Tennessee Titans: Important Player Matchups to Watch in Week 14

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Key matchups vs. the Cardinals in Week 14 for the Tennessee Titans.

At its core, football is a game of matchups. Whichever team is able to find the most favorable matchups throughout the course of the game, and exploit these matchups, will likely win. However, some matchups are more important than others and some games can hinge on these few matchups.

Based on records alone, the 8-4 Tennessee Titans should easily take care of the 5-7 Arizona Cardinals, a team that is missing their starting running back and quarterback, but anyone who has paid attention to the Cardinals recently should realize that this game is not that simple. Only two weeks ago, Arizona managed to knock off one of the league’s best teams in the Jacksonville Jaguars, which demonstrates that this is not a team that will lie down for anybody.

On the opposite side, the Titans are coming off of a narrow victory against the division rival Houston Texans. The Titans struggles in defeating Houston do not bode well for this week’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals because Houston and Arizona are two teams with very similar situations. Both are two recent playoff teams who have fallen out of the playoff race due to key injuries to their biggest stars and are currently playing backup quarterbacks. Both teams also have feared defenses of yesteryear that have not been able to carry their respective teams this season.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has performed far better than anticipated for the Cardinals and even though Adrian Peterson has been sidelined for two games now, backup Kerwynn Williams demonstrated that he could carry the load if needed with a 97 yard outing last week. The Arizona defense contains a number of extremely talented defenders that could turn this game on its head and the Tennessee Titans must be prepared to avoid mistakes that even the limited Cardinals offense can convert into points. The Titans played mostly mistake-free on offense last week and they won by the skin of their teeth. They need to continue this trend and perform better on defense this week to set up a Week 15 playoff-clinching bout against San Francisco.

Though the Cardinals are on the verge of being disqualified from the playoffs, they can still play spoiler to teams like Tennessee and have already thrown a wrench into the Jacksonville Jaguars AFC South title hopes. On the other side, the Titans are in a good spot in the AFC, but must keep pace with Jacksonville in the division. Let’s examine three key matchups that will determine the outcome of today’s game.

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