Tennessee Titans vs. Arizona Cardinals
Date and Time: Sunday, December 10, 2017, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Opening NFL Odds: Titans -3.5, O/U 44.5
Titans vs. Cardinals TV Coverage: CBS
The Blaine Gabbert experience has reverted back to form.
After a couple games in which Gabbert looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback, he's gone back to the old Gabbert, a man who chumped up two picks against the Rams and barely completed half of his passes.
The handwriting has been on the wall for Gabbert for a while, but the Cardinals really don't have any better options to turn to the rest of the way. We can't imagine Carson Palmer is going to bother at this point returning from his broken arm, and Drew Stanton's arm is about as strong as your average noodle.
With Adrian Peterson out with a neck injury last week, the Cardinals' only offensive threat of any note was Larry Fitzgerald. The future Hall of Famer has done his part this year with 878 yards and five touchdowns, but he's at a point in his career where he certainly can't do this by himself.
It's truly a wonder how the Titans are 8-4. They've been incredibly fortunate and aren't anywhere near as good as they seem statistically.
On one blush, this team ranks No. 7 in the NFL in rushing thanks to the play of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray. But digging deeper now shows Henry with two rushing touchdowns this year of 70+ yards with less than a minute left in the game that shouldn't have gone for scores. If you take away those 147 yards, what's left is a team that averaging just 109.8 rushing yards per game and 21.0 points per game.
Not as impressed? Neither are we.
There are a lot of hidden stats that are helping the Titans out this year, though. Second-year man Kevin Byard played in all 16 games last year and started seven of them, and he didn't have a single interception. This year, he has six of the team's 10 picks.
Derrick Morgan is on his way to a double-digit sack season, and he has a couple really good pass rushers alongside him in Brian Orakpo, Erik Walden and Jurrell Casey. Few teams are as aggressive as the Titans with their blitz packages, and that's why it's so hard to move the ball against them consistently.
Let's also not forget that rookie Adoree' Jackson has been awesome at corner and has had a huge impact on special teams as well.
Weapons like that take middling teams and turn them into division champs all the time, and the Titans are hoping that will be their formula for the rest of the season.
Titans vs. Cardinals Free Picks
Our opinion of this game changes based on whether "All Day" does or doesn't play. Peterson doesn't care whether his team is in contention for the playoffs or not. This is a man who wants to play, wants to rack up as many stats as he can and wants to prove that he is worth a full-time job next season in Arizona or elsewhere.
We're going to assume that Peterson is going to be on the field, and if that's the case, we're going to take the points at our favorite online sportsbooks.
Though Gabbert might find a way to lose this game anyway, this 3.5 is a big number to be laying with a team that has been nowhere near as good as 8-4 would suggest.
NFL ATS Pick: Cardinals +3.5 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Titans 23, Cardinals 20