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Take the Titans to Cower the Spread -2.5 (-121)
Since New Orleans Saints starting quarterback Jameis Winston (knee) is out for the season, head coach Sean Payton must figure out how to balance backups Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill under center and get better at converting on third down, this offense truly generated by dual-threat Alvin Kamara, a danger to run or catch a pass out of the backfield every play.
The 7-2 Tennessee Titans defensive line manhandled the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9, especially defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons, who posted three of the team’s five sacks with three tackles, that victory without playmaker RB Derrick Henry (foot) who’s gone for the season, so now quarterback Ryan Tannehill must find other ways to run his talented offense.
These two cross-conference rivals have faced each other 15 prior times, with the Tennessee Titans winning 8 of those games and the New Orleans Saints winning 6 of the games, plus one tie.
Since the Saints starting quarterback Jameis Winston (knee) is out for the season, the big decision for head coach Sean Payton is which backup to start under center, Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill, both young players with a different set of skills.
Siemian is a 6’ 3” 220 pounds prototypical NFL quarterback with a career completion percentage of 59.2 and a 13-13 record as a starter, a fifth-year quarterback who spends time with the Broncos and the Jets before coming to the Saints for this season.
Hill is an inch shorter at 6’ 2” and 221 pounds and serves as a multi-tooled Swiss Army Knife for Payton’s offense with a strong enough arm to throw out of the backfield and enough speed and power to run the ball after a catch.
The Titans have gotten bit by the NFL injury bug, and there is no bigger season-ending injury than that to the foot of star running back Derrick Henry, who had to have surgery to heal the broken bone in his foot that he suffered in Week 8 of the season.
So now the next men up are running backs Jeremy McNichols and veteran Adrian Peterson (below) whose job now is to become the rushing attack part of Titans head coach Mike Vrabel’s run-centric offense.
If those two backs can do their job, then it makes quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s job easier as a passer because Tennessee’s run game serves to set up opposing defenses to be more pass-friendly towards the end of the game using play-action fakes.
When you watch the Saints win, you are most likely watching running back Alvin Kamara have a great game since the dual-threat veteran has been the main part of New Orleans’ offense since he joined it back in 2017.
This season, Kamara has played in eight games and has had 178 total touches for 840 yards from scrimmage and 7 total touchdowns, still far away from his league-leading 21 touchdowns from last season, but impressive, nonetheless.
Kamara’s best game in 2021 was in Week 5 against Washington when he carried the ball 16 times for 71 yards and a touchdown as well as caught 5 passes for 51 yards and another touchdown, a production that could help his Saints outscore these Titans.
Until he got hurt, Titans running back Derrick Henry was averaging a league leading 117.1 rushing yards a game, so now that he is out with a broken foot that level of production must be somewhat maintained by his backups, Jeremy McNichols and Adrian Peterson.
In his fifth NFL season, McNichols has caried the ball 14 times for 62 yards and has caught 24 passes for 24 yards and a touchdown, so he must continue to offer Tannehill that dual-threat option from out of the backfield.
At 36-years old, Peterson has taken his share of NFL snaps (3200+) so what he might lack in speed he makes up with veteran knowledge and football IQ, something that so far has translated into 11 touches for 26 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
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|Saints vs Titans Information|
|What||New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans|
|Where||Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee|
|When||Sunday, November 14, 2021; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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