Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#419 New England Patriots vs.
#420 Tennessee Titans
Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
Nissan Stadium, Nashville
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots will continue their preseason campaigns when they clash at Nissan Stadium in Tennessee on Saturday night.

Proving something to the coaches

New England began its preseason last Thursday with a 31-3 win at Detroit. Brady did not play in the contest, as the Patriots instead went with 11th-year veteran Brian Hoyer (12-for-14, 147 yards, two touchdowns).

But it was an undrafted rookie who especially turned heads in the opener. Jakobi Meyers caught two touchdown receptions, finishing with 69 yards on six receptions.

Rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham was impressive in his first game, going 14-of-24 for 179 yards with a touchdown. But on Wednesday in the joint practice with the Titans in the 11-on-11, he struggled. The rookie from Auburn had two balls batted down at the line of scrimmage and struggled with some throws down the field.

“I have to keep proving to my coaches that I deserve to be here,” Meyers said. “I’m not on the team yet. I’m trying to make sure I can stay here and continue to be here. That’s who I’m trying to prove a point to, not really to people who didn’t give me the call.”

“I thought our overall passing game was pretty efficient,” head coach Bill Belichick assessed. “Quarterbacks got the ball out on time. Receivers caught the ball. We protected fairly well.”

The Titans and Pats have held joint practices this week from the heat and humidity of Nashville. New England did the same thing with Detroit last week.

“It’s fun, going against someone different,” CB Stephon Gilmore acknowledged. “It’s a different system, but we’re pretty much doing our same stuff, trying to get better at what we do individually and as a team. It’s good. Seeing different faces and a different team, just trying to work on your technique and getting better every day. It’s a different challenge. We’ve got another tomorrow.”

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Trio of quarterbacks

The Titans opened their preseason on the road last week with a 27-10 victory over Philadelphia. Quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Logan Woodside each completed two touchdown passes, and Tennessee’s defense held the Eagles to 227 yards and 10 first downs. Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota was on the field for the first series of the game. He completed four passes for 24 yards—all to wide receiver Adam Humphries, a recent free-agent acquisition from Tampa Bay. Four different Titans caught a touchdown pass: fourth-year tight end MyCole Pruitt, second-year tight end Anthony Firkser, second-year wide receiver Cody Hollister, and third-year wide receiver Tanner McEvoy. Meanwhile, receiver Kalif Raymond led the offense with six receptions and 80 yards and he added three punt returns for 35 yards (long of 27) and a kickoff return for 24 yards.

“It was a lot of fun to compete against another team,” Tannehill said. “We’ve been working hard since the spring and to have an opportunity to play for real was a lot of fun.”

“Our quarterback room is pretty special,” Mariota said. “Logan and Ryan both have been a tremendous support and I think for us it’s just competition. I like the atmosphere, I like the culture of the quarterback room.”

Head coach Mike Vrabel has consistently claimed that Tannehill is there to push Mariota. Yet, Mariota is also in the final year of his rookie contract and the Titans have not offered him an extension. They could open the season with him as the starter, although ESPN’s Dianna Russini is reporting that Mariota is not a lock to start Week 1.

“There’s a tone in Tennessee right now that this coaching staff just wants a quarterback to go out there and be the best quarterback there,” Russini said Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

Another player to watch is rookie wide receiver. A.J. Brown. He’s missed most of training camp and the opener due to a pulled hamstring. At 6-1, 226, he has the size and strength to be a big target in the red zone. Brown has already been involved a skirmish with veteran corner Stephon Gilmore in the joint practice.

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Is there any team a young, unproved player would rather make than New England? This is the best organization in football, after all. Meyers is just one example. The Patriots play hard–yes, even in the preseason–and their opener was an indication that they are not messing around in the preseason. It was a beatdown last week and New England should win again. The Patriots are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: New England Patriots

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Both offenses appeared to be in midseason form last week, even with their respective backups. Mariota played one series and he may be on the field longer this time around. The over is 5-1 in the Titans’ last six overall, 4-0 in their last four at home, and 4-0 in their last four against the AFC. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.