By: Russ Goldman
Each week I am hoping to bring a view of the upcoming game from a writer who covers the Patriots opposition, and this week we have Mike Patton who covers the Titans for the Titan Insider.
Mike was generous enough to take some time to answer my questions about Sunday’s game, and it’s always interesting to get some insight from someone who writes about the opposing team.
Here are my “Five Questions About The Upcoming Titans Game With Mike Patton Of The Titan Insider”.
1) On offense, is it safe to assume that we will see a heavy dose of carries for Titans running back Chris Johnson to establish the run and ease the pressure off of quarterback Jake Locker?
I think you will see Chris Johnson start out getting touches running the football to ease Jake into the game. But as the game goes on, expect to potentially see some things like Chris Johnson split out some to potentially get him the football in the passing game with space to operate. I expect at least 25+ touches for Chris Johnson in this game.
2) With wide receiver Kenny Britt out of this game, who do you see as the main target for Jake Locker with the Patriots?
Honestly, I see a guy like Kendall Wright potentially being a guy that Locker looks for a lot. Wright has impressed people with his speed and ability so far and he and Jake seem to have a good repoire with each other.
3) On defense, do you see the Titans defensive line as a strength or a weakness?
The Titans defensive line is an interesting case. They are pretty deep and can rotate guys in and out. They should be solid against the run, but where they could or could not be good is with the pass rush. That’s where Kamerion Wimbley is a wildcard. I think that the defensive line is an positive in potentially stopping the run, but in the pass rush, they still are a negative due to what we saw last year here.
4) Give me a player on defense that needs to have a great game for the Titans to win.
Kamerion Wimbley is the most important player in this game. He has the potential to cause serious problems for offensive tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer with his speed and he could also help slow down Tom Brady. With the Patriots being a pass-first team, he could be paramount.
5) Share with me your three keys to victory for the Titans over the Patriots.
The firsy key to the game is third downs. The Titans have to stop the Patriots on third downs and convert third downs. That keeps the Titans in possession of the football and Tom Brady on the sidelines.
The second key is to like previously said, establish Chris Johnson. He is the most important offensive player for the Titans and if he is getting touches and effective, the whole offense is better and it makes things that much harder for the Patriots defense.
The third key to the game is the pass rush. Will the Titans get one going vs. the Patriots or will Brady pick them apart? If no pass rush is generated, then Brady will destroy them.
Prediction: The Titans will win this game 27-23. This game rings very similar to the Titans/Saints game last year. But this year, I believe the Titans make the winning plays instead of letting the win slip thru their fingers.
A special thanks to Mike for taking time to give his thoughts on this weekend’s match-up. You can follow him on twitter right here.
You can also hear Mike Patton talk about this match-up as he was a guest on the latest episode of Patriots Fourth And Two.