Week 10 – Know Thy Enemy: New Orleans Saints

titans vs saints
Credit: Mark Zaleski AP

It is Titans vs Saints this week. Mardi Gras meets Honky Tonks and Hot Chicken on Broadway as the Saints travel to Nashville. New Orleans is reeling a bit with significant injuries on both sides of the ball but has enough talent to upset the home favorites. Can Sean Payton conjure up the magic to beat a stingy defense?

This game will be officiated by the infamous Jerome Boger who was in charge the last time these two foes met in a closely decided contest. Will that play a factor? Are the Titans built to withstand all the expectations that come with being a favorite in this Week 10 battle?

Saints Key Numbers + Info (2021 season)

Record: 5-3 (2-1 NFC South)

Points scored: 201

PPG: 25.12

Points allowed: 155

PPGa: 19.37

Avg. yards per rush: 4.0

Average. yards per rush allowed: 3.2

Avg. rush yards per game: 123

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 74

Rushing TDs: for, 5 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 191.62

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 273.25

Passing TDs: 17 for, 12 against

Pass Completion Rate: 59%

Pass Completion Rate Against: 63%

Leading Rusher: Alvin Kamara (146 attempts for 530 yards and three touchdowns)

Top Receiver: Alvin Kamara (32 receptions for 310 yards, four touchdowns)

Leading Tackler: Demario Davis (59 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four passes defended, seven quarterback hits, three sacks)

Key Additions: WR Kenny Stills, OT Jordan Mills, ATH Ty Montgomery, CB Bradley Roby, S Jeff Heath, EDGE Tanoh Kpassagnon, QB Trevor Siemian, LB Kwon Alexander (trade), RB Mark Ingram (trade), OL James Hurst, RB Lamar Miller, WR Kevin White, FB Alex Armah, DT Christian Ringo, TE Nick Vannett

Key Losses: QB Drew Brees (retired), QB Jameis Winston (IR), WR Michael Thomas (PUP), OL Andrus Peat (IR), EDGE Payton Turner (IR), CB Patrick Robinson (retired), CB Prince Amukamara, WR Emmanual Sanders, CB Janoris Jenkins, DT Malcolm Brown, P Thomas Morstead, CB Desmond Trufant, RB Latavius Murray, CB Brian Poole, OL Austin Reiter

Titans vs Saints Series History

Tennessee leads the all-time series 8-6-1

Tennessee Call Out, Ball Out

Be Ready for ANYTHING defensively

The Saints are missing a ton of key pieces including superstar back Alvin Kamara. Sean Payton is notorious for pulling stuff from you know where so the defense will need to be prepared. Trevor Siemian is the nominal starter after Jameis Winston went out due to injury but there is the slippery and tricky Taysom Hill to account for also.

Star tackle Terron Armstead is out for this contest as well, so there will be some shuffling along the line. Point is, Shane Bowen and co will do well to be prepared to face the kitchen sink thrown at them. 

Team Mentality 

There has been a ton of praise heaped on the Titans after the run they’ve been on defeating every contender to date. Can they keep the sky high emotions in check and lock in for a wounded but still dangerous Super Bowl caliber team?

Especially cornerback Janoris Jenkins facing his former employers. Mike Vrabel has proven to be adept at man management within his locker room so there’s that. They aren’t that healthy themselves so it will be a 60 minute battle of attrition. 

WR2?

Living legend Julio Jones was just placed on IR so he will be out for three weeks. It’s a gigantic blow to the Titans’ hopes to complement AJ Brown. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine will likely get the first shot at replacing Julio as he has been productive this season in spurts.

The Titans are hurting for depth at the position as they released Josh Reynolds. They will have to likely rely on a committee or scour the wire for help. Can Tennessee cobble together a receiver room that has to be respected?

Keys to a Saints Victory

Establish. The Run

The easiest way to get a backup quarterback who has limitations? Run the ball. Luckily for New Orleans, they have a reinvigorated Mark Ingram to hand the ball off to in Kamara’s stead. Ingram is the league’s fourth leading rusher.

Establish the run to get the hell hounds on the Titans’ defensive line off balance and thinking. Taysom Hill will definitely play a factor in the run game as well. 

Locate 20

Former Saint Janoris Jenkins has been extremely suspect and the worst player in the Titans secondary. He’ll be highly motivated to prove his former team wrong and it can be used against him.

