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coleryan
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San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

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On 09/16/2013 03:11 PM in NFL
San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans: Preview and Pick

In week three of the NFL two teams that have surprised early in the season will meet on the field as the San Diego Chargers will travel to play the Tennessee Titans. Both of these teams have a 1-1 record but both have played very well and posted two very big wins as underdogs.

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Titans listed as three point favorites. This is mostly due to the home field advantage as the Chargers will have to travel to the East coast for the second time in as many weeks. After the big win against the Eagles, the betting public is taking a liking to this team as the sports betting consensus shows that 64 percent of the public is backing the Bolts right now. The line is yet to move and can still be found at (-3) at most of the top rated online sportsbooks.
The Chargers were predicted to have a down season, but instead they have started off very well. They lost a close game to start the season against the Houston Texans when their defense could not hold a lead. Then they rebounded with a big win on the road against the fast paced Philadelphia Eagles. Phillip Rivers and Eddie Royal have a great chemistry and they will be a hard duo to stop in the future.

The Tennessee Titans had a big win in the opening week on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers and almost defeated the Texans in week two in a game where they had the led on the road. These two teams will face off this week with many similarities. The Titans are led by Jake Locker and Chris Johnson on offense. Playing their first game at home will give the Titans extra motivation to win in week three.

The NFL betting trends for this game favors the Chargers. The Titans are 0-5 straight up against the Chargers in the last five outings, and the Chargers are 4-2 straight up in the last six games which makes them very enticing as underdogs.
The total has been a popular bet for Charger games as the over has cashed in five of the last six overall and five straight on the NFL highway. The total has also gone over five of the last seven times when the Titans have played the Chargers.

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.
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09/17/2013 04:13 PM
Tennessee Titans running back Shonn Greene had arthroscopic knee surgery and will likely miss the team's next two games, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Greene was injured during the Titans' opener, a 16-9 road win Sept. 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He'd carried four times for 18 yards. The Titans' third back, Jackie Battle, worked in Greene's place from there against the Steelers, and again in Sunday's overtime loss to the Houston Texans.

Though he's averaged only 2.4 yards a carry, Battle converted a fourth down against Pittsburgh and scored the Titans' only touchdown. He failed to convert a fourth down in Houston. He beat out Jalen Parmele in training camp for the third running back spot.


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San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd is unlikely to play against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 after being taken off the field on a stretcher Sunday with a neck injury.

Chargers coach Mike McCoy updated Floyd's status on Monday, claiming that the receiver will undergo further testing this week. "It's unlikely he'll play this week," McCoy said. "They're going to continue to do some tests on him throughout the week just to make sure we're doing everything the right way."

Floyd will be wearing a cervical collar for at least a week and the Chargers have sent his scans to Dr. Robert Watkins, a back and spine specialist, for further evaluation. At this time, there is no plan for Watkins to examine the wide receiver.

Even though this is the second time in the span of a few weeks that Floyd has left the field on a stretcher -- he suffered a knee injury in training camp -- sources close to the receiver told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder that they don't believe he would consider retirement.

The Chargers said Floyd was "doing fine" on Sunday night and that he joined his teammates on the flight to San Diego following a 33-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. "It was great to have Malcom come back with us on the team plane last night," McCoy said.

Floyd suffered the injury on hard hits by Philadelphia's DeMeco Ryans and Nate Allen on the first play from scrimmage after halftime.

Floyd was taken to a hospital for observation, McCoy said. A CT scan on Floyd's neck was negative, a team source told ESPN.
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09/18/2013 04:14 PM
The Titans have some issues – especially on offense – as they prepare for Sunday’s home opener against the Chargers.

But after two games, Tennessee is well ahead of last year at this point, when they opened with one-sided losses to New England and San Diego.

Here are five early reasons to believe that the Titans (1-1) have made significant strides from last year’s disaster:

- Turnover ratio.
In 2012, the Titans finished with a minus-four turnover ratio that was 11th-worst in the NFL. But after two games this year, the Titans are tied for second with a plus-four radio. The Titans and Chiefs are the only teams without a turnover. Those are important numbers, considering the Titans never had a losing record in any of the eight seasons they recorded an even or positive turnover potential.

-Opposing passer rating.
The Titans were carved time after time last year, from the big names like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to the lesser names like Chad Henne and Christian Ponder. By season’s end, quarterbacks had combined for a 92.7 rating against the Titans, which was seventh worst in the league. But the Titans have held two of the NFL’s better QBs – Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub – to a combined 76.6, which is ninth best. In a pass-happy league, keeping enemy quarterbacks under control is vital to the cause.

-Locker under pressure.
There’s no doubt Jake Locker and his corps of receivers need to be more productive this week, but the third-year pro has performed better under pressure so far this year. In 2012, his accuracy rate under pressure was just 43.5 percent, one of the worst figures in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. But this year, he has improved to 58.8, per PFF. And he’s