2018 Tennessee Titans Road Schedule Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
If you are a Tennessee Titans fan, I recommend you go read the Tennessean online following the team's firing of Coach Mike Mularkey back in January. I'll try and condense it for you.
In Week 13 last season, the Titans beat the visiting Houston Texans 24-13 to improve to 8-4 and in control of the division thanks to an earlier head-to-head win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was Tennessee's sixth win in seven games and the Titans looked like a legit AFC title contender.
However, then the Titans lost close games in Arizona, in San Francisco and home to the Rams, all games they could have won. It was there that the seed was planted between GM Jon Robinson and team owner Amy Adams Strunk about firing coach Mike Mularkey.
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Things appeared to change when Tennessee beat Jacksonville (the South champion) in the regular-season finale to finish 9-7 and qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2008. Then, the Titans had a stunning second-half rally in Kansas City to win the Wild-Card Game. Reports were that Mularkey was a goner had his team lost that.
Job safe with that big win, though, right? Ownership released a statement that Mularkey's job was safe and the coach was told the team was open to an extension. In the Divisional Round the next week, the Titans jumped out to a 7-0 lead in New England but were no match after that in a 35-14 loss. Mularkey was fired soon after.
Not a great look for Robinson or Adams Strunk, but probably the right move. The Titans were very unimaginative offensively, and QB Marcus Mariota regressed. So, naturally, the team would look for a better offensive mind than Mularkey, right? Nope: Tennessee hired Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, the long-time former NFL linebacker. Interesting hire, but Vrabel won three Super Bowls as a player with the Patriots during Robinson's tenure in that team's front office so they had a relationship.
Tennessee was 3-5 on the road last season (one of two playoff teams overall with a losing away mark), 3-5 against the spread and 4-4 "over/under." The Titans travel to just two playoff teams from last year: Jacksonville and Buffalo. One piece of good news is that the team plays on the road in back-to-back weeks just once (a bye breaks up one two-game road stretch). I project another 3-5 away record. Odds listed for the home team.
Sept. 9 at Dolphins (+2.5, 46.5): It's the first time in three years the Titans open on the road. They played terribly in Miami in Week 5 last year, losing 16-10. Mariota was out injured and Matt Cassel, predictably, sucked in throwing for 141 yards. Tennessee allowed just 178 yards of offense yet still lost. Key trend: Titans 6-4 ATS in past 10 at Miami.
Sept. 23 at Jaguars (-5): Biggest September game between these franchises maybe ever. The Titans got a rare sweep last year, winning in Florida 37-16 in Week 2. The Titans scored 31 second-half points. Three different players rushed for touchdowns, including tight end Delanie Walker. Key trend: Titans 4-6 ATS in past 10 as road dog in series.
Oct. 7 at Bills (pick'em): Nice break here playing in Buffalo in early October instead of early December. This already is the last away game vs. a 2017 postseason club. Titans could be a bit flat as they host the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles the Sunday prior. Buffalo won the last meeting 14-13 in Nashville in 2015. Key trend: Titans 5-3 ATS in pick'em games (last 2015).
Oct. 21 at Chargers (-3): This is in London with a 9:30 a.m. kickoff and ahead of Tennessee's bye. It's the Titans' first game outside the USA, although the Houston Oilers played in Tokyo in 1992 and in Mexico City in 1994. The Titans have lost 10 of the past 11 in this series, most recently in 2016. Key trend: Titans 3-7 ATS in past 10 before bye (any location).
Nov. 5 at Dallas (-3.5): Monday night with the Titans out of their bye. Story line here is two young quarterbacks in Mariota and Dak Prescott trying to prove last year's regression wasn't a fluke. Dallas won the last meeting 26-10 four years ago. Key trend: Titans 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 after bye (any location).
Nov. 18 at Colts (+1): Titans had never won at Lucas Oil Stadium until their 20-16 victory there in Week 12 a season ago. Tennessee rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit and sacked Jacoby Brissett eight times, one shy of the Titans franchise record. Key trend: Titans 2-8 ATS in past 10 at Colts.
Nov. 26 at Texans (-3.5): Monday night. Vrabel's return to Houston against his former team. Tennessee was obliterated there in Week 4 last year, 57-14. It was the most points in Texans history. Mariota threw two picks before leaving injured. Cassel threw two more. The Titans had 195 yards and five giveaways. Key trend: Titans 4-6 ATS in past 10 as road dog in series.
Dec. 16 at Giants (+1.5): Only road game in the final five, so if the Titans are, say, 6-5 entering Week 13 then they could be in good shape for a return to the postseason. Tennessee on extra rest here after hosting Jacksonville on Thursday in Week 14. The Giants won the last meeting in easily 2014 to end a five-game skid in the series. Key trend: Titans 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 as road favorite.
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