The Tennessee Titans will travel north this weekend to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a matchup with playoff implications for both teams. While a Pittsburgh win would vault the 6-6-1 Steelers back into Wild Card contention, a Tennessee (9-4) victory would further solidify their number one position in the AFC South.
NFL betting lines currently have the Titans as -1 favorites over the Steelers this Sunday. So let’s take a closer look at the Tennessee offense and how many points they could score in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Tennessee Titans Offense
Heading into Week 15, the Tennessee Titans’ offense ranks 15th in points per game and 17th in yards per game. However, since the Week 8 injury that landed star-running back Derrick Henry on the injured reserve, Tennessee has struggled to display the same offensive efficiency.
Throughout the first eight weeks of the 2021 season, the Titans’ offense averaged over 28 points per game, nearly nine points higher than their average since Week 8 (19.4).
While the overall offensive metrics for the Titans have dipped since Henry’s injury, Tennessee remains the 5th-best rushing offense this season at nearly 138 yards per contest.
An exciting takeaway thus far into the 2021 season for the Tennessee Titans is their home scoring versus away scoring. In seven home games this year, Tennessee has scored just over 22 points per game. However, they average nearly a touchdown more at 28.2 per game on the road.
Matchup Against Steelers’ Defense
Over the past four weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has struggled. In three of their past four games, they’ve allowed their opponents to score more than 36 points.
Even for a Tennessee offense that hasn’t scored over 30 points in five weeks, the matchup between the Titans’ 5th-ranked rushing attack and Pittsburgh’s 30th-ranked run defense will be one to watch.
Just last week, Pittsburgh’s defense was gashed for 242 rushing yards by the league’s 10th-best rushing offense, the Minnesota Vikings. For the Vikings, this was nearly 45 yards over their previous season-high of 198.
Titans vs. Steelers
While the rushing offense for the Titans provides the most significant statistical mismatch for the Steelers’ defense, I believe the effectiveness of Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be the determining factor for the game.
Because of Tennessee’s run-heavy game plan, I believe Tannehill will have an easier time finding playmakers like Julio Jones in the passing game. The Steelers’ pass defense does rank higher than their rushing defense, but at just 14th overall, Tannehill and the Titans’ passing attack should be able to take advantage of an aggressive Steelers’ defense with play actions and screen passes.
Are the Titans a Pick for King of the Weekend?
Despite Tennessee’s recent offensive slowdown, I’m picking them to win 24-20 this weekend in Pittsburgh. If Tannehill can protect the football and exploit an aggressive Pittsburgh front, the Tennessee Titans can use a balanced offensive attack to handle the Steelers on the road.
Do you think Tennessee can break out of their offensive slump and score enough to beat Pittsburgh? Then, sign up for a BetMGM account and participate in the King of the Weekend promotion. Pick the six highest scoring teams this weekend for a chance at $50,000.