Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
The Titans made the post-season last season, but they were a major disappointment. On paper, they looked like one of the better teams in the AFC, but snuck into the post-season with just 9 wins, despite a 6-4 record in games decided by a touchdown or less and arguably the easiest schedule in the NFL. They managed to pull the upset in Kansas City in their first playoff game, but made the wise decision to let go of head coach Mike Mularkey regardless of the playoff win. Mularkey’s offensive scheme seemed to hold the Titans’ offensive players back, while new head coach Mike Vrabel brings an innovative young offensive mind with him in ex-Falcons and Rams quarterback coach Matt LaFleur, who will be their offensive coordinator. With a new coaching staff, this team could easily make the leap forward that many were expecting from them last season.
The Dolphins, on the other hand, look like one of the worst teams in the league. They get quarterback Ryan Tannehill back from injury, but lost their best offensive player (Jarvis Landry) and their best defensive player (Ndamukong Suh) this off-season and were not a good team to begin with. They went 6-10 last season and were even worse than that suggests, as their 6 wins came by a combined 47 points, while their 10 losses came by a combined 159 points, giving them a point differential of -112, 29th in the NFL. The Titans enter this game pretty banged up with right tackle Jack Conklin, outside linebacker Harold Landry, and middle linebacker Rashaan Evans out, which is the only reason this isn’t my Pick of the Week, but the Titans should still be favored by at least a field goal in this one and I like their chances of winning fairly easily.
Tennessee Titans 24 Miami Dolphins 17
Pick against the spread: Tennessee -1