Tennessee Titans (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0, 1-0), 4:25 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Titans 24, Seahawks 30
Spread/Total Movements: 5 to 6, 52.5 to 54
Weather: 60 degrees, 90% chance of rain, 5 mph
Titans Injuries to Watch: DB Amani Hooker (foot, IR)
Seahawks Injuries to Watch: C Ethan Pocic (knee, IR), RB Rashaad Penny (calf, out), WR D’Wayne Eskridge (concussion)
Brolley’s Titans Stats and Trends
The Titans have failed to cover in four straight games.
Tennessee is 6-1 toward overs in its last seven road games.
The Titans are still 22-8-1 toward overs with Ryan Tannehill despite last week’s heartbreaking under.
The Titans were the second-biggest trainwrecks of Week 1, ahead of only the Packers. New OC Todd Downing used play action on a league-low 5.6% rate last week after the Titans used it at a league-high rate of 35.9% last season under Arthur Smith. LT Taylor Lewan didn’t help matters by getting his tail whipped all game long by Chandler Jones. Ryan Tannehill finished with just 212/1 passing (6.1 YPA) and he added 2/17/1 rushing to salvage his fantasy production. The Seahawks held Carson Wentz and a limited Colts passing attack to 251/2 passing.
Chester Rogers led the Titans with 4/62 receiving last week if you’re wondering just how bad it went for Tennessee last season. A.J. Brown rescued his fantasy production with a touchdown as he recorded 4/49/1 receiving on seven targets. Brown has now scored in 11 of his last 14 games with 12 total scores in that span. The Seahawks weren’t challenged at WR last week but they allowed the fourth-most FPG (43.4) to WRs last season.
Julio Jones had a forgettable first performance away from the Falcons, recording just 3/29 receiving on six targets and 34 routes. His aDOT sat at just 9.0 yards after averaging 12.7 yards in Atlanta last season. The Seahawks limited Michael Pittman to 3/29 receiving on four targets last week.
Anthony Firkser mustered just 3/19 receiving on four targets and 27 routes even in a pass-heavy game script. The Titans project to be trailing again but the Seahawks limited the Colts’ TEs 3/21 receiving on six targets last week.
Derrick Henry ran into a brick wall against the Cardinals, averaging just 3.4 YPC while getting stuffed at the doorstep of the end zone twice. He managed just 17/58 rushing and 3/19 receiving in a rough game script last week. The Titans will try to get him going early this week and, if they don’t, Henry could be looking at any ugly script again as six-point road underdogs. The Seahawks limited Jonathan Taylor to 3.3 YPC last week.
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks have covered in five straight September games.
Seattle is 8-2 toward unders in its last 10 games, including 4-1 toward unders in its last five home games.
Mr. September is back! Russell Wilson hung 254/4 passing on just 23 attempts for a 17.4% TD rate and 11.0 YPA. He’s now thrown for 18 TDs with a 11.2 YPA average in four September games over the last two years. Kyler Murray just carved up the Titans for a league-high 34.6 FP last week with 289/4 passing.
D.K. Metcalf got off to a quiet start in the season opener before getting going with 4/60/1 receiving on a team-best five targets (22% share) while running a route on all 28 of Wilson’s dropbacks. DeAndre Hopkins muscled the Titans around for 6/83/2 receiving last week.
Tyler Lockett matched Metcalf with a team-best five targets (22% share), but his looks were a little more valuable with 4/100/2 receiving. Lockett ran just 33% of his routes from the slot in the season opener after running 60% of his routes from the slot last season. Christian Kirk hung 5/70/2 receiving against the Titans last week.
Gerald Everett escaped with a touchdown last week but Will Dissly finished with more catches (3), targets (3), yards (37), and routes (19). The Titans weren’t tested at TE last week going against the Cardinals but they allowed the 13th-most FPG (12.9) to the position last season.
Chris Carson came out of the gates with his first 100-yard scrimmage game since Week 13 of 2020. He posted 16/91 rushing (5.7 YPC) and 3/26 receiving, but he did lose his first fumble since Week 4 last season. Cardinals RBs posted 159 scrimmage yards against the Titans in a positive game script last week — the Seahawks enter as six-point home favorites.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Week 1 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 23.3 (16th)
Week 1 – Plays per game: 73 (10th)
Week 1 – Pass: 69% (10th) | Run: 31% (23rd)
Week 1 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 23 (14th)
Week 1 – Plays per game: 57 (28th)
Week 1 – Pass: 51.8% (25th) | Run: 48.2% (8th)
The Titans got stomped in Week 1 and had to abandon the run game early, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the team changing their identity after one game with new OC Todd Downing calling plays. What I would be concerned about, for this week specifically, is another bad game-script for Derrick Henry. Over the last three seasons, Henry has averaged 24.2 FPG in wins but drops down to just 12.1 FPG in losses. Last week, Henry finished as the RB33 with just 10.7 FP. The Titans are 6.5-point road underdogs here – making Henry the most volatile RB1 on the slate. Seattle got up to a 21-10 halftime lead in Week 1 over the Colts and cruised, so we didn’t learn too much about their tendencies with new OC Shane Waldron. Seattle went 48% run-heavy because they held a lead throughout the game. We’ll know more after this week.
