Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans: Prediction, preview, pick to win

By The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 21, 2017 at 5:14 PM
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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-1) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (1-1)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Nissan Stadium. TV: FOX, Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (field reporter).

SERIES HISTORY: 16th regular-season meeting. Seahawks lead series, 10-5. This series has not had many meetings, especially since the Seahawks moved to the NFC. One of the most memorable moments came in 2009 in Seattle, where Chris Johnson broke the 2,000-yard mark in the season finale that year.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Seahawks will focus on containing the rushing attack of DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and Marcus Mariota. Seattle's linebackers and secondary match up well against Tennessee's passing attack and will need to control the running game to force tougher throws in the passing game.

Offensively, Seattle will need to build upon an encouraging rushing performance last week against the 49ers. Get Chris Carson involved early to help create play-action opportunities for Russell Wilson.

The Titans re-established the run game against Jacksonville, and they will need it to be effective this week when the Seahawks come to town. The Legion of Boom will be gunning for Mariota, and the Titans will need a strong rushing attack to help offset the Seahawks' play-making secondary.

Defensively, the Titans will have to contain Wilson. The Seahawks struggle to run the ball, putting the onus on Wilson to drive the offense. But the Titans will have to be disciplined and stay in their rush lanes.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

--Seahawks RG Mark Glowinski vs. Titans NT Jurrell Casey. Glowinski has struggled in Seattle's first two games and Casey brings another imposing interior lineman for him to deal with. While Casey will mostly draw C Justin Britt, he'll occasionally get matchups on Glowinski as well, which could cause issues for Seattle's offense. It is possible the Seahawks will start Oday Aboushi in place of Glowinski.

--Titans WR Rishard Matthews vs. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman. Some say Sherman has lost a step and isn't quite the shutdown corner he was a couple of years ago. He's dealing with a hamstring injury that was deemed serious enough to almost sideline him last week. Despite all of the additions, Matthews is still the Titans' best wide receiver and the one Marcus Mariota looks to in clutch situations.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Titans RB Derrick Henry. With DeMarco Murray iffy due to a hamstring injury, Henry could be in line to get his first start of the season on Sunday against the Seahawks. Henry came off the bench and had a 92-yard game on 14 carries, including a 17-yard TD run, in Week 2.

FAST FACTS: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has been death on AFC opponents, compiling an incredible 127.9 QB rating while averaging 297.6 yards per game with a 22-1 TD-INT ratio. ... Seahawks CB Richard Sherman had an interception the last time these teams played in 2013, one of an NFL-high 26 he has notched in the last five years. ... Titans QB Marcus Mariota loves playing against NFC teams, rolling up a 121.4 QB rating in seven games with an 18-3 TD-INT ratio. ... Titans LB Wesley Woodyard is one of four players with at least 15 sacks (17.5) and seven interceptions since the start of the 2012 season.

PREDICTION: Given the Seahawks' great defense and their offensive line's great struggles to block anyone, it might not take much offense to win this one. A win here would stamp the Titans as the favorite in a weak AFC South. If they can run the ball decently enough and not have to throw more than about 25 times, they will prevail.

OUR PICK: Titans, 17-13.

--Bucky Dent

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