Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Lions -5.5, O/U 47
Titans vs. Lions TV Coverage: CBS
There’s a reason why the Titans are 5-28 since the start of the 2014 season and Mike Mularkey is trying to establish a new culture in the locker room to change that. When they’re not getting blown out, the Titans have problems closing out games. That was the case last Sunday. Tennessee pitched a shutout in the first half against Minnesota and led 10-0. The new-look team was one half away from taking down an NFC contender. Then the roof caved in.
The Titans turned the ball over three times and two of those were taken back for touchdowns. A Marcus Mariota interception was returned 77 yards for a score and a fumbled handoff to DeMarco Murray was also cashed in. Tennessee failed to register a takeaway and finished with a -3 turnover margin against a team starting a 36-year-old backup quarterback.
Continuing their successful run from the end of last season, the Lions got off on the right foot with a win over the Colts in Week 1. The game turned into a shootout with two young gun slingers tossing the ball all over the yard. Matthew Stafford hit 31 of 39 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns and combined with Andrew Luck to produce 725 yards through the air with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. It was Stafford who had the last laugh, though, engineering the 21st fourth quarter game-winning scoring drive of his career. It took him three plays to go 50 yards in the final half-minute to set up a field goal.
Matchup To Watch
The Titans did a nice job defensively shutting down the Vikings but still the effort felt incomplete. It was mainly because they lost the game, but also because Tennessee failed to record a sack or create a turnover. The Titans kept the Vikings offense off the scoreboard, limiting them to 301 total yards and four field goals. They also held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards on 19 carries and allowed Shaun Hill to complete just 54.5 percent of his passes. With numbers like that you’d expect the Titans to be the victors. You’d be wrong.
It’s time for Tennessee to shift gears and the Titans better find the right one. The Vikings don’t care about no-huddle offenses and up-tempo schemes. Under Mike Zimmer they rely on defense to win. The Titans played right into their hands. And the problem now for Tennessee is that they have an average defense at best that likely feels good about itself with gaudy numbers.
And that’s a problem because the Lions have offensive weapons that can expose the Titans weaknesses. Stafford has taken control of the Lions offense under Cooter and showed the leadership that’s been lacking for most of his time in Detroit. He not only threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, he expertly ran the last-minute drill to get the Lions in field goal range for the game-winner at Indianapolis. The Titans know what’s coming and they could be helpless to stop it.
Titans vs. Lions Free Picks
Both teams are improved over last year’s versions but it was the Lions who came out of Week 1 with a victory. Prepping for their home opener Detroit is -5.5 as the Titans still try to figure out how to win games. Tennessee literally gave one away last week and if it can narrow the turnover margin, the Titans might have a shot. Take away Minnesota’s two defensive scores and the Titans are winners. Unfortunately, that’s now how it works.
The Lions blitzed the Colts for nearly 450 yards of offense and didn’t commit a turnover in picking up a Week 1 road win. Stafford was on fire last week and it’s no coincidence that his play from the middle of last season is the reason why the Lions are 7-2 both SU and ATS in their last nine regular season games. I like the Titans to cover the odds at BookMaker.eu with the Lions getting the straight up win.
Titans vs. Lions Week 2 ATS Pick: Titans +5.5 at BookMaker.eu
Titans vs. Lions Score Prediction: Lions 31, Titans 27