(Note: We’re dealing with very small sample sizes early in the season – so I’m saving the deep dive into play-calling tendencies until Week 4.)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Seahawk WR DK Metcalf was provided with a spot to smash against an Xavier Rhodes-less Indianapolis secondary in Week 1. But it just wasn’t meant to be. It turned out to be Tyler Lockett’s time to shine, scoring on a pair of long TDs. Metcalf still found paydirt once himself but, another week, another opportunity. It actually appears the Titans’ 2021 first-rounder Caleb Farley may be able to take the field this week. But it’s going to be Jackrabbit — don’t call him Janoris — Jenkins that is blessed with the task of trying to contain The Wolverine. Jenkins was in a world of hurt with DeAndre Hopkins last week. I expect the same this week.
The Cardinals didn’t take full advantage of Tennessee’s run defense in Week 1 — that’s because Arizona didn’t need to take over on the ground. Over the last three seasons, the Titans have stacked the box at the fifth-highest rate. This is actually one of the weeks where stacking the box may not be the best idea. Chris Carson generated the 11th-most FPs/attempt when presented with stacked boxes last season.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Let me get started with the Titans, with a little rant.
What the living hell is OC Todd Downing doing? Look, I know the game got out of hand early against the Cardinals last week, and for a team built like the Titans with RB Derrick Henry and the run game as the foundation, the script is going to change drastically.
But under former OC Arthur Smith, QB Ryan Tannehill and company were among the most prolific and efficient play-action teams in the entire NFL. And they ran play-action at league-high rates. Last Sunday, per SIS, Tannehill dropped back in a play-action pass three times. He was 0-for-1. Incredible. Now, Tannehill did get creamed by Chandler Jones on one of those dropbacks, for one of Jones’ 5 sacks, and the offensive line was atrocious. But play action is a cheat code, and it’s one the Titans have used to their benefit extensively over the last two seasons. It must become the biggest part of their passing game, again.
Highest-graded QBs off play action since 2019:— PFF (@PFF) February 27, 2021
🧀Aaron Rodgers - 96.0
⚔️Ryan Tannehill - 94.0 pic.twitter.com/OVcnGTxpEw
As for Henry, this spot doesn’t exactly line him up for success. It’s hard to bench him in season-long formats, but this is the kind of risk you take when you draft Henry. While Tannehill’s game last week didn’t resemble his 2020 self, Henry’s did — in that the Titans lost and he didn’t produce.
The Titans are 6.5-point underdogs in a game with a 53.5 Over/Under— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 16, 2021
Over his last 13 games that had an over/under of 50.0-points or more, Derrick Henry averages:
- 30.7 FPG in wins (7)
- 9.1 FPG in losses (6) https://t.co/ifZgef9UF5
At receiver, with the Titans such heavy underdogs, I’m firing up AJ Brown as a WR1, and Julio Jones as a WR3. However, I have to point out that our Greg Cosell said on our Week 2 Matchup Podcast with John Hansen that Julio didn’t separate at all in Week 1 against the Cardinals. Again, it was a blowout game and his first with his new team, and it’s a ridiculously small sample. I don’t want to call out Julio when his whole team messed their shorts, but it’s something to monitor going forward.
With Seattle, I don’t know how you’re not giddy to start everyone. Kyler Murray did what he wanted against Tennessee last week, so I expect Russell Wilson will do the same.
Picking between DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in DFS formats is one of the most frustrating things to do in fantasy, but in season-long formats, you just press the lock button on both. The Titans surrendered multi-TD games to both DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk last week.
You also press the lock button on Chris Carson, now that Rashaad Penny (calf) will miss time.
The TE position is now one to monitor for the Seahawks. Gerald Everett scored against Indy last week, but Will Dissly finished with more catches (3), targets (3), yards (37), and routes (19). The Titans allowed the 13th-most FPG (12.9) to the position last season. If I had to pick one, it’s Everett, but neither guy is a particularly appealing season-long option yet.