- Since left tackle Taylor Lewan’s season-ending injury in Week 6, Tennessee has recorded more rush attempts than pass attempts, with Ryan Tannehill averaging fewer than 200 passing yards per game despite Tennessee going 1-3.
The big talk around the Tennessee Titans lately has centered on Ryan Tannehill’s recent lack of passing production, particularly over the past four weeks. While he’s faced difficult matchups with the Steelers, Bears, and Colts in that stretch, perhaps more notable is it started immediately after Tennessee lost three-time Pro Bowl tackle Taylor Lewan to a season-ending injury in Week 6.
Also notable is Tennessee seems to be protecting Tannehill by limiting his dropbacks. Despite going 1-3 in that stretch and being in more passing situations, Tannehill has not thrown more than 30 times in any game, and his highest passing yardage total in the stretch sits at just 233 yards in a double-digit loss to the Bengals. The Titans have run the ball more times than they’ve thrown over those four games, and have reverted to a game-managing offense.
We know the Ravens to be that type of team as well. Baltimore has struggled offensively in recent weeks, falling to the Patriots in Week 10 after a win in Indianapolis that was propelled in large part by an early defensive score. Baltimore’s play volume is down substantially this season from 2019, as their run-heavy approach and slow pace have had a profound impact once their extreme offensive efficiency regressed. Of course, the Titans are not a difficult defensive challenge, and I expect the Ravens to be able to move the ball here.
If Tennessee finds some success offensively against this tough Ravens’ defense, it’s likely to come on the ground, much like New England’s success against Baltimore last week. If the game is competitive, their recent tendencies suggest they’ll continue to run the ball, keep Tannehill upright, and shorten the game. Even if Tennessee trails, expecting them to put up late points through the air is tough, given their inability to do that in their three recent losses.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are likely to run the ball and keep the clock moving in all situations. The Titans have a vulnerable secondary, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lamar Jackson have a better passing game here. But they are the run-heaviest team in the league, and their recent offensive struggles make it hard to bank on 30-plus points.
All the recent trends suggest two offenses struggling for efficiency and willing to run the ball, to the extent that I feel like I must be missing something when I see this game total a half point below 50. The Titans are willing to play fast, and when you add in their defensive struggles, they’ve played plenty of higher-scoring games. But when two teams that want to be run-first meet, there can be long stretches without points, and nothing I’ve seen this week about this game — other than the high total — has me reconsidering my initial strong lean to the under.
NFL Expert Picks
Under 49.5 @ -110
NFL Free Picks
Week 11 sees us entering the business end of the season. Thursday Night Football is a divisional clash between the Cardinals and Seahawks and two MVP contendeners in Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. With nine teams currently sat on 6-3 records we are likely to see teams begin to seperate themselves from the pack this week. The Titans trip to trip to Baltimore to the Ravens is a big game and one which is sure to feature a lot of rushing, elsewhere on Sunday we'll be keeping an eye on the Saints to see how Jameis Winston does as he steps into Drew Brees' spot because of injury. Sunday Night Football sees the Chiefs face the Raiders, looking for revenge after suffering defeat against Jon Gruden's teams earlier in the season. Monday Night Football rounds off the week as we see the Rams face the Bucs in an intriguing primetime clash.
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