**Injury update on Sunday at 5:30pmET**
Tennessee Titans (0-0) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0)
The Tennessee Titans are looking to make it back to the playoffs, a spot the Denver Broncos have only been dreaming about in recent years. Tennessee finished 9-7 last season and had quite the playoff run, knocking out the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen died just prior to training camp beginning, and this became a symbol of the struggles of the Denver. Joe Flacco came in with much hype but the offense did not gel behind him and as the Broncos lost their first four games and never recovered.
Titans Taste Success and Want MoreThere is nothing that will buoy a team’s confidence more than a big playoff run, but last season’s burst by the Titans was exceptional. They knocked out the Patriots, the team that had made three straight trips to the big game, then beat the Baltimore Ravens, the team with the best regular season in the NFL. They were also beating the Chiefs before succumbing to the eventual Super Bowl champs.
Now, with that taste of success in their mouth, they look to go even bigger this season. That starts with arguably the top running back in the league and a stable quarterback situation. Derrick Henry rushed for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was an unstoppable force in the second half of the season when the team decided to change quarterbacks and just lean on the running game. The Broncos are weak up the middle on defense, which could give Henry a golden opportunity to have a big night. Ryan Tannehill may not have worked in Miami, but he was very efficient after taking over the QB job in Tennessee and was rewarded with a big-time deal as a result. If he looks like last season, Corey Davis and A.J. Brown should both have over 1,000 yards receiving.
The Titans' defense added Jadaveon Clowney, who has all the talent in the world but did not live up to it in Houston or Seattle. He instantly becomes a disruptive force for the defense and could this defense into one of the best in the AFC, which is saying a lot. Clowney doesn't need a ton of sacks to become a force on the edge and in stopping the run.
Broncos Need a Good StartThere is a lot to be said for having a good start. Just ask the Denver Broncos. They went 0-4 to start last year and were 2-6 at the midway point, ruining their chances of making the post-season. Denver finished 4-1 in their last five, buoying hopes that this could be a big year.
Second-year quarterback Drew Lock may be the answer in Denver, as he took over the offense in those final five games and threw for seven touchdowns while completing 64.1% of his passes. He also went 4-1 as a starter. He has a big-time playmaker in Courtland Sutton, who had 1,112 yards receiving and six touchdowns last year. He will have to have a similar campaign to be considered one of the best in the league, which should garner him a big contract. Jerry Jeudy was the first-round pick of the Broncos and he will have to be great as their cupboard is pretty thin afterward. However, Sutton is doubtful with a shoulder injury and rookie speedster K.J. Hamler is questionable with a hamstring injury.
On defense, Von Miller continues to play at a very high level, recording eight sacks last season. However, his season was erased even before it got started, suffering a season-ending leg injury. This team is going to be mediocre on defense at best. They have to hope that Bradley Chubb can return from an ACL injury and take over for most of Miller's production. But he also may see a lot of double-teams with Miller gone.
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last five Monday night games.
- 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games in September.
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight Monday Night games.
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games on the road.
- 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games against AFC teams.