Tennessee Titans vs Green Bay Packers (11/17 @ 8:15 PM EST)
Spread: Packers -3
Money Line: Titans +135 / Packers -155
The Tennessee Titans (6-3) are heading to Lambeau Field for a Thursday night matchup with the Green Bay Packers (4-6). The Titans currently lead the AFC South, while the Packers are a distant second in the NFC North. While the Titans are likely heading to the playoffs, the Packers will need a win Thursday to keep their hopes alive.
The Titans are 7-2 against the spread this season. They’ve failed to cover their first two games but went on to cover their next seven. They’ve been low scoring this season, only going the total twice this season.
The Packers are 4-6 against the spread and have covered just twice over their last seven games. They also have been low scoring, leading to going over the total just three times.
The Titan’s offense is averaging a league-worst 299 yards per game. They’ve struggled without receiver AJ Brown, especially quarterback Ryan Tannehill who has only managed 1,352 yards and eight touchdowns. They have the least passing yards in the NFL, partly due to Tannehill throwing for under 200 yards in three of his last four games. The good news is that Tannehill is coming off his best game of the year, thanks to third-year receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The pair combined for 119 yards and two touchdowns, which was badly needed from one of the most underwhelming receiving corps in the NFL. Leading receiver Robert Woods has only managed one touchdown and 266 yards but has just four receptions over his last three games. It’s been ugly, but a banged-up Packer’s secondary could provide a badly needed breakout game.
Derrick Henry, who has 923 yards and 9 touchdowns, is the driving force behind this offense. The veteran back is coming off a week that saw him held to 53 yards, but he still has 617 yards and 6 touchdowns over his last five games. Henry dominates in touches with over 200 on the year (the next closest has 18). He’ll be facing a poor run defense on Thursday, so expect to see Henry try and top his season-high 219 yards.
Despite holding their opponents to ten points in three of their last four games, this defense still allows 380 yards per game. Of those 380, they are giving up 294 through the air. They’ve given up the fourth-most passing yards and second-most touchdowns. Despite those struggles, they have been one of the league’s elite run defenses, allowing just 85 yards per game. Their success is in part thanks to a trio of talented pass rushers Denico Autry (7 sacks), Jeffery Simmons (5.5 sacks), and Rashad Weaver (5.5 sacks). They are getting past offensive lines and putting pressure on quarterbacks all season and should continue to do so Thursday against an injured Packers offensive line.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers leads a Packer’s offense coming off its best game. They’re averaging 368 yards per game but only 18.5 points per game (24th). He has 2,315 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His injured thumb hasn’t helped, but most of his struggles can be attributed to a disappointing receiving corp. They have been led by Allen Lazard, who has a team-best 472 yards and five touchdowns. He’s been easy to contain for opposing defenses, but he hasn’t had much support. Luckily for the Pack, rookie Christian Watson had a breakout game last week and gave Rodgers the weapon he had been missing. After a couple of bad drops, Rodgers would hit Watson perfectly twice for two of their three touchdowns. The Packer’s drafted him for this exact reason, but we’ll see if the rookie can duplicate it Thursday.
With Aaron Jones (738 yards, 2 TD, 5.6 YPC)) and AJ Dillon (454 yards, 1 TD, 4.1 YPC), the Packers backfield, presents two bruising backs that can make big plays. Jones has also been active in the passing game, with 228 yards and three touchdowns. What’s more impressive about their success is that it comes despite the passing attack being in shambles. As good as the Titan’s defense has been, expect to see these two to find some success.
The defense came into the year with high expectations, but they have struggled throughout the season. They are 27th in rush and pass yards allowed and are giving up the second most yards per carry. They will likely be without top rusher Rashan Gary and corner Eric Stokes and again be missing De’Vondre Campbell. Still, the unit played well against a good Cowboys team. They have a bend-don’t-break mentality that allows long drives but only sometimes translates into points. One big concern for Thursday is the run defense, as they face one of the greatest backs in history, Derrick Henry. Green Bay will focus everything it can on stopping Henry, but we’ll see if they have the personnel to pull it off. History may at least be on their side, as Henry has failed to go over 100 yards in both of his previous matchups versus Green Bay.