A common theme around the media during the early part of the week is power rankings. Whether they are ranking college football teams, baseball teams, basketball teams, or NFL teams it is something that most major outlets do.
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ESPN and NFL.com are no different, and they are the two that I pay the most attention to during the week. They generally use either a composite ranking to get their list, or they have someone assigned to watch every game before they make their list.
So, let’s take a look at how those two sites ranked the Tennessee Titans in their power rankings.
NFL.com: 23 (24)
“Odd time to own a bye, to say the least, as the Titans were off in Week 13. The advantage for Mike Mularkey and company here is that every team in the league is banged up. All of the former players I work with talk about how no one is 100 percent healthy at this point of the season. Especially relevant is the physical style Tennessee plays with, which could provide an advantage this Sunday against an otherwise-talented Broncos front.”
Running the ball this week will be a key against the Denver Broncos. While they have a very stout pass rush, they are giving up 4.2 yards per attempt on the ground. On top of that, they aren’t keeping runners out of the endzone and are in the bottom 10 in the NFL in rushing TDs allowed (11).
If the Tennessee Titans front line can take advantage of a team that is bottom five in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, this could be a defining moment for “exotic smashmouth” a phrase that everyone has beaten Titans fans over the head with.
“The Titans leave their bye week tied for the division lead and are finally looking to get over the .500 hump. They are 0-5 this season when entering a game at .500, and the Broncos will not make it easy this Sunday.”
The Titans have made it hard on themselves by not picking up easier wins early in the season. To get to the playoffs they will have to beat at least two teams who have a .500 or better record right now.