What better for the Saints than the coach who has seen his strengths and weaknesses every day for years in practice to exploit? Jenkins has been inconsistent against the faster receivers so lining up Marquez Callaway or Deonte Harris might be the trick to beating him. 

Stop that guy wearing 17 

It’s kind of inherent, you think? The Titans’ running game has been seriously jeopardized as a legitimate weapon due to the loss of Derrick Henry. All that’s left is a newish running back room featuring aging Adrian Peterson, unproven young guns like Jeremy McNichols and D’Onta Foreman.

Tennessee’s offense did not look like anything resembling its potent self last week in the temporary post-Henry era. They are relying on fickle winds of turnover luck to create short fields for the offense to thrive in. New Orleans has a defense capable of stopping Ryan Tannehill. Dumb turnovers have plagued him as of late so chances will be there for them to exploit. 

Titans vs Saints Injury Report

Titans vs Saints: What are the odds?

Caesars has the Titans as three-point favorites at -100 while the Saints are +120 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44 even. The money line is the Titans at -150 and the Saints at +130.

BetMGM has the Titans as three point favorites at -105 while the Saints are +115 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44.5. The money line is the Titans at -120 and the Saints at +150.

Wynnbet has the Titans as three point favorites at -105 while the Saints are +115 dogs. The over/under has been set at 44 even. The money line is the Titans at -150 and the Saints +120.

Prediction

NEW ORLEANS 31

Tennessee 24

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How to play with ATB

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– PrizePicks allows the user to mix multisport entries (which is great with both the NHL and NBA well underway and just over the halfway point in the NFL season.) For instance, you can take the Florida Panthers’ hot start, Kevin Durant’s points and assists, and Trevon Diggs’s interceptions over in one or more entries.)

– As I mentioned before, no sharks or optimizers, or any of the above DFS wizards. It’s just you against the PrizePicks machine. 

Previous KTE Editions

KTE: Jacksonville Jaguars

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

KTE: New York Jets

Know Thy Enemy: Buffalo Bills

KTE: Kansas City Chiefs

Know The Enemy: LA Rams

Week 9 Preview – Know Thy Enemy: Los Angeles Rams

Titans vs Rams
Mark Zaleski/AP

This week it is the Titans vs Rams. The wounded Titans travel to sunny Los Angeles to meet the LeBron led reeling Lakers and play at the new palatial digs that the Rams have. Is there a return trip for the road team in February in the cards? What do the numbers say about the high octane Rams offense in this Week 9 showdown? What do Titans need to know about the enemy residing in Tinseltown?

Rams Key Numbers + Info (2021 season)

Record: 7-1 (1-1 NFC West)

Points scored: 245

PPG: 30.62

Points allowed: 168

PPGa: 21

Avg. yards per rush: 3.9

Average. yards per rush allowed: 4.4

Avg. rush yards per game: 104.12

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 103.37

Rushing TDs: for, 8 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 301.75

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 264.12

Passing TDs: 22 for, against

Pass Completion Rate: 68%

Pass Completion Rate Against: 67%

Leading Rusher: Darrell Henderson (110 attempts for 507 yards and five touchdowns)

Top Receiver: Cooper Kupp (63 receptions for 924 yards, 10 touchdowns)

Leading Tackler: Jordan Fuller (60 tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass defensed)

Key Additions: QB Matthew Stafford (trade), EDGE Von Miller (trade) CB Robert Rochell (rookie), LB Ernest Young (rookie), RB Sony Michel (trade)

Key Losses: QB Jared Goff (trade), RB Cam Akers (NFI), WR DeSean Jackson (waived), WR Tutu Atwell (IR), EDGE Justin Hollins (IR), LB Kenny Young (trade), TE Johnny Mundt (IR),

Titans vs Rams Series History

Rams leads the series vs Titans 8-5-0

Tennessee Call Out, Ball Out

Ryan Tannehill

– The onus is on Tannehill to carry the offense now that superstar running back Derrick Henry is out for a significant amount of time if not the entire season. He has been under scrutiny as the point man carried by Henry by certain segments of the football loving population. It’s time to reset that narrative and lead the team to an highly unexpected victory over the high octane Rams offense. Can he do it alongside one of the best ever to run the ball?  

