The Tennessee Titans began the 2019 season with a 2-4 record and were looking like just another also-ran after being embarrassed by the Denver Broncos. Then they made a move that turned their season around. The Broncos had to pull the trigger on a move as well, and at the same position (quarterback), which has given them some hope for the future. But BetOnline customers know that one of their main cogs has gone down with an injury, and that will affect things?
But how much? We will find out on Monday night, when ESPN presents a clash between the two teams as the second half of their season-opening doubleheader, kicking off at 10:10 PM ET at Empower Field at Mile High.
When the Titans rolled into Mile High last season, they were already struggling on the offensive end. But things got to the boiling point as they were shut down and shut out by the Broncos (16-0). During that game, however, came a ray of light that wasn’t readily evident at the time. Head coach Mike Vrabel made the decision to yank Marcus Mariota and insert Ryan Tannehill into the lineup at quarterback.
After a season-opening 43-13 mauling of Cleveland, the Titans scored 55 points over their next five games. After Tannehill became the starter, they averaged 30.4 points a game for the rest of the regular season. Tannehill not only led the NFL in passing efficiency, he did so by a wide margin. He completed 70% of his passes for 9.59 yards per completion, which was best in the NFL.
In the Monday Night NFL betting odds at BetOnline, the Titans are a road favorite:
Tennessee Titans -2.5 (+100)
Denver Broncos +2.5 (-120)
Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110
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It’s not that Tannehill was executing an aerial circus; in fact, quite the contrary. Tennessee came about its success largely because it was able to enforce a bruising ground game, featuring former Heisman winner Derrick Henry, who had 1540 regular season yards with 16 touchdowns. The Titans beat New England AND Baltimore on the road and looked, for at least one half, like they might do the same at Kansas City, which would have taken them to the Super Bowl.
What Tennessee was NOT able to do last season was protect its quarterbacks with great efficiency. The offensive line surrendered 58 sacks – only two teams allowed more. And, well, up until Tuesday, the idea of the Broncos coming at Tannehill with bookend pass rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb was an operative factor in this game.
But then Miller was shelved with an ankle injury, perhaps for the entire season. It is a shame, because by all accounts he was having a heck of a camp. Miller, a Super Bowl MVP, is a game-changer. His absence affects things. But there is still Chubb on the other side. And head coach Vic Fangio, a defensive mind of some note, has been piecing together personnel that fits his scheme better.
The excitement in Denver, however, is mostly speculation on the continued development of Drew Lock, the latest “quarterback of the future” who they think might have a chance to stick. Lock ignited the offense with his “dual threat” capabilities, and the Broncos won four of their last five games with him at the helm.
Fangio has brought in Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula to the offensive staff. Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler were drafted in the first two rounds to team with Courtney Sutton (coming off a 1000-yard season) in a speedy and potentially scary wide receiver group. Tight end Noah Fant, last year’s #1 pick, averaged 14 yards a catch. Melvin Gordon has arrived to join Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in one of the league’s best backfield. In other words, Lock has plenty of ammunition to work with.
I’d say enough to rate Denver the nod here as a home underdog.
Point spreads and totals for Week 1 of the NFL season are up at BetOnline, where you will find some of the most challenging and entertaining propositions and futures bets available in the world. Whether it relates to the Super Bowl, division titles, over-unders on regular season wins, or player performances, you can explore it to your heart’s content. And remember that on a daily basis, you can get greatly enhanced payouts on pre-selected parlays with Odds Booster………. There are lots of trouble-free ways to open your account, and that includes Bitcoin, the digital currency that would allow you to get into the action fast, and get paid fast too!