The Tennessee Titans will look to recover quickly from an ugly loss to open the season when they visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon at Lumen Field in Week 2 action. Tennessee was demolished 38-13 last weekend at home by the Arizona Cardinals, failing to cover as a 2.5-point favorite. Seattle looked sharp in Week 1, picking up a 28-16 road win over the Indianapolis Colts to cash in as a three-point favorite.
These teams last met in September of 2017, when Tennessee won 33-27 at home. Seattle leads the all-time series 10-7.
Line Movements & Weather
The Seahawks have gone from -3.5 up to -6.5 despite grabbing just 51% of the bets. The sharps are all over the Seahawks in this one.
The OU line has gone from 49 up to 54 or 54.5, depending on the sportsbook with the Over grabbing 70% of the bets.
Gametime Weather: Showers are expected with temps in the lower 60s.
Tennessee scrambling for answers after blowout lossThe Titans entered the year with hopes of a third straight playoff appearance thanks to a loaded offense and defense that looked to have improved over the offseason, but none of that showed up as they were hammered by the Cardinals in every facet. Tennessee didn't get on the board until the 6:50 mark of the second quarter when Ryan Tannehill snuck it in from one-yard out, and while an A.J. Brown touchdown each early in the third made it interesting at 24-13, Arizona pulled away with two more scores down the stretch.
Tannehill went 21 of 35 for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception in addition to the rushing score, and was sacked six times, five of which came from Chandler Jones alone. Derrick Henry managed just 17 carries for 58 yards, while Chester Rogers was Tennessee's leading receiver with four catches for 62 yards. It was ugly all around, as Arizona outgained the Titans 416-248 and forced three turnovers.
“We kind of got hit in the mouth early, right?” Tannehill said to the Associated Press. “And we go out and didn’t get the start that we wanted, and we didn’t respond well. It took us whatever, four drives before we moved the ball. So that’s unacceptable. We have to be able to respond quickly.”
The Titans have now lost four straight against the spread, including an outright home loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Wild Card Weekend as a slight favorite to end their 2020 campaign. Last Sunday's game couldn't quite make it to the high betting total of 54 points, making it two straight unders after overs went 12-3-1 for the Titans last regular season.
It was a surprising showing for a Tennessee offense that piled up 30.7 points and 396.5 yards per game last year to rank top five in the NFL. Tennessee's defense still has a ton of work to do after allowing 27.4 points and 398.2 yards per game in 2020.
Star wide receiver Julio Jones was the big offseason addition for the Titans, but didn't do much in his Tennessee debut with three catches for 29 yards. The defense was overhauled with cornerback Janoris Jenkins leading his new team with eight tackles, while big free-agent addition Bud Dupree didn't make much of a pass rushing impact against Arizona.
There are some injury concerns, as safeties Armani Hooker (foot) and Brady Breeze (undisclosed) both hit the IL this week. Dupree is also officially listed as questionable with a knee problem, while top tight end Anthony Firkser's status is also unknown. Backup running back Darrynton Evans is also on injured reserve with a knee problem.
Out - DB Caleb Farley, DB Brady Breeze, DB Amani Hooker, K Sam Ficken, DT Trevon Coley, RB Darrynton Evans, C Daniel Munyer, and WR Marcus Johnson
Questionable - LB Bud Dupree, TE Anthony Firkser, and OT Taylor Lewan
Waldron's offense looks sharp against ColtsThe big offseason storyline for the Seahawks was bringing in new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to install a more modern system on that side of the ball, and things look good so far as Seattle handled the Colts. Russell Wilson hit Tyler Lockett on touchdown passes of 23 and 69 yards in the first half, and the rout was really on midway through the fourth when D.K. Metcalf got in on the action, with Indianapolis making the finally score a little more respectable in garbage time.
Wilson was ultra-efficient, finishing 18 of 23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns. Chris Carson racked up 91 rushing yards on 16 carries, while Lockett caught four passes for 100 yards and two scores. Seattle outgained Indianapolis 381-336, as the defense came up with some big plays including three sacks and a fumble recovery on a fourth-down sneak attempt.
"I just think we were sharp first time out," head coach Pete Carroll said to Seattle's website. "A lot of guys contributed, and there's a lot more there. It was a really efficient, good first-ball game. A couple protection issues that we just missed out on that we could've easily changed the outcome on. Other than that, it was really almost flawless. A really good start."
Seattle picks up a win against the spread to open the season, a good sign after it failed to cover in five of its last seven games down the stretch last year. Sunday's opener fell short of the betting total of 49 points after overs went 7-9 for Seattle last year.
The Seahawks faded down the stretch offensively last year but still finished ranked in the top 10 with 28.7 points per game on an average of 369.5 yards. Seattle's defense had the opposite trend with a slow start and excellent finish, ending up exactly average with 23.2 points and 380.6 yards allowed per game.
Tight end Gerald Everett is looking like a nice offseason pickup after recording two catches for 20 yards and a touchdown in his Seattle debut. Kerry Hyder was brought in to help a woeful pass rush and recorded three stops including one for loss a week ago.
Guard Damien Lewis did not practice on Thursday due to a groin injury, a potentially big blow for Seattle's pass protection as tackle Jamarco Jones was also sidelined with a knee. Second-round rookie wide receiver D'Wayne Eskridge is in concussion protocol while running back Rashaad Penny is expected to miss some time with a strained calf. Defensive tackles Bryan Mone (elbow) and Poona Ford (shoulder) are both questionable after being limited in practice.
Out - WR D'Wayne Eskridge, C Ethan Pocic, RB Rashaad Penny, DB Nigel Warrior, DB Tre Brown, TE Colby Parkinson, and OT Cedric Ogbuehi
Questionable - DT Bryan Mone and DB Ryan Neal
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Expect the Titans to be a whole lot more competitive this week, but this is still a tough assignment against a great Seattle team in one of the toughest road environments in all of football. Waldron's new offense looks fully up to speed already and could take a Seattle team that is a playoff mainstay to an even higher level, while the Titans defense has shown nothing to indicate it can handle an opponent like this in the last two years.
After allowing 5.9 yards per play last season to rank near the bottom of the NFL leaderboard, all the offseason moves didn't appear to help Tennessee much as it was shredded by Arizona's passing attack. Things won't get easier this week against a superstar quarterback in Wilson who has so many weapons including finally getting an effective tight end in Everett, and Waldron's new outside zone run scheme was effective against an elite Colts rushing defense.
The Titans offense has to be perfect to make up for the defense and was anything but last week as the pass protection was destroyed, and while the Seahawks don't have a Chandler Jones on their defensive line, they make up for it with quantity using a large rotation including 2020 second-round pick Darrell Taylor, who looked great in his NFL debut last week. Seattle's crowd will be raucous in its first game back since 2019, and the Titans will eventually falter late to lose by a touchdown after hanging in for three quarters.
Full-Game Total Pick
Tennessee's offense should be much better this week as there are too many superstars to look that bad again, and this was a unit that ranked right near the top of the leaderboard with 6.1 yards per play this week. Cornerback looks like the biggest weakness on the Seattle roster, and while the Colts couldn't figure it out, a receiving tandem of Jones and Brown will pose a much bigger challenge.
The Titans lack of any pass rush whatsoever isn't ideal against Wilson, and this is a passing offense that can hit on a huge downfield play at any time with Lockett and Metcalf in the formation. This is shaping up to be a shootout, as both teams were projected to have elite offenses backed by shaky defenses entering the year.