 meeting between the Atlanta Falcons (5-1) and the Tennessee Titans (1-4) will start at 1 pm on Sunday. The Falcons will pit their solid offense against a fairly effective Titian defense. In the end, this game is most likely to come down to two factors- how well Atlanta’s running game can perform and whether or not Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota is healthy enough to play.

Atlanta Offense vs. Titans Defense

Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has performed effectively this season. Ryan brings a 92.9 QB Rating and a 65.5% COMP rate into this game. He’s tossed 8 TDS, 4 INTs, and been sacked 14 times. Ryan has some very fine receivers to throw to, including Julio Jones who leads the team with 49 receptions and four touchdown catches. Jones, who has been dealing with a hamstring, is listed as probable for Sunday. The rush attack is well grounded with DeVonta Freeman (505 YDs, 4.8 AVG, 9 TDs) leading the charge. He’ll be used a lot on Sunday, as the Titan run D is not noted as a strength.

However, the Tennessee defense can be effective against the pass. LB Zach Brown is a team leader with some of the club’s top stats, including 24 solo tackles and 34 total tackles. Corner Coty Sensabaugh is a smart player and solid defender. Thus far he’s has 2 INTs and 2 PDs. The Titans will also work hard to pressure QB Ryan. Of the 15 sacks accumulated by Tennessee, LB Derrick Morgan has 4.5 and DE Jurrell Casey has 3.5. If the Titans are going to be in this game, those two players will have to be effective on Sunday.

Tennessee Offense vs. Falcon Defense

QB Mariota runs the Titan offense; last week, he suffered a sprained MCL and is listed as questionable for this game. If he does not play, second-year man Zach Mettenberger will. Mettenberger has little experience. Thus, most likely Tennessee will focus on a short passing and running game if Mariota is out. Whatever the case may be, the injury to Mariota is bad news for a team whose offense has been off and on and more times than not ineffective.

The running duo of Bishop Sankey (159 YDs, 4.1 AVG, 1 TD) and Dexter McCluster (156 YDs, 5.2 AVG, 0 TD) will see quite a bit of action. Also, RB Antonio Andrews, who has two touchdowns, will also be used. Top receiver Kendall Wright (20 REC, 13.8 AVG, 2 TDs) is expected to be the go-to pass catcher for the Titans on Sunday.

The Atlanta defense is very good at stopping the run. At the same time, the Tennessee offense, which has lost six of eight fumbles, offers up the ball more times than they should. This may end up being a difficult day for the Titans, which is a team that’s averaging less than 23 PPG going up against one that’s holding clubs to 23.8 PPG. In the secondary, SS William has 4 PDs, 2 INTs, and 1 FF. He stands to be a factor.

Other Consideration

Titan placekicker Ryan Succop has been perfect on field goals, however he’s only been asked to kick five in six games. For Atlanta, Matt Bryant has gone 8 of 10, missing one from 30+ and another from 40+.

Best Bets

If it’s announced that Mariota won’t play, expect what is now a 5-point spread in favor of the Falcons to more to 6. Thus, if you’re going with Atlanta in this one, and you should, take them now and not later. This is probably the best deal you can expect.

We project that the Falcons willcover at minus 5 or even 5.5. The over/under is at 47.5. Atlanta has been averaging more than 30 PPG and the Titans are allowing about 25. We expect Atlanta to score over 30 but we also think that Tennessee, which is averaging 22.4 PPG, will underperform. Take the under on this game.

October 23, 2015 by : Posted in NFL, Sportsbook No Comments

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