For the Tennessee Titans, life is about to get very complicated. So often, football lines become blurred by recent performances. Yet Mike Vrabel can be grateful for a two-game gap for his first-place squad in the AFC South.
The Titans Week 5 win over the Jaguars would have looked more convincing with a better effort towards stopping the run. And now, they embark on a crucial part of their season in Week 6 against the cruising Buffalo Bills.
Mike Vrabel’s record for weathering demanding schedules shows the Titians are capable of big wins. So let’s look at where they stand for Week 6 and the Buffalo Bills.
Mike Vrabel As Head Coach
Mike Vrabel’s career as head coach with Tennessee has shown moderate progression. In both the first two seasons, the Titans went 9-7. Last year, the team improved to 11-5 while winning the AFC South.
During each of his seasons at the helm, the Titans have stepped up against elite opponents. For example, in Week 10 of the 2018 campaign, Mike Vrabel led his new team to a convincing victory over the New England Patriots.
On the road to the playoffs last year, the Titans handed losses to the surging Bills in Week 5 and later the Ravens. So Mike Vrabel’s stats against better teams is something to consider again for Week 6 this year.
Not So Secret Weapons
Whether by coincidence or design, Mike Vrabel’s teams have remarkable results when running the ball. Of course, having Derrick Henry carrying the load helps choose running plays.
Henry and Mike Vrabel are going into their fourth season together. Over the last three seasons, Derrick Henry’s yearly yardage stats have risen by an incredible average of 500 yards. If that trend were to continue, Derrick would gain over 2500 yards this season.
In five games, Henry has already amassed 642 yards on the ground. So it’s no secret where Mike Vrabel wants to focus his offense. If not flashy, Ryan Tannehill continues to put up respectable numbers.
A.J. Brown and Chester Rogers have picked up the slack in the absence of Julio Jones. But Tannehill’s favorite weapon could return to the lineup for Week 6.
Mike Vrabel also stresses turnovers on the defensive side. The Titans led the league last year in turnover differential. Yet, with 23 takeaways and only twelve turnovers, they ranked seventh in the NFL.
Head to Head
The Buffalo Bills and Mike Vrabel are no strangers. The two teams have met every year of Mike Vrabel’s career. And the results are something worth considering when wagering on this game.
Mike Vrabel’s squad lost the first two meetings, once by one point and the other by seven in low-scoring affairs. In each game, the combined scores failed to reach 30 points.
Then, in 2020, Mike Vrabel led his Titians to a massive 42-16 victory over the Bills. The oddest part of this game was that Derrick Henry got held to only 57 yards rushing. So if the Bills focus too heavily on Henry again, Tannehill can light it up through the air.
Bills vs. Titans (+5)
A closer look at Mike Vrabel’s stats reveals an ability to get his teams ready for big opponents. Sunday night’s Week 6 game will be the biggest test of this young season for Tennessee, but this game should be close given Mike Vrabel’s history.
As if he didn’t need more motivation, Mike Vrabel’s Titans are 5-point home underdogs. I like that number and personally believe that the Titans will cover the spread. Do you agree? Create an account at BetMGM’s Tennessee sports betting site and place your bets today.