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Sunday Night NFL Picks — Tennessee Titans vs LA Rams

La Rams

Tennessee Needs ‘Plan B’ Without Henry Against the LA Rams

By Charles Jay

Did the LA Rams get a break? Well, about a week ago, we weren’t really sure whether, when we formulated our Sunday Night Football NFL picks at BetAnySports, we would be thinking about what the Tennessee Titans would do without the cornerstone of their offense.

But that is a very real consideration now, since he suffered a possible season-ending injury to his foot. There is a lack of viable alternatives in the backfield as the Titans get set to do battle with the Los Angeles Rams in a game that begins at 8:20 p.m. ET .at  Sofi Stadium.

Sunday Night NFL Picks — Why is Henry’s loss so big?

Generally we are in an era where teams use the “committee” approach to their ground game. But with the Titans it was very much a one-man show. Henry is the workhorse; the guy who gets more yardage after contact than anyone else. He was, by a very big margin, the NFL rushing leader when he went out with his injury. And there is no question that the Tennessee offense is built around what he can do; he has personally, through his rushing and receiving, accounted for 37% of what they have gained.

And we have gotten quotes from people like offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who has insisted that this team would not alter its offensive approach just because Henry was injured. But we know that if that’s really the case, his team may very quickly lose a 2.5 game lead it has over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South.

So what will they do? Let’s explore it.

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Sunday Night NFL Picks — Here are the numbers…

In the Sunday night football odds at BetAnySports, the Rams are pretty healthy favorites:

LA Rams – 7.5  (-105)
Tennessee Titans + 7.5  (-115)

Over 53 points -110
Under 53 points – 110

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Sunday Night NFL Picks — — So what about the Titans’ course of action?

First of all, let’s address the backfield. Jeremy McNichols is the closest thing Henry has had to a backup. But he’s kind of like that old commercial with the Maytag repair man, in that he never really got too much work in that regard — seven carries, to be exact.

We should not disqualify him, in the sense that he does have 21 receptions on the season. And at the very least, he will be someone quarterback Ryan Tannehill will look for out of the backfield.

We don’t really know how much Adrian Peterson will play, but from all the reports we read, they are expecting the living legend to play something close to a lead role. Peterson, of course is one of a handful of backs to top 2,000 yards in a season, but he is also is 36 years old, hasn’t played a down of football yet this season, and averaged only 3.9 yards per carry for the Detroit Lions last year. He did go over 1,000 yards three years ago for the Washington Redskins, so ultimately he can be a serviceable option. But NOW?

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Sunday Night NFL Picks — Will the Titans take to the air more?

If you are looking for an opinion from this end, we’d say yes.  it’s not as if the Titans have a quarterback who was not capable. Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 2002 yards, and don’t discount the fact that he is a guy who can pull the ball down and run with it as well.

He has two extremely capable wide receivers in Julio Jones and AJ Brown, the latter of whom has 509 yards already. Tennessee, to this point, has run the ball 47 percent of the time, and we do not expect that percentage to hold, at least if they want to give themselves a shot at victory.

Sunday Night NFL Picks — So what’s our conclusion?

With the offensive capability of the LA Rams, where Matthew Stafford has been reborn with almost 2,500 passing yards and 22 touchdowns (and just 4 INT’s), it is clear that the Titans will have to do something to keep pace. Unless Peterson is ready to make a major impact right away, it’s hard for us to believe that Tennessee will be anything but one-dimensional.

And the LA Rams can attack that one dimension. Take note that in terms of “sacked” percentage, Tannehill is fourth worst in the league. And the Rams are not only second in the league in sacks, they have added Von Miller to the defense in a trade with Denver.

While Tennessee is adjusting its approach, Los Angeles appears to be a more well-oiled machine, so we would side with them and lay the points.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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