London Invasion: Tennessee Titans vs Los Angeles Chargers
After allowing a franchise record 11 sacks last week, the Tennessee Titans travel to overseas. Last week, the Baltimore Ravens defense penetrated the Titans backfield at will and pressured Mariota all game long. The 11 sacks were one short of the NFL record and he completed only 10 passes. The thing is, this was more than just poor offensive line play. Mariota did not help himself with his inability to move in the pocket. Now, the time for some major adjustments must be made to help an anemic offense that cannot put the ball in the end zone.
They will take on another franchise achievement that will hopefully end in a better result. For the first time in franchise regular-season history, the Titans will face off against the Los Angeles Chargers in London. When they were known as the Houston Oilers, they traveled to Tokyo and Mexico City to compete in the preseason. The San Diego Chargers played in London in 2008.
It goes without saying you can be mentally prepared for whatever opponent but physically is another story. Both teams are going to have to find time to get some sleep and adjust to the time change for a few days. That alone could be a struggle for many players. Could you imagine playing a game in either LA or Nashville at 8:30 in the morning?
Tennessee’s game plan all week had to be the protection for Marcus Mariota. Last week, the Chargers had five sacks against the Cleveland Browns. Tennessee will also need to find their weapons on offense. They haven’t been able to get their running tandem of Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry going as they’ve wanted. Henry was handed the starting job after a good year last season, but he has yet to justify getting the spot. Lewis is looking good catching the ball out of the backfield, but that was expected from him.
The Titans take on a powerful running offense led by Melvin Gordon for the Chargers. You take away Gordon and the offense still has Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen. This offense as you can tell is a better bet to win this game. L.A. is averaging over 26 points per game and the Titans are barely over 13.
Don’t let these defenses fool you as they are pretty evenly matched up. Tennessee ranks 8th in total defense and Los Angeles ranked 13th. The problem for the Titans has been their inability to stop the run.
Look for the Titans running game to be a little improved in this game. Dion Lewis will be depended on for his pass catching. I don’t think this game is even going to be close, but I’m going out on a limb and saying the Chargers should easily take this one 35-14.