One of the more intriguing games on the Week 6 NFL schedule features the Tennessee Titans playing the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST on Sunday, October 14, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. Fans in local markets will be able to watch the game on CBS.
The Ravens opened the week as 1-point favorites on the road. However, early betting in Baltimore’s favor has made the Ravens 3-point favorites. The over/under for the game is set at 41 points. Be sure to check out a full list of the Week 6 NFL odds.
The Ravens looked like they could be one of the best teams in the NFL until they hit a snag last week against the Browns. Baltimore managed just three field goals during their 12-9 overtime loss in Cleveland. It was a considerable disappointment for the Ravens following back-to-back wins over the Broncos and Steelers, especially since it keeps them a game back of the Bengals in the AFC North.
To make matters worse, the Ravens now face a stretch of five consecutive games against teams that are .500 or better. No matter how well the Ravens played early in the season, the losses have a chance to come quickly with that kind of schedule. With the AFC North looking like one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL, Baltimore can’t afford to let one loss turn into two, so they need to bounce back this week on the road.
The Titans are in a similar position. Tennessee was able to rattle off three consecutive wins to finish the first month of the season at 3-1. That stretch included impressive wins over the Jaguars and Eagles. However, the Titans came out flat last week and lost a winnable road game against the Bills.
With the loss, the Titans remain tied with Jacksonville atop the AFC South at 3-2 with the Texans only one game back. While Tennessee has a manageable schedule the rest of the way, this week’s game is just one of two home games the Titans have between now and December. Their other home game during that stretch is against the Patriots, so Tennessee has to take advantage of the home crowd while they have it, making this a crucial game for the Titans.
With the spread moving upward in favor of the road favorites, I’m more inclined to take Tennessee and the points as the home underdog. These two teams appear poised to plate a tight, low-scoring game. There’s a good chance this game will come down to a field goal, so with an extra three points in hand, I feel comfortable leaning toward the Titans at home.
Reports of Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense turning a corner may have been a little exaggerated. The Ravens have gone seven full quarters and most of an overtime period since their last touchdown. To be fair, they accumulated over 400 yards of offense against the Browns. They have also scored via several Justin Tucker few field goals during that touchdown drought. However, going that long between touchdowns is concerning nonetheless.
To be fair, the Cleveland defense they faced last week may have been the best they’ve faced this season. However, the Tennessee defense they’ll face this week may be just as good, possibly better. The Titans are giving up just 17 points per game, which is third-best in the NFL. They will no doubt pose a strong challenge for a Baltimore offense that’s still struggling to generate a consistent rushing attack.
On the season, the Ravens are gaining just 3.4 yards per rush. Even with Flacco having one of his better seasons in recent memory, the Ravens need better balance against a team like Tennessee. With few reasons to be optimistic about their running attack, Baltimore’s touchdown drought could continue a few more quarters.
Of course, the Tennessee offense hasn’t been anything special this season either. With Marcus Mariota contributing in the running game, the Titans are averaging over 100 yards on the ground per game. However, at just 3.7 yards per carry, it still leaves much to be desired. That’s a problem for the Titans with Mariota also being inconsistent as a passer because of a lingering elbow injury. The only silver lining is that in the only home game Mariota has started, he threw for over 300 yards and led the Titans to an overtime win over the Eagles.
That being said, Mariota and the Titans will be facing the best scoring defense in the NFL this week. The Ravens have allowed more than 14 points in just one of their five games this season. Even on the road, the Baltimore defense should be able to shut down a Tennessee offense that’s been so erratic this season.
To be honest, this game is essentially a tossup. I imagine both teams will struggle to move the ball and put points on the board. However, with the Titans being home underdogs and having a quarterback who can make plays with his legs, I have a little more faith in Tennessee. Even if the Ravens win, I’m not sure they’ll be able to cover more than a field goal, so I’ll take my chances with the Titans and the points.