New Orleans Saints (5-3, 4-4 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (7-2, 7-2), 1 p.m
Brolley’s Saints Stats and Trends
The Saints are 4-1 toward overs in their last five games.
Alvin Kamara notched 17/104/1 scrimmage while playing 68% of the snaps, which is the second straight game he’s finished with under 70% of the snaps since Mark Ingram joined the fold. Ingram played 35% of the snaps and he posted 9/43 rushing and 5/21 receiving against the Falcons in Week 9, which was his first double-digit FP performance since the season opener. The Saints did bring in three RBs for workouts this week with Kamara reportedly getting banged up in Week 9, so this is a situation to monitor in Week 10 and beyond. The Titans are giving up the seventh-fewest FPG (20.9) to RBs, and Darrell Henderson managed just 14/58 scrimmage against them last week.
In true Sean Payton fashion, he went against expectations and started Trevor Siemian against the Falcons after he played well in relief of Jameis Winston (ACL, IR) in Week 8. Siemian completed 25/41 passes for 249 yards (6.0 YPA) and two TDs, and he played better than numbers would indicate with Saints’ receivers dropping three passes. Hill saw limited action in his first game back from a four-week layoff for a concussion, posting just 33 passing yards and four receiving yards. The Titans have four INTs in the last two weeks, and they’ve held Matthew Stafford and Patrick Mahomes to a combined 24.8 FP in matchups over the last three weeks.
Deonte Harris has seen 7+ targets in consecutive games since Siemian stepped into the lineup, and he posted a team-best eight targets (19% share) for 6/52 receiving against the Falcons on just 30% of the snaps. Marquez Callaway has 3+ catches in four straight games after posting 3/25/1 receiving on six targets in Week 9 on 79% of the snaps. The Titans are giving up by far the most receptions per game (17.0) and the most receiving yards per game (218.0) to WRs.
Adam Trautman is trending in the right direction with 35+ yards in three of his last four games.He’s also seen 13 targets since Siemian stepped into the lineup, which matched his 13 targets through his first six games. Tyler Higbee posted 5/51 receiving on 10 targets last week.
Brolley’s Titans Stats and Trends
The Titans have reeled off five straight outright wins and covers.
Tennessee is 4-1 toward under in its last five home games.
The Titans used a true committee in their first game without Derrick Henry (foot, IR). Jeremy McNichols led the backfield with a 45% snap share, and he turned his snaps into 7/24 rushing and 3/11 receiving. Adrian Peterson played a promising 33% of the snaps, which he turned into 11/26/1 scrimmage and he handled two of the three goal-line carries — McNichols saw the other GL carry. D’Onta Foreman posted 5/29 rushing on a 21% share. The Saints are giving up just 2.8 YPC and a league-low 53.1 rushing yards per game to RBs.
The Titans’ offense is a work in progress without Henry after averaging an ugly 3.5 yards per play for 194 total yards in their victory over the Rams last week. Ryan Tannehill posted season-lows in passing yards (143), YPA (5.3), and completions as he turned into a game manager last week. The Saints have been ripped for 28 FP in consecutive games by Matt Ryan and Tom Brady.
A.J. Brown disappointed with just 5/42 receiving in his first game without Henry, but he did see 11 targets (42% share) and he had two uncharacteristic drops or his day could’ve been much better. Brown has seen 9+ targets in four straight games and he owns a league-best 37% target share in that span. Mike Evans (2/48/1) and D.K. Metcalf (2/96/1) have come through with solid games against Marshon Lattimore and company in the last three weeks.
Julio Jones saw his most action (74% snap share) since Week 2, and he caught all four of his targets for 35 yards. He’s still reached double-digit FP just once and he’s topped 50+ yards twice this season. The Saints are giving up the fourth-most FPG (41.9) to WRs after Olamide Zaccheaus went for 3/58/2 receiving against them last week.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 28.3 (19th)
Plays per game: 64.3 (26th)
Pass: 51.9% (32nd) | Run: 48.1% (1st)
Pace: 27.7 (16th)
Plays per game: 71.7 (3rd)
Pass: 55.3% (27th) | Run: 44.7% (6th)
The Titans surprisingly didn’t have to do much last week to pick up a win against the Rams. The game was 21-3 at the half and Tennessee ended up only running 56 total plays as a result. We didn’t really learn much about how different their offense will be in such a lopsided game, but we’ll get more of a feel here in a game that is projected to be close. My lean is that the Titans come out with a fairly pass-heavy plan considering that New Orleans is stone-walling opposing RBs a league-low 2.93 YPC and Adrian Peterson did nothing to inspire confidence last week.