Team Defense

– It’s no secret that Matthew Stafford is an immense upgrade on former incumbent Jared Goff. Stafford can actually play the position without any caddying from Sean McVay. It will be up to the defense to limit the immense weaponry that the Rams have amassed like superstar Cooper Kupp, steady Robert Woods, and running backs Darrell Henderson + Sony Michel. Can a wounded secondary contain the firepower that Los Angeles possesses? 

Offensive line. Please do something

– An ongoing issue that will get heavily exposed with the newly acquired Von Miller joining forces with the indomitable Aaron Donald. Not to mention that leading sack artist Leonard Floyd awaits. Taylor Lewan is questionable and missed Friday’s practice while guard Nate Davis is out. Rodger Saffold is on track to play against his former team but has a penchant to come in and out of the game every week. It’s going to be a rather titanic task for the offensive line to keep Tannehill clean. 

Keys to a Rams Victory

Locate 58 and 48

– Tennessee’s rising star EDGE rusher Harold Landry has been rock solid this season, leading the league in pressures. Big money signing Bud Dupree is rounding into form after an expected slow start coming off an December ACL injury. Locate and contain these two forces off the edge and Stafford should have to put forth very little effort against a porous secondary. Free agent Denico Autry has been particularly impactful in spurts so some attention will need to go his way. 

Stop AJ Brown

– Brown is the lone weapon that opposing defenses have to respect now that Henry is injured and Julio Jones hobbled. The former Ole Miss receiver has been on a tear post Chipotle induced bathroom issues. Can he keep it going against one of the premier cornerbacks in the game, Jalen Ramsey? The Rams are helped by the fact that CB2 Darious Williams has returned to action after a stint on IR. Tennessee is in for a long day if they can’t get any protection for the quarterback. 

Keep on Keeping On

– The Rams are the favored team on paper and have a much healthier team than Tennessee. However, they can’t look past the Titans as they are a tough out regardless of the situation. What’s tough for the Rams is that a primetime Monday night date with fierce division rival San Francisco awaits next week. Everyone is expecting Los Angeles to walk over the road team from Nashville, it’s time for Sean McVay’s men to prove them right by blowing the Titans out of the water. 

Titans vs Chiefs Injury Report

Titans vs Rams: What are the odds?

Caesars has the Rams as seven-point favorites at -110 while the Titans are +110 dogs. The over/under has been set at 52.5. The money line is the Rams at -350 and the Titans at +280.

BetMGM has the Rams as 7.5 point favorites at -110 while the Titans are +110 dogs. The over/under has been set at 52.5. The money line is the Rams at -350 and the Titans at +290.

Wynnbet has the Rams as seven point favorites at -115 while the Titans are +105 dogs. The over/under has been set at 52.5. The money line is the Rams at -325 and the Titans +240.

Prediction

Tennessee 21

Los Angeles 35

Prize Picks

Need a fantasy game that won’t leave you wanting for more, going against the top sharks and expert optimizers in the DFS world? Well, PrizePicks is the one app for you! You can find it on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Download today to start winning some hard earned cash to spend on Christmas gifts! 

How to play with ATB

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– PrizePicks allows the user to mix multisport entries (which is great with both the NHL and NBA well underway and just over the halfway point in the NFL season.) For instance, you can take the Chicago Bulls amazing start, Dame Time points and assists, and Aaron Donald tackles + sacks over in one or more entries.)

– As I mentioned before, no sharks or optimizers, or any of the above DFS wizards. It’s just you against the PrizePicks machine. 

Previous KTE Editions

KTE: Jacksonville Jaguars

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

KTE: New York Jets

Know Thy Enemy: Buffalo Bills

KTE: Kansas City Chiefs

College Football Playoff Predictions: The 2021 Premiere

College Football Playoff predictions
Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The first batch of the 2021 College Football Playoff rankings are set to be released tonight on ESPN. It’s been a thrilling ride to the halfway point with numerous big jobs vacant, close games, and not-so-close games. Who will likely debut in the top ten of the playoff committee’s first set of rankings?

1. Georgia (8-0)

Georgia has been far and away the best team in the country, blowing out every team on their schedule to date. Their defense has carried the day, setting a historically dominant pace rivaled by few select teams in the history of college football. It’s no question who the top team is at this point, and they have a soft landing at home against woeful Missouri after a somewhat rigorous WLOCP effort against hated rival Florida last week.

The offense has done more than its fair share of work, scoring 30+ multiple times despite not needing to most days. It can be argued that they haven’t pressed the hammer down yet and don’t have to until Atlanta. If they can win it all, expect some comparative talk to the 2001 Miami Hurricanes or 2013 Florida State Seminoles. 

