When the Tennessee Titans travel down to Tampa Bay for the 2015 season opener against the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon, they will be a three-point underdog in Las Vegas. The teams were both 2-14 in the 2014 season, and both are starting the new season with rookie quarterbacks.
More at Titan Sized: Battle of 2-14 Teams on Opening Day
Each team has its myriad of problems going into the new season and both are so evenly matched that even the injury reports from both camps are offsetting.
Tennessee Titans Injury Report:
Sammie Hill: Nose Tackle: Knee Injury: Did not practice.
Jason McCourty: Cornerback: Groin Injury: Did not practice
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report:
Mike Evans: Wide Reciever: Hamstring: Did not practice.
T.J. Fantinikun: Defensive End: Shoulder: Did not practice.
As we saw in preseason, the Titans had a lot of trouble stopping top-tier quarterbacks from moving the ball down the field.
We need to take into consideration that neither Brian Orakpo nor Derrick Morgan played a lot of downs, and without that real push from the edge, both teams were able to move the ball down the field and score at will.
With Mike Evans questionable this week, that will take some of the load off a secondary that will start a rusty, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and a Coty Sensabaugh, who is still trying to prove himself on this team.
The Titans showed us in preseason also that with Orakpo in the game and his ability to seal off the edge, they were able to shut down the running game. He will have his hands full this week against Doug Martin.
The Boise State grad has not been able to live up to 1454 yards he put on the board during his rookie year, but all indications are that after two sub-par seasons in 2013 and 2014 that he may be returning to his old form.
The word on the street is that Martin is not at 100% health-wise yet, and if the Titans can shut him down in game one, they can put the pressure on a rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston who has a penchant to throw interceptions when under pressure.
So with Mike Evans out of the lineup, and all of the pressure on Winston and wide receiver, Vincent Jackson, this advantage goes to the Titans.
To add to that advantage, the Buccaneers have had trouble with their offensive line during the preseason schedule and have not been able to protect their young quarterback.
This is a huge advantage for the Titans to go into Tampa and steal game one!