On the Saints side, it’ll be interesting to see if they open up their passing game just a bit more with Alvin Kamara (knee) banged up. The Saints are running the ball at the third-highest rate above expectation when the game is within a score (+5.3%) and they’re even more run-heavy than the Titans (+3% above expected).
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
New Orleans will face a very unique challenge in Week 10 — a Derrick Henry-less Tennessee offense leading a team atop my power rankings that consider strength of schedule faced and playoff odds. The Titans have played the fifth-most difficult schedule and are currently tied with the Cardinals for the highest chance to make the playoffs.
With Henry in the fold, the passing offense will always play second fiddle. But losing Henry will place the spotlight on Ryan Tannehill to showcase why he’s been one of the very best QBs in the game for longer than most realize. The sexy numbers haven’t been there this season for Tannehill… and that’s about to change. Quality and efficiency.
The Saints have managed to keep their QBs relatively clean. Washington’s is the only pass rush that’s been able to compile at least 15 pressures. But New Orleans is not equipped with the type of WRs capable of punishing the Titans’ corner concerns. Trevor Siemian has played well the last two games but, in spite of appearances, I will not be trusting him. The name I’ll be after is Taysom Hill. Hill has the rushing ability to push issues with WR depth to the backburner. And that could be of utmost importance with Alvin Kamara extremely iffy with a knee injury.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
RB injuries are the story of this game.
The Saints officially will not have Alvin Kamara this week with a knee injury. Beat writer Nick Underhill was the first to report the potential injury on Tuesday, when the Saints worked out some RBs, and Underhill was correct in the belief that Kamara will not play.
Ace beat writer Nick Underhill on Alvin Kamara vs Titans (-3)— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) November 11, 2021
"Probably doubtful... Kamara could play without practicing this week, but it seems unlikely from what I'm hearing that that's going to be the outcome." https://t.co/91XewfLPAo
Obviously, the Saints’ trade for Mark Ingram pays dividends here, as Ingram nearly split touches with Kamara last week and figures to be in the RB2 conversation.
With Trevor Siemian at QB after struggling for a chunk of last week, I wonder if Taysom Hill’s role will increase this week. Still, Siemian is a distributor-type QB, and that’s going to limit this offense given his skill set. Here’s our Greg Cosell from his Week 9 Film Notes:
Siemian is a ball distributor and an executor, He is a pocket QB who needs the pass game concepts to present the reads and throws; In that context he can line up and run your offense, At his best he is both patient and decisive with the ability to efficiently execute a balanced well-schemed offense that allows him to play with timing and rhythm from the pocket
Siemian ball placement not as consistently precise as it needs to be given the kind of QB he is, He is a touch and pace thrower who lacks a power arm to drive the ball
As Tom noted above, this is a good matchup for WRs… but the Saints don’t have any. Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway are dart-throw types.
The Titans upset the Rams last week in their first game without Derrick Henry, but it was a defensive effort that got it done. In all, the Titans gained under 200 yards of offense and averaged under 4.0 yards per play.
Their backfield rotation wasn’t very productive in the first game with Adrian Peterson, Jeremy McNichols, and D’Onta Foreman sharing reps. Here’s Graham from Week 10 Start/Sit:
“Unsurprisingly, the Titans went with a full-blown rotation in their backfield in their first game without Derrick Henry. You don’t simply replace a King. Last week vs. the Rams, Jeremy McNichols (45%) led the way in snap rate followed by Adrian Peterson (33%) and D’Onta Foreman (21%). McNichols, unsurprisingly, led the backfield in routes (12) while Peterson and Foreman handled the early down work. I thought Adrian Peterson ran extremely poorly and there were multiple plays where he ran into the backs of his linemen. And the stats back that up as 15 of Peterson’s 21 yards came after contact. Well, this matchup couldn’t get any worse this week. You know to avoid this Saints front-seven at this point. On the year, New Orleans is giving up a league-low 2.93 YPC and 57.9 yards per game to opposing ground games. McNichols is the main guy I’d trust in PPR leagues, and even then, it’s very thin.”
The Titans aren’t ruling out one guy getting hot here and rolling with him:
.@Titans OC Todd Downing: Said if a running back gets a hot hand, team could ride him— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) November 11, 2021
And, burying the lede here, they’re going to have to lean on the run game and AJ Brown if Julio Jones (hamstring) can’t play. Julio was added back to the injury report on Thursday after apparently tweaking something on a drill. He spent all of one day off the injury report.
Something to monitor. Not sure if Julio Jones tweaked anything on this rep bit he wasn't too happy afterward and walked over to a trainer. It was towards the end of the open portion of practice. Didn't see him take any reps after it. #Titans pic.twitter.com/xycmDkCpqc— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 11, 2021
Julio is officially questionable… but I’m not brave enough to play him.