Next Game: 11/6 HOME vs. Missouri 

2. Alabama (7-1)

The reigning national champions have been efficiently effective against their opponents, save that one loss on the road in primetime at College Station. Like Georgia, they haven’t been tested too strenuously throughout the season to this point. The defense has been worrisome under nominal DC Pete Golding’s watch, however.

Bryce Young has been on the fringes of Heisman contention, replacing first round selection Mac Jones as the point man. The offense is capable of exploding at any time due to its still litany of perimeter weapons such as John Metchie and prohibitive Biletnikoff favorite Jameson Williams. Next up is a post bye week home date against a reeling LSU team that just fired their head coach and has injuries out the wazoo.

Next Game: 11/6 HOME vs. LSU

3. Ohio State (7-1)

After a brief interlude that saw them struggle a bit coming out of the gates, it appears that head coach Ryan Day has the Buckeyes rolling again. CJ Stroud struggled mightily early on but has turned it on and has himself in Heisman contention (surprise, it turns out that freshmen struggle early).

The defense was a mess until revitalizing itself against a relatively soft schedule. It has too much talent to not to improve. It can be favorably argued that they have the “best loss” in the country coming against Oregon. Next for them is an away contest to horrendous Nebraska playing out the string for likely unemployed Scott Frost. 

Next Game: 11/6 AWAY @ Nebraska

4. Oklahoma (9-0)

9-0 is 9-0 no matter how you got there, but with the Sooners defense being its usual traditionally leaky self, it has been a journey. Freshman quarterback Caleb Williams has been a breath of fresh air compared to the now benched Spencer Rattler, who was struggling to put it mildly.

Williams led the improbable comeback against Texas and stole the game from Kansas. Yes, the very same Kansas that has struggled in football as much as the basketball program wins. The schedule is relatively light going forward but with the Sooners apt to get into trouble, it will likely lose a game it has no business losing. Up next, a road trip to Baylor who is ascending up the conference ranks quickly. 

Next Game: 11/13 AWAY @ Baylor

5. Cincinnati (8-0)

Ah, those lovable Bearcats from the state of Ohio. They get to the fifth spot based on merit but it is a tenuous hold as they haven’t looked good in a few weeks. Struggle wins against that schedule will look rather indefensible in the meeting room.

Notre Dame was the lone highlight on the schedule, and depending on the Irish is a fool’s errand historically. The Bearcats have a chance to go undefeated with their schedule but will it be enough to impress the voters to vault them over the big boys? Will Luke Fickell even coach them in a bowl game? 

Next Game: 11/6 HOME vs. Tulsa

6. Oregon (7-1)

The reigning Pac12 champions simultaneously own the biggest win of the season (Ohio State on the road) and probably the worst loss of the season (Stanford) to date. The Ducks have been a mixed bag of collective meh so far on both sides of the ball.

Quarterback Anthony Brown has been wildly inconsistent while 2022 EDGE1 Kayvon Thibodeaux has been a force to be reckoned with — when healthy. They have had way too many injuries as well. A spiraling Washington team awaits as a road game this week. The Ducks need some help getting in and they aren’t getting it from their bad conference mates. 

Next Game: 11/6 AWAY @ Washington

7. Michigan State (9-0)

Sparty is 9-0 and coming off a close victory against bitter rival Michigan last week. Mel Tucker has reignited a dormant team in East Lansing with an unexpectedly explosive offense. That offense is paced by running back Kenneth Walker III, who should be firmly in the Heisman conversation and a high draft pick.

Defensively, they will be stout as per usual. They are currently leading the Big Ten East pack as of this writing. A date at The Shoe awaits after two relatively winnable games. That game will likely determine the East representative in Indianapolis.  

Next Game: 11/6 AWAY @ Purdue

8. Wake Forest (8-0)

The Demon Deacons are exciting in every way this season with an equally sublime offense and a defense that needs work. One of the surprise teams this season, that’s for sure. They are the favorites to win the ACC Atlantic, but have a daunting schedule with three straight division foes capable of pulling off the upset.

An away date with the inconsistently consistent Tar Heels is coming this weekend. Can the Deacs muster enough defense to close things out to get to Charlotte unblemished?  

