Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta? Falcons Preview: Week 4 Preview

Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta? Falcons Preview: Week 4 Preview

by September 27, 2019 0 comments

The Tennessee Titans head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons this week in a matchup that sees a pair of 1-2 teams looking to get back to .500 on the season.

The sputtering Tennessee Titans head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons, who are doing some sputtering of their own. The all-time series between these two teams is tied at seven apiece, with the Falcons winning the past two matchups.

The Titans are +4 in takeaways, while the Falcons are -4.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has passed for over 900 yards through three games with eight touchdowns and six interceptions, while Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has passed for just over 700 yards through the same span with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Mariota has 580 passing yards, eight touchdowns, no interceptions and a 149.7 rating in two career road games against NFC South opponents. He also has five touchdowns and zero interceptions in his past four games on the road.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, since Week 14 of 2018, leads the NFL in rushing yards (795) and rushing touchdowns (10), with three of those scores coming over the course of three games this season. Devonta Freeman has yet to find the end zone for the Falcons this season.

Atlanta’s leading receiver, Julio Jones, needs just four receiving yards to become the fastest to 11,000 yards in NFL history (115 games); that’s faster than the likes of Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. Tennessee’s leading receiver is tight end, Delanie Walker.

Titans safety Kevin Byard leads the NFL with 13 interceptions since 2017. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant has two interceptions on the season.

Date: Sunday, September 29

Start time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

TV Info: CBS

Here’s how I see this game playing out.

To counteract their struggling offensive line, Marcus Mariota will need to get the ball out quick all day. Expect several quick-hitters to Delanie Walker and quick screens to Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. If this is successful, the Falcons’ defense could struggle to keep up with the quick pace. I would really like to see some read-option calls as well. Mariota and Henry have had success in the past running option plays. If they limit the Falcons’ time of possession, that will also pay dividends.

Meanwhile, the Falcons’ receivers will have success, because quite simply there are too many guys that Ryan trusts, such as receivers Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, and tight end Austin Hooper (who’s coming off a two-touchdown game in Week 3). Julio Jones will be blanketed by double coverage for most of the game with the ball-hawking Kevin Byard playing over the top.

The Titans’ defense will stand up to this challenge by making enough plays at key times. Pressure on Ryan from the Titans’ front seven will lead to a critical turnover late in the game, and the Titans will get a much-needed victory in Week 4.

Marcus Mariota will make enough smart and efficient plays to keep backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill at bay for at least another week, much to the dismay of about half the team’s fanbase. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, they will have weathered the storm without Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan, who will rejoin his teammates in Week 5 after serving a four-game suspension.

Final Score: Titans 21, Falcons 17

Husband, father of 3 and an avid sports fan. Living out my childhood dream of writing about sports, now that I'm in my forties.

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