Falcons vs. Titans
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Line: Falcons -5
The Falcons come back home for their second matchup with the AFC South after falling to the Colts on the road last week. The Titans are coming off an ugly loss themselves, losing in what was an unwatchable Thursday night contest against the Jaguars.
It’s not ideal scheduling for the Falcons, who will face a hungry team looking to redeem themselves following an embarrassing loss on national television. However, if the Titans want to do that, they are going to need Marcus Mariotta to be much better than he has been so far this season. He has yet to throw an interception but has been beyond lackluster in the playmaking department. If the Falcons can stop this Derrick Henry led rushing attack, they should be primed to move to 2-0 at home.
Speaking of interceptions, Matt Ryan is going to have to start avoiding them for the Falcons to pick up any type of week-to-week momentum. He’s already thrown six – one less than he threw all of last year.
A loss might be the writing on the wall for Dan Quinn. Even with a couple of brutal injuries to key players, falling to 1-3 with the Seahawks, Rams, and Saints looming would be about as horrid of a start one could have imagined for the Falcons. Arthur Blank didn’t dole out hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money to watch the postseason from the couch. The team’s performance this week in a must-win game against a mediocre Titans team will be very telling whether or not Quinn’s message has become stale in the locker room.
This is where desperation has to kick in for the players and the coaches. For the most part, next year is not guaranteed for them. If the Falcons fall to 1-3, heads will start to role quick. It might begin with a player, but eventually, Quinn will be on the streets looking for another job. I’m not ready to give up yet. I still believe this team has some fight in them, and they showed it in the second half against the Colts. But it’s time for Matt Ryan and this offense to play a complete game, and for the defense to look much more discipline. This is an extremely winnable game – one the Falcons have to come away with – and they will.
Falcons 28, Titans 20