Next Game: 11/6 AWAY @ UNC

9. Michigan (7-1)

Jim Harbaugh’s charges are coming off a deflating loss but still are in the thick of things in the Big Ten East. They will need to win out and hope for the Spartans to lose twice in the coming weeks to secure the division crown.

Harbaugh has had a rough go of things against his rivals, including a glaring winless streak against Ohio State. He will need to correct that in order to likely extend his employment status in Ann Arbor. Still, the Wolverines have a good team anchored by dominant EDGE Aidan Hutchinson. Three consecutive winnable games before The Game. Can they rebound this week against Indiana? 

Next Game: 11/6 HOME vs. Indiana

10. Notre Dame (7-1)

Those Fighting Irish always seem to be in the conversation, yet so far away. Their only loss is to the second-ranked Bearcats. A home game against the United States Naval Academy is coming and you know what they say about games against triple option teams with very little prep time.

However, the schedule is set up for an undefeated November. They probably won’t be in the playoff this season as there are way too many programs to jump and the schedule has failed them spectacularly. 

Next Game: 11/6 HOME vs. Navy

Other articles from the author

7 up, 7 Down: Seventh Circle of Heaven

Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Week 7 – 7 Up, 7 Down: Seventh Circle of Heaven?

Credit: USA Today

A somewhat dross and quaint NFL Week 7 is in the books. What were the hottest topics for those in the inner sanctum within the league? Who were the headliners that made waves in the seventh week of the season? The Weekly Power Rankings have arrived and the question is: who made it to the seventh circle of heaven?

Up

1. Non QBs throwing touchdowns!

– We had a pair of non-quarterbacks to get the scoring fiesta started on Sunday within minutes of each other. 

First up, was MVP contender Derrick Henry throwing a perfectly timed pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt (on national tight end day, no less!)

Next was Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne doing the honors. 

2. Throwback uniforms for GB and SF

Two iconic legacy franchises sporting high-caliber throwback duds. Enough said. 

San Francisco’s clean 1994 throwbacks

3. Local meteorologists in the Bay Area

Every dog gets its day or so they say. Well, viewers of the Sunday Night Football broadcast heard the words, “atmospheric river” and “bomb cyclone” enter the sporting lexicon. Strange times indeed as the Niners and Colts did battle in a seemingly endless torrential monsoon. There was a crazy sequence in the first half where both teams couldn’t hold onto the slick ball, trading turnovers like baseball cards (they still do that, right?)

4. Joe Burrow to Chase is pretty pretty pretty good

– Yeah, you got the prohibitive favorite for offensive rookie of the year award catching passes from a young gun with the dawg in him. It appears that the lethality of 2019 LSU Burrow to Chase carried over to Ohio’s Queen City. Not much more to say than Larry David probably approves of the young emerging duo. This could be a weekly thing in the article. Is this the remake of the 1998 Vikings with Randy Moss?

5. Dan Campbell’s bravado and passion

– Campbell’s Lions are fighting every single week despite the stacked odds against them. Most 0-7 teams would have caved long ago and dissolved into internal dissension. You can see the tangible chemistry and passion that his players play for him. It’s too bad that Jared Goff isn’t the answer for a moribund Lions franchise. Campbell is part of an increasing trend of coaches laying it all on the line and going for it despite the odds of failing to convert first downs. May the Lions get their first win soon. 

6. Kyler Murray’s MVP candidacy

– Murray has to be the favorite for the MVP award at this point in the season, leading the Cardinals to a 7-0 record against a tough schedule. It’s not like the Cardinals are loading up on wins against the patsies of the league, either. They’ve had to deal with tough COVID issues knocking out their head coach for a game along with multiple key pieces. He’s one of the more dynamic playmakers in the league alongside the terrifying Lamar Jackson. He’s making plays like this seemingly every drive

7. Marshawn and the Legendary ManningCast 

– The affable, jovial, and loquacious Marshawn Lynch joined Monday Night Football’s ManningCast and he did not disappoint. In related news, the FCC could be just as happy that their coffers will be filled by ESPN’s banking department for Lynch’s glorious expletive-filled appearance. The only downside was Peyton “apologizing” for the fun. We need more Marshawn on prime-time TV! 

