Fresh off of what could have been a season-saving win over the Cowboys, the Titans are rewarded with the New England Patriots. After a short down period to start the year, New England is rolling once again, looking like a top threat once again to threaten for a championship.
Now 7-2, the Patriots have won their last six games. Up next for them is a trip to Nashville, where they will be met with several familiar faces. Former Patriot Mike Vrabel is now running the show for the Titans, while former Patriots executive Jon Robinson is the general manager. Former Patriots like Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler, Josh Kline and Dion Lewis are now each key pieces for the Titans.
This game isn’t short on storylines, but can the Titans actually hang with Tom Brady and company? It’s a matchup that features New England’s fourth ranked offense against Tennessee first ranked defense, in terms of overall scoring.
Vegas has placed the Patriots as 6.5 point favorites against the Titans, honestly a little lower than I thought it would be. Tennessee hasn’t beaten New England since 2002. The two haven’t even played a truly competitive game since 2004.
The obvious key here will be Tennessee’s offense. Can they continue to build on what we saw on Monday night in Dallas? Is Marcus Mariota finally fully healthy? If so, will we get the Mariota we saw in Dallas again? These are all legitimate questions that we don’t know the answer to. Quite frankly, this team has given us no reason from a consistency standpoint to believe that the Monday night performance will be the new normal.
For now, it’s hard to pick against the Patriots in this spot. They’ve yet to score under 25 points in a game this season, so it’s unrealistic to think that the Titans’ defense will be able to shoulder the load on Sunday. Matt LaFleur’s offense is going to have to keep pace with Brady, which is usually a nearly impossible task — especially when you consider how inconsistent this group has been so far in 2018.