The opening week of the NFL regular season is here, and the Tennessee Titans face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 1. Here are some important match-ups to watch this week:
Jake Locker vs. Bill Belichick Defense
Bill Belicheck has an undefeated record against quarterbacks making their first career start. Jake Locker is making his first career start this Sunday. Can Locker run the offense and make the necessary plays from the quarterback position? Or will a defense that was historically terrible last year return to the form of past Patriot teams?
Chris Johnson vs. Vince Wilfork/LBS
The Titans need Chris Johnson to return form and make last year an aberration. He will have to go against the run stuffing NT Vince Wilfork and an improved line backing group. The Patriots drafted DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower and expect an immediate impact from both. If CJ can make plays and get in a rhythm it would be huge for taking some of the pressure off Jake Locker.
Colin McCarthy vs. Tom Brady
Colin McCarthy has been an absolute animal ever since he became the starting MLB for the Titans and this year look for him to take another step towards becoming an All-Pro. Look to see how McCarthy leads this defense; he is clearly the leader of it now. His instincts and play-making ability are going to have to come up huge against Tom Brady and his stable of receivers.
Michael Griffin vs. Patriot TE’s
Michael Griffin has shown he can play (two-time Pro Bowler) but he has also been inconsistent at times. Jerry Gray expects him to step up this year and be a play-maker for this defense. Griffin needs roam the middle of the field and take away plays between the hashes from New England’s young TE’s Gronkowski and Hernandez.
Week 1 against the Patriots is a good early test for the Titans and will really show where this team is at. I feel that there may be an upset.
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