Now that the 2015-16 NFL Preseason has ended and the regular season begins, on Sunday the 13th of September we have a real interesting game as the Titans of Tennessee visit the Buccaneers of Tampa Bay with the game being played at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida with kick-off at 4:30 PM ET and seen on CBS TV.
The game will highlight 2 Heisman Trophy winners at QB with the Titans start QB M. Mariota who won the Heisman in 2014 and the Buccaneers start QB J. Winston who was the Heisman winner in 2013. The Buccaneers are favored at SBG Global.com at -3 -115 with the Over/under at 42 and -165 on the ML, while the underdog Titans are at +3 and +145 on the ML.
If you’re a fan of the Titans of Tennessee and Bet on NFL, your Titans are attempting to fix a struggling offense with the addition of QB Mariota, their 2nd overall pick in the draft. That is a much needed change to begin the transition to an improved team who in 2014 ranked 30th in points per game at 16, then 22nd at 213.4 in total yards passing and 29th at 304.6 in total yards each game.
We don’t think Mariota is the complete cure for Tennessee, as they must also improve their offensive front that permitted 51 sacks last season, and they need some quality running backs and receivers to supplement QB Mariota in their offense.
In the offseason the Titans made move to upgrade the offense as the drafted D. Green-Beckham, whom along with WR K. Wright who had 10 TD’s in 2014 are expected to be great targets for QB Mariota against a struggling Buccaneers defense that was ranked at 28th in 2014.
The Titan defense also required some work in this past offseason after finishing 2014 ranked 27th for yardage at 374 averaged per game. Since the Buccaneers have a better QB Winston, the Titans must apply pressure on the former Heisman and FSU QB. Thus, the Titans brought in LB B. Orakpo and hopefully he remains healthy. In 2014 the Tennessee defense with 39 sacks ranked 16th in NFL and with 12 intercepts ranked 21st.
For the Buccaneers fans of Tampa Bay, you must remember that a short time ago your QB Winston and his FSU team were beaten in the Rose Bowl by QB Mariota then leading the Ducks of Oregon. Thus, now Winston will seek redemption to Mariota in this week 1 games. In their last 3 home games the Buccaneers at e 2-1 against the spread.
The Buccaneers have a similar roster problem as the Titans, as in 2014 there then QB J. McCown was sacked on some 50 occasions, and that ranked 4th in the league for 2014. Tampa tried to resolve those issues, by drafting OL D. Smith and A. Marpet, who will join returning OL starters in E. Smith, D. Dotson and L. Mankins.
If this new OL combo can protect QB Winston, then he should have sufficient time to connect with receivers that are 6’5” in M. Evans and V. Jackson, who in this game will go up against defensive corners in P. Cox and J. McCourty who are much smaller players.
WR Jackson was somewhat disappointing last season has he only scored 2 times on his 1,004 yards of reception, while WR Evans scored 12 TD’s and had 1,052 yards receiving. With Winston at QB, Jackson could have a comeback season in regard to TD’s scored.
On the offensive backfield, Tampa sill has RB Martin who was the star RB in 2014 averaging 86 yards per game which in reality was a poor 29th in the league on 2014. Matter of fact QB McCowan scored more TD’s than did RB Martin. Thus, with QB Winston and the possibility of an improved passing game, which may open up the possibilities for the RB’s, in Martin, Rainey and Sims to shine against the Titans?
The prediction for this Heisman candidate game is that the Buccaneers of Tampa Bay will beat the Titans of Tampa Bay and cover the spread of -3 with a score Tampa 25 and Tennessee 21.