DOWN

1. Sam Darnold isn’t the present nor the future

– He has turned into a pumpkin after a solid start to life in Charlotte and 2021 will likely be his last as a starter in this league. Darnold was benched for PJ Walker on Sunday and it isn’t like Walker lit it up either. Perhaps the damage done to Darnold in New York is too much for him to rebound from. Carolina took a gamble passing on multiple rookie passers with their first-round selection. It hasn’t worked out but that’s life. The Panthers were on the periphery of the Deshaun Watson chase but now are firmly on the list of top-tier contenders for his services after the past few weeks. 

2. Brian Flores and Matt Nagy’s job security

– The expectations for either man to keep his current job beyond this season have to be slim to none. Flores has been a fun quote machine during press conferences and his Dolphins are on life support in the AFC East. Fortunately, Miami has long been the rumored destination for one Deshaun Watson. Nagy on the other hand, is a dead man walking as the Bears look lifeless, their star rookie passer running for his life, and the coach mostly ambivalent about the whole affair. It’s over for the Nagy regime in the Windy City. Flores’ rear end is firmly planted on the hot seat if he can’t turn it around. 

3. New York teams 

– Both New York teams are a colossally terrible combined 3-10 through seven weeks of this season. The Jets have a plan in place to build something at least despite the horrific decision not to have a veteran backup quarterback throughout the offseason to guide a now hurt Zach Wilson. Robert Saleh might be regretting his decision to go for this job as his defense has been something awful. Meanwhile, the Giants are just bad and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic under the embattled Dave Gettleman. Granted, they’ve suffered a ton of injuries but Daniel Jones is looking more and more not the long-term answer. Joe Judge still has some cache so there’s that. 

4. Mike Evans and historical landmarks

– On a more light-hearted note, Mike Evans wasn’t cognizant of the implications of Tom Brady’s 600th touchdown pass and gave the ball to a now-infamous fan in the stands. That said fan was the subject of immense ridicule for giving the ball up for such little return. Evans had a hilarious reaction after the fact and a member of the Buccaneers staff had to go and negotiate for the return during the game for all to see. It all worked for everyone involved as the fan won out relatively decently, Evans scored a couple more, and Brady got to roast everyone on national TV. 

5. Chiefs D is still bad 

– Yeah, it was bad and Patrick Mahomes couldn’t bail them out on Sunday after the woebegone Titans defense held the Chiefs to a field goal. It felt like the Titans were actively trying to sit on the lead during the second half. A silver lining could be that the horrendous Kansas City defense held the Titans’ offense in check after allowing a 27-0 deficit? It’s still a long way to go but it’s increasingly looking like a massive Achilles’ heel for the franchise. 

6. Homecomings

– Not the most enthralling of contests between the two quarterbacks traded for another in Los Angeles. Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff weren’t at their best in this one. At least Dan Campbell made it entertaining with his panache and derring-do? A game that left a lot more meat on the bone, that’s for sure. Maybe next time?

7. Kyle Shanahan 

 – Are we sure that the boy wonder can evolve instead of being all hype? When opposing defenders are openly deriding your offensive philosophy, it’s time to question certain things. We all know Jimmy Garoppolo is injured and limited as a passer when healthy but at least Frank Reich adjusted to his passer’s strengths in the eternal monsoon. Shanahan will need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what went wrong. Please get healthy, Trey Lance. I mean, the coach couldn’t figure out that this play was working exceedingly well for the opposition and couldn’t adopt the same tactics? 

Previous Editions

Week 1: Opening Overreactions

Wk 2: Perceptive Repeats

Week 3: So Nice, Do It Thrice

Wk 4: Good Quads Like Saquon

Week 5: Thrive at Five

Week 7 Preview – Know Thy Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs

Titans vs. Chiefs
Titans vs. Chiefs Credit: TitansWire

It’s Titans vs Chiefs week as the Kansas City Chiefs pays a visit to Nashville to debate which city has the best BBQ + hot chicken recipes and to play a football game in between. The high octane Chiefs offense should have little issue carving up an entirely gracious Titans defense.

Can the struggling Titans passing game keep going score for score with KC? Are the Titans mentally ready after defeating the Bills in an emotional Monday night victory? How much longer can Derrick Henry keep up this immense pace? Who will win this premier match between two AFC contenders in Week 7 of the NFL?

