Historically, the Tennessee Titans do not fare well against the Los Angeles Chargers. The all-time tilt stands at 14-27-1, but the Titans hope to balance the scale a bit more on Sunday. Before the season, I picked the Chargers as my favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Quarterback Phillip Rivers is an eight-time pro-bowler and leads an explosive offense in LA. Their defense—when healthy—can go toe-to-toe with anyone. To me, the Chargers were the most complete team in the AFC. So, what happened?
The injury bug bit them. In mid-August, sophomore safety Derwin James went out for the season with a stress fracture in his foot. Pro-bowl DE Melvin Ingram is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game with a hamstring. The list is seemingly endless.
The Chargers and the Titans each sit at 2-4, and both have a lot on the line. It feels like a win or go home situation. For Titans fans, the hope is to see QB Ryan Tannehill revitalize a stagnant offense. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith must dial-up plays with a bit more creativity.
With Rivers at the helm, and superstar RBs in Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler in support, I don’t see how the Titans survive this one. While their defensive line is stout and becomes even more fortified with the addition of DT Jeffery Simmons, the Titans struggle to bring down backs past the first level. According to Football Outsiders, the Titans rank 30th in the league in open field pursuit. Not to mention, the Titans could be without one of their best players in ILB Jayon Brown.
The Titans keep it close, but can’t get the job done at home.
Prediction: Chargers 20, Titans 14