Titans vs. Jets Odds, NFL Picks, Week 4 Predictions: Can Tennessee Cover Sunday’s Spread Without Star WRs?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, left, gets tackled.
|Moneyline||-250 / +200|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
After a tough loss to the Arizona Cardinals to start the season, the Tennessee Titans have bounced back to win two in a row and claim the top spot in the AFC South. They’ll look to continue that momentum Sunday when head to MetLife Stadium to face the winless New York Jets.
The Titans (2-1) managed a big win against the Indianapolis Colts last week, pulling out a 25-16 victory behind strong performances from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. In contrast, the Jets (0-3) struggled to find any consistency in a 26-0 shutout loss to the Denver Broncos.
Facing a winless Jets team, can we count on the Titans to take care of business on the road against a relatively large six-point spread?
Expect Henry To Carry Bulk Of Tennessee Load
Wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, who are both dealing with hamstring injuries, have been ruled out for Sunday’s contest. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Josh Reynolds will fill in on the outside, with slot receiver Chester Rogers likely becoming the top option in the passing game.
After faltering in Week 1 against the Cardinals, the Titans offense has since been firing on all cylinders, putting up 33 and 25 points, respectively, in its last two victories.
Much of that offense was spearheaded by Henry, who amassed 295 yards rushing and three touchdowns over the past two weeks. This week, he’ll get a strong matchup against a Jets defense that ranks 25th among all teams so far, with a 51.6 Rush Defense rating (per PFF).
While Tannehill didn’t seem like himself in Week 1, he’s bounced back a bit of late, compiling 544 passing yards and three touchdowns over the last two games. Those numbers don’t particularly jump off the page, but to be fair he hasn’t need to do much given the effectiveness of the ground game.
This week, he’ll also get a strong matchup against a Jets defense ranked third-worst among all teams with a 51.9 PFF defense rating. They also rank 26th in the league with 49.3 PFF coverage rating, which should help ease the burden a bit with Jones and Brown both sidelined. More than likely, however, the Titans will lean on Henry since they’re going up against a poor Jets rush defense.
Rough Start For Jets Rookie QB
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (groin) is expected to make his season debut against Tennessee. Denzel Mims (illness), who missed the first three weeks, is also slated to take the field for the first time. Fellow receiver Elijah Moore (concussion) has been ruled out for the matchup.
The 2021 season has not been kind to rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. While he hasn’t been surrounded with great support pieces, he also hasn’t done much to help himself. Over three games, Wilson has completed just 55.2% of his passes. He’s thrown two touchdowns to go along with seven interceptions.
However, this week he’ll have a strong draw against a Titans defense that hasn’t done much to stop opposing offenses. They currently rank 28th among all teams with a 15.5% Total DVOA (per Football Outsiders) and 22.6% Pass DVOA, which is good for 22nd in the league. That said, the Titans have faced the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, who feature offenses far superior to this version of the Jets.
Slot receiver Braxton Berrios has the best matchup of Wilson’s options, projecting to have a 71.1 matchup advantage against his primary defenders, per PFF’s WR/CB Matchup tool.
While the loss of Brown and Jones is a massive blow to this offense, the good news is the matchup against this hapless Jets team could not be any better.
Wilson has struggled to find any sense of consistency in the offense. While the return of Crowder and Mims is good long term for this offense, he’s had no time to build any rhythm with either of these options to date. And that’s something that typically takes at least a few weeks of work.
Yes, his matchup against the Titans looks good on paper, but their current defensive ranks are more a function of their early games against the Seahawks and Cardinals than anything else. This unit is more than capable of handling this Jets offense.
On the other side, I expect Henry to be fed the ball early and often, forcing the ball against the 25th-ranked Jets rushing defense for the majority of the day. Tannehill will be able to mix in the pass where needed, even with a subpar group of receiving options.
I’m taking the Titans — even without Brown and Jones — at the current line of -6, but would play it up to -7 if the line shifts before kickoff.
Pick: Titans -6