Chiefs Key Numbers + Info (2021 season)

Record: 3-3 (1-1 AFC North)

Points scored: 185

PPG: 30.8

Points allowed: 176

PPGa: 29.3

Avg. yards per rush: 4.9

Average. yards per rush allowed: 5.2

Avg. rush yards per game: 125

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 133.16

Rushing TDs: 5 for, 9 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 308.5

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 277.33

Passing TDs: 18 for, 11 against

Pass Completion Rate: 69%

Pass Completion Rate Against: 66%

Leading Rusher: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (65 attempts for 304 yards)

Top Receiver: Tyreek Hill (46 receptions for 592 yards, five touchdowns)

Leading Tackler: Nick Bolton (40 tackles, five tackles for loss)

Key Additions: OT Orlando Brown, OG Trey Smith (rookie), C Creed Humphrey (rookie), RB Darrel Williams, DL Jarran Reed, OL Joe Thuney, TE Blake Bell, OL Austin Blythe, LB Nick Bolton (rookie), OL Mike Remmers, RB Jerick McKinnon, CB Mike Hughes, WR Josh Gordon

Key Losses: OT Mitchell Schwartz, OT Eric Fisher, OL Kyle Long (PUP), RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (IR), OL Martinas Rankin, P Dustin Colquitt, DE Joshua Kaindoh (IR)

Titans vs Chiefs Series History

Kansas City leads the all-time series 30-24

Tennessee Call Out, Ball Out

Team defense 

– Turns out Patrick Mahomes is still a pretty decent player, that guy. Tennessee will need all hands on deck, especially a banged-up secondary to even remotely begin to think about containing the Chefs. The front seven will need to expose a still gelling offensive line if at all possible. Without a team-wide effort, it can get ugly real fast. Suffice to say, a miracle needs to happen. 

Derrick Henry 

– The superstar back will do what he does best to keep the ball away from a potent Chiefs offense. He’s on an unprecedented record-breaking pace for production. Can he hold up for the long and cruel grind that this game is? The Chiefs defense isn’t exactly the 2000 Ravens as of press time. Needless to say, the running back will need to be his level best once again.  

Offensive line. Please do anything

– The Titans will need to rejigger some things as usual as left tackle Taylor Lewan is out due to a concussion suffered on Monday night. Left guard Rodger Saffold is a constant shuffle in and out of the lineup. Ben Jones is seemingly the only good constant on the line.

Yes, the Chiefs defense is what it is but the Tennessee line is banged up and heavily reliant on questionable backups. Ryan Tannehill needs some time to get it going. He’s been one of the most heavily sacked quarterbacks this season. Which group will break first?

Keys to a Chiefs Victory

“Fix” Patrick Mahomes

– Yeah he’s already a legendary figure in the annals of league history but there’s a glaring turnover issue he’s dealing with this season. It needs to be fixed so that inferior teams such as the Titans don’t have a hope of limiting him.

Mahomes is borderline unstoppable when he’s fully on and operating with his full set of weapons. It’s possible that he’s trying to compensate for the lack of defensive cover or he’s experimenting due to the sheer limitless potential of his talent. 

Stop the guy wearing 11 

– The Chiefs’ much-beleaguered secondary will need to stop the Titans’ primary receiving weapon and now Chipotle’s mortal enemy, AJ Brown. After a few weeks of battling injury and ineffectiveness, Brown finally broke out in the second half last week. Stop 11 and a hampered Julio Jones, Kansas City will contain the passing attack. 

Keep on going! 

– The series has been pockmarked with pitched back and forth battles over the years between the two AFC powers. KC has had a better time of it during the past two games though, thoroughly eviscerating the suspect Titans defense every time. Andy Reid is a masterful offensive mind and his protégé Eric Bienemy should’ve been a head coach long ago. Keep the good times rolling! 

Titans vs Chiefs Injury Report

Titans vs Chiefs: What are the odds?

Caesars has the Chiefs as four-point favorites at -110 while the Titans are +110 dogs. The over/under has been set at 57.5. The money line is the Chiefs at -210 and the Titans at +175.

BetMGM has the Chiefs as 4.5 point favorites at -110 while the Titans are +110 dogs. The over/under has been set at 57.5. The money line is the Bills at -200 and the Titans at +175.

Wynnbet has the Chiefs as 4.5 favorites at -115 while the Titans are +105 dogs. The over/under has been set at 57.5. The money line is the Chiefs at -215 and the Titans +175.

Prediction

KANSAS CITY 42

Tennessee Titans 31

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Previous KTE Editions

KTE: Jacksonville Jaguars

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Seahawks

Know Thy Enemy: Indianapolis Colts

KTE: New York Jets

Know Thy Enemy: Buffalo Bills