The maddeningly inconsistent Titans are tough to gauge. The Broncos finally got their first win and on the road, but look for Tennessee to play up this week.
Coach Vic Fangio had everything go right: His defense produced three turnovers — two inside Denver’s 5-yard line — and his offense got a huge boost from the first 100-yard rushing game of the season for Phillip Lindsay. The Broncos’ defense may continue to thrive, but their offense will find the Titans (2-3) to be more difficult than the Chargers.
They are the more talented defensive team with the better chance for running success with Derrick Henry. Joe Flacco has the better weapons overall, but it's a wash between him and Marcus Mariota in terms of mediocre QB play. Go with Tennessee off a bad loss vs. Denver off an ugly win.
Denver’s once-great home-field advantage has been nonexistent this season. Tennessee always seems to come up big when they aren’t expected to, going 2-0 straight up as an underdog in 2019. Joe Flacco will struggle against a defense that has surrendered 20 points or fewer in eight of its last nine games. The Broncos are 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games.
Marcus Mariota hasn’t thrown a pick all year and although he’s taken more sacks than any other quarterback, the Broncos are dead last in sacks. The Titans have committed one turnover all season and that trend should continue against a Broncos team that has just two interceptions all year.
Take the points in what should be a very low-scored affair. While the Broncos’ defense finally stepped up in Week 5 against the Chargers, the Titans’ defense showed against the Bills it’s capable of going stop-for-stop.
TEN +1.5 Gold (0.5 Units)
The Broncos won for the first time last week and played well on defense. The Titans were a disaster on offense in losing to the Bills last week. This will be much of the same. Look for Von Miller and mates to get all over Marcus Mariota.
The Titans (2-3) have to win this game. Problem is, they aren’t the best team in this matchup. It’s actually even, and the Broncos (1-4) are at home with some momentum. Tennessee must lean on the ground game and its defense too carry the day.
I’ve gone back and forth on this one but can’t shake the fact that the Broncos are in the positive by net yards per play (albeit barely at 0.1) while the Titans are in the negative. The rest of Tennessee’s metrics may look more impressive, but the Titans have also played an easier schedule.
Denver got its act together last week on the strength of three Chargers turnovers. Less likely to happen this week against a Titans team that has turned it over once this season and should be able to exploit the Broncos’ run defense that allowed an average of 149 rushing yards per game.
Let’s imagine an alternate universe in which the Broncos didn’t get bad roughing-the-passer penalties against the Bears or Jaguars, and they don’t lose on last-second field goals. We’d think a lot differently about a 3-2 Broncos team, right? The loss to the Raiders actually doesn’t look too bad now. A loss at the Packers wasn’t a blowout. Are the Broncos secretly kind of good?