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The 7-7 Washington Redskins have had four different quarterbacks in the last five games, and with their latest managed to squeak by the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15 by a score of 16-13.
First quarterback Alex Smith broke his leg in Week 11, then Colt McCoy broke his leg in Week 13, then veteran Mark Sanchez couldn’t get the job done in Week 14, so now Josh Johnson, picked up from the Oakland Raiders earlier this month, finds himself under center and 1-0.
Washington is 4-3 on the road and just 1-2 against teams outside the NFC, so it’s going to take everything to go right plus the almost touchdown-and-a-half point spread for the Redskins to be winners in this one.
Now riding the wave of a three-game win streak, the 8-6 Tennessee Titans shut out the New York Giants 17-0 in Week 15 and are now neck-and-neck with the 8-6 Indianapolis Colts in the race for the only open AFC wild card spot.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had low numbers against the Giants, especially for a victory, completing 12-of-20 for just 88 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions, while their running back Derrick Henry stole the show (see below).
Tennessee is tough to beat at Nissan Stadium where they’re 5-1, and they’re undefeated against NFC teams at 3-0, so it’s no wonder they’re heavily favored to win this one.
These two teams have met 12 times, with Tennessee winning 6 games and Washington winning 6 games. The Redskins have won the last two meetings, the most recent one being in October of 2014 when the Redskins won 19-17.
If the Redskins win this matchup, their record will be 8-7 and they’ll continue to put pressure on the Dallas Cowboys who now lead the NFC East, plus they’ll stay in the hunt for the sixth seed in the playoffs with three other teams.
But if the Titans come out on top, they’ll be 9-6 and continue to chase the AFC South leading Houston Texans for the division win and the second playoff seed while at least remaining tied for the sixth seed with three other teams.
Who’s favored to win this Week 16 Redskins-Titans matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to compare the Redskins and the Titans and attempt to answer those questions and more.
The Redskins’ 28th ranked offense is now being led by a quarterback, Josh Johnson, who made just his sixth career start last week in his seventh season on his fifth team.
Johnson’s numbers weren’t anything to write home about – 16-of-25 for 151 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions – but they were enough for the win against the Jags that ended a four-game losing streak.
Tight end Jordan Reed is Washington’s best receiver right now with 54 receptions for 558 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he didn’t play last week (see below) and his backup, Vernon Davis, had just 2 catches for 16 yards.
Washington’s ground attack is led by a veteran in his 12th NFL season, Adrian Peterson, who has so far run the ball 221 times for 923 yards and 7 touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 200 yards and another touchdown.
Last week the team’s second leading rusher was the quarterback, and third on the list was backup running back Chris Thompson, who ran the ball five times but for only 9 yards.
Listed as questionable for Week 16: tackle Ty Nsekhe (knee)
Tight end Jordan Reed (ankle/foot) was out for Week 15, no word yet on his Week 16 status.
Tennessee’s passing attack is ranked 30th in the league and the reason their offense is ranked 27th overall, averaging only 19.1 points and just 187.0 yards per game.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is ranked 25th among his peers after throwing for 2,418 yards and just 11 touchdowns with 8 interceptions.
Wide receiver Corey Davis is a legitimate deep threat with 57 receptions for 798 yards and four touchdowns, his longest reception a 51-yarder in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tennessee’s ground attack is ranked 5th in the league averaging 130.8 yards per game and accounting for 14 touchdowns.
The Titans run game is centered around running back Derrick Henry, who had a field day against the Giants last week running the ball 33 times for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Currently no offensive Titans players are listed as questionable for Week 16.
Washington’s defense is middle of the road at 18th, allowing opponents to score 22.1 points and move the ball 357.4 yards per game with both their rushing and passing defenses also ranked 18th.
The Redskins have the 18th most interceptions (14) and the 9th most sacks in the league (40), their 12 total forced fumbles tied for 17th most.
In Week 15, the Redskins sacked Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler six times.
Inside linebacker Mason Foster is a tackling machine with 115 combined tackles, sixth most in the league.
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan likes to hunt quarterbacks and has 11.0 sacks (T-14th most) along with 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Free safety D.J. Swearinger is a menace in the secondary with 4 interceptions (T-6th most), 50 combined tackles, 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Listed as questionable for Week 16: cornerback Joshua Holsey (knee), strong safety Montae Nicholson (finger) and defensive back Danny Johnson (finger).
Opponents of Tennessee will on average score 18.1 points and move the ball 329 yards per game, their rushing defense ranked 12th and their passing defense ranked 6th.
The Titans 8 interceptions are just the 24th most in the NFL, their 26 sacks tied for 14th most, and their 13 total forced fumbles are tied for 15th most in the league.
Inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard is a major defensive threat with 89 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
The Titans have their share of quarterback killers: defensive end Jurrell Casey with 7.0 sacks, 58 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles and inside linebacker Jayon Brown with 6.0 sacks, 79 combined tackles and a forced fumble.
Tied for 14th most picks in the league is free safety Kevin Byard, who’s also defended 9 passes and made 71 combined tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 16: linebacker Sharif Finch (shoulder) and strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (concussion).
Washington’s punter, Tress Way, in his 5th season, all with the Redskins, has punted 72 times for a net average of 41.2 yards per punt, ranked 10th in the NFL.
Way leads the league in punts inside the twenty yard line with a percentage of 54.2.
Tennessee’s veteran punter, Brett Kern, was Second-team All Pro last season and has punted 64 times for a net average of 41.3 yards per punt, ranked 9th in the NFL.
Washington’s placekicker, Dustin Hopkins, in his 5th NFL season (his fourth with the Redskins), is 23-for-26, his longest has been a 56-yarder.
Hopkins has missed an extra point attempt (24/25).
Last week against the Jaguars, Hopkins kicked a game-winning 36-yarder with two-seconds remaining.
Tennessee’s placekicker, Ryan Succop, was acquired in 2009 from the Chiefs and so far he is 23-for-27, his longest was a 54-yarder.
Succop has missed two extra point attempts (25/27).
Washington’s punt returner, Greg Stroman, is ranked 72nd in the league in return average.
Stroman has returned 8 punts for 27 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 3.4 yards per return, his longest for 10 yards.
Tennessee’s punt returner, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, is ranked 21st in the league in return average.
Jackson has returned 13 punts for 122 yards and a touchdown, averaging 9.4 yards per return, his longest was for 26 yards.
The odds makers have the Titans favored over the Redskins by 10 with an over/under of 37.
CBSSports.com has two final score predictions:
Pete Prisco goes with the over and has it Titans 27, Redskins 13.
John Breech takes the over and predicts it Titans 23, Redskins 16.
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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