Week 2 is here.
The last 5 days have been chalked full of overreactions, outrage, and a million other questions about this Titans team after their 16 to 15 loss against the Saints. But now they will turn their attention to Nissan Stadium, where they will open the home season against the Los Angeles Chargers. For our full preview of the game, check out The Hot Read Podcast!
Here are 10 stats that you need to know for Titans vs Chargers in this week’s Titan’s Ten:
1. Bounceback Tannehill?
Ryan Tannehill will look to right the ship this week after a historically bad performance in Week 1. Tannehills 28.8 passer rating was the worst of his Titans career, and much lower than his 3 interception playoff game against the Bengals (66.7). The Titans and Tannehill will face a very different looking Chargers team this week, however caution is advised when looking to play the bounce-back.
When a team throws 3 interceptions in Week 1, Week 2 continues to not bode well for those teams, having a 17-26 record ATS in the last twenty years. Tannehill also has historically started slow with the Titans, playing in 7 Week 1 and 2 games. In those games, Tannehill has led the Titans to a 3-4 record, as well a 2-5 record ATS. Buyer Beware when looking to bet the Titans’ +3 spread as home underdogs
2. Early Morning For The Chargers
With the Chargers coming over to the Central time zone, one might think that the Titans may have the advantage with the body clock changes the Chargers will face. However, Justin Herbert and the Chargers have found success despite the earlier playing time. Herbert and the Chargers are 9-4 ATS playing in Eastern or Central time after playing in the Pacific the week prior. He’s been 4-0 since the start of the 2022 season in the statistic. If you were hoping the Titans could take advantage of a tired Chargers team, think again.
3. The Coaching Mismatch
The Titans head into the week 2 matchup currently as 3-point underdogs, but once again Mike Vrabel as an underdog is an enticing bet.
Vrabel has been very successful as an underdog, going 24-15-1 ATS when not favored.. When an underdog of 3 or more, Vrabel is an even better 23-9-1 ATS. The Titans will once again have the advantage in the coaching matchup, making the other side of the play just as intriguing.
4. Dynamic Receivers
The Titans first home matchup will feature at least one wide receiver who has had a career of elite production. That receiver is the Chargers Keenan Allen. The Chargers will have the wideout with the 4th most games of 7 or more receptions at their disposal, with 50 games. The Titans will have DeAndre Hopkins available after all, who is the current leader in games with 7 or more receptions. He’s done it in 58 games in his career.
5. Arden Is The Key
The Titans front 7 got after Carr and the Saints early and often last week. However, the position group was led by a new face in Arden Key.
Key had an excellent day for the Titans, leading all Edge Rushers in pass rush win rate in week 1. Key got 11 pressures on Derrick Carr which is good for the 2nd most in a game by a single edge rusher since the start of the 2022 season, only behind Nick Bosa.
Key had a favorable matchup against the Saints’ Trevor Penning last week. But Key will have a taller task this week going up against Rashod Slater, a much better tackle and protector than Penning was.
6. A Feast Fit For A King
After a week 1 loss, where Derrick Henry was out-snapped by rookie back Tyjae Spears, and carried the ball less than 5 times in the 2nd half, I would expect Henry to have a much better performance this week.
And that’s pretty crazy considering he led the team in scrimmage yards in week 1, but Henry is poised to shred this questionable Chargers Defense. In his last 2 appearances against the Bolts, Henry averaged 21.5 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown in each game, running at an average 4.5 yards per carry.
Henry will look to top those numbers against a Chargers defense that allowed the 5th most rushing yards last season, and gave up 3 explosive rushing plays of 10 yards or more to a Dolphins team not looking to run the ball.
7. Amani Hooker-less
The Titans will be without two key secondary players in Amani Hooker and Kristian Fulton. Hooker, of the two, projects to be the more crushing loss against this pass-heavy Chargers offense.
Hooker made his impact known last week, forcing 2 turnovers for the Titans. Amani Hooker and teammate Kevin Byard are one of the most productive Safety Duos in the league, as they are only one of 2 duos to have 7 or more interceptions since 2020, only behind Bills Jordan Poyer and new Bills teammate Taylor Rapp.
8. Mike Williams
If there is one receiver that may prove to be the Titans downfall on Sunday, it’s Mike Williams. Mike Williams has a clear matchup advantage against these corners. And with the absence of Kristian Fulton and Amani Hooker.
It leaves only a few guys to go up against the dynamic big-play threat. Sean Murphy-Bunting comes to mind, but a word of caution as Murphy-Bunting gave up a 60% catch rate along with a 94.6 passer rating in 2022, leaving Mike Williams a lot of opportunities this Sunday
9. Austin Ekeler-less
The big news of the week falls on Austin Ekeler, who is not expected to travel with the team this week because of a High-Ankle Sprain suffered in last week’s loss to the Dolphins.
It doesn’t bode well for the Chargers, as they bear a 3-6 record when playing without Ekeler in his career. Joshua Kelly will look to fill the void after putting up a career-high 91 yards on 16 carries. But I would look for this ferocious Titans D to wriggle the Chargers Running game.
10. A Heavily-Weighted Matchup
And without Austin Ekeler, it leaves one elite Running Back on the field in Derrick Henry. Henry with his 100+ yards from scrimmage last week planted himself as the running back with the most games to do so. Henry now separates from Nick Chubb with 13 games of 100 yards or more from scrimmage since 2022. I expect Henry to do the same on Sunday.