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The 6:00 pm game this Sunday pits two 8-3 side against each other as the Tennessee Titans host the Cleveland Browns.
The titans have managed to squeeze themselves in ahead of the Indianapolis Colts at the summit of the AFC South and won’t be in any mood to give up the advantage they worked to hard to fashion out for themselves. Meanwhile, the Browns have been quietly going about their business (remarkable in itself considering the level of outspokenness amongst their roster), and while they are struggling to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the have a 2-game lead over the highly fancied Baltimore Ravens in 2nd and are very much in the thick of the Playoffs race. A win over the Titans in this game would really signal the arrival of the Browns as a team to be taken seriously.
Money line: Browns 9/5 Titans 9/20
Points Spread: Titans -5
All fairly standard but Austin Hooper is 13/5 to score a TD at any time. Book it Dano!!
Fantasy Football Outlook:
Along with the Minnesota Vikings, these are probably 2 of the 3 most Running Back-orientated teams in the NFL. The Browns have a duo of Running Backs that would make any defense nervous, particularly the uber-talented Nick Chubb. Surprisingly, Chubbs return from injury hasn’t had a catastrophic effect on Kareem Hunt’s workload either, although he has blown hot and cold as the season has progressed. He has only lodged 1 TD on the ground since week 4, although he has also added 2 receiving td’s in that time. I expect Chubb to be the workhorse for this game with Hunt seeing a limited opportunity to contribute.
The Browns have a very pedestrian passing game that needs to add killer instinct. That’s not to say they don’t have solid options, Jarvis Landry has one of the best pair of hands in the NFL, although he hasn’t been able to translate that into red zone production. His TD last week against Jacksonville was his 1st of the 2020 campaign so taper your expectations.
Another guy who scored in that win was Tight End Austin Hooper and if the Browns look to pass the ball anywhere near the goalline, he would be the obvious threat. I’d be known as the stubborn type, and flat out refuse to believe ‘The Hoop’ won’t put a couple of teams to the sword before this season is over. But him and Mayfield need to push it into next gear soon.
Someone interesting to keep an eye on for Dynasty owners is Donovan Peoples-Jones. A lot of people felt he fell way too far in the draft and was one of the steals of the whole thing. So far, he hasn’t lived up to that hype, but a suspect Titans pass defense could be the opportunity he has been waiting for to make an impact.
The Titans have been regulars on Sky Sports this season so my thoughts on them aren’t much of a secret at this stage. We all know Derrick Henry is an absolute beast, AJ Brown can light anyone up on his day and Ryan Tannehill provides the steady, if unspectacular, glue that holds it all together. An interesting piece of trivia: Corey Davis has only caught 2 Touchdowns in 2020, but both of them have been against AFC North opposition. So, you’re saying there’s a chance?!
The big injury news is that Tight End Jonnu Smith misses out with a knee problem. Bad news for fantasy owners of Smith, who has been a top tier fantasy Tight End this year. How the Titans will replace him is uncertain. Anthony Firkser is the next one on the depth chart. Firkser is another one of the ex-basketball breed of Tight Ends that is all the trend right now but, at 6’2”, he doesn’t have the size you would typically want. MyCole Pruitt and Geoff Swaim are the other 2 options and there could be a pretty even share amongst the 3. If I were to take a gamble on any of these, I’d pick Pruitt.
Nothing says it’s 2020 more than the Cleveland Browns having an 8-3 record. If they don’t go 9-3, that division is as good as over, if it isn’t already. And I reckon the Steelers can think about popping the first corks in their AFC North Title celebrations because I’m taking Mike Vrabel’s men to get the job done here. It won’t be easy and both offensive lines will be under massive stress to provide clean pockets and clear running lanes. But these Titans are battle hardened at this stage and look to be getting over a mid-season slump of sorts and are back on track.
Tennessee by 6