Go Titans Go!

Aidan Cahill, Contributor

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With one more win this season, the Tennessee Titans would clinch their third .500 or greater record in a row, keeping their playoff chances alive still. While their chance of winning the AFC South are slim at this point, they can still make it in the wildcard spot. They need to win at least one of their next two games against the Giants or Redskins, and their week 17 matchup against the colts. At the same time, the Colts and Dolphins need to lose two of their next three while the Steelers lose out or the ravens lose two, as well as the Broncos lose one, they would make the playoffs. The Titans can pull of step one of their playoff push this weekend against the Giants.

 

Looking back at history, in their all time series, the Giants hold a 6-5 series lead. In the last 5 matches, the Titans are 4-1, with their loss coming in 2014. In 2014 however, the Titans finished 2-14  and the Giants finished 6-10, and had Eli Manning leading the team. Do you know who the quarterback was for the Titans? No, really, do you? (Looking it up, they had a carousel between Charlie Whitehurst, Jake Locker, and sixth round rookie Zach Mettenberger, who happened to start against the Giants. Out of these three, only Mettenberger is still in football, however for an independent league) Their quarterback situation has changed since then, though. They now have proven starter, and dual threat, Marcus Mariota. He’s young, nimble, and not too bad a quarterback. Eli Manning, on the other hand, is aging, and has lost a step.  Just last year he lost his incredible start streak. He’s not very accurate anymore, and has so many issues that made many fans and sportswriters think that the Giants would use their second overall pick on a highly valued prospect like Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold.

 

Looking from a more team oriented view, the Giants haven’t really progressed much as a team in the last few years. Besides a few acquisitions like Saquon Barkley, their team has not improved much. For Sunday’s game, Odell Beckham is still considered questionable too, so they might not even have their best player. However, the Titans are stronger this time, with new players on both sides of the football, like Logan Ryan, Marcus Mariota, Malcolm Butler, and Kevin Byard.

 

The Titans clearly have the advantage so far. Even though they are 27thoverall in points per game offensively, they are 4thin points per game defensively, according to pro football reference. The Giants are 16thin offense, but 23rdin defense. This clearly skews in Tennessee’s favor. As for record this season, the Giants are 5-8 and the Titans are 7-6. At home, the Giants are 2-4, while the Titans are 2-5 in away games. This doesn’t bode very well for Tennessee, or the Giants either, really. However, Tennessee’s positives outweigh the negatives.

 

As for the game itself, if the Titans can stuff the run game early, they will have no problem beating the G-men. If they get Eli throwing more, it is bound to lead to more turnovers, which leads to more opportunities for Tennessee on offense to score. They should be aiming to suppress Saquon and Odell Beckham Jr, if he even plays,  if they want to destroy New York. On offense, they should be aiming to run options and play actions a lot, since they have a mobile quarterback. Essentially, if Tennessee wins the turnover battle, they’ve won the game.

 

My prediction is that the Titans score 17 against the Giants’ 10. I predict Eli Manning will throw for 140 yards with 2 interceptions.  Saquon Barkley will rush for 85 yards and one touchdown. Mariota will throw for 220 and one interception, with a touchdown, while Deion Lewis and Derrick Henry will combine for 140  yards and one touchdown. While it should be a close game, the stats appear to be in favor of Tennessee severely. It wouldn’t be surprising if the G-men won, but Tennessee has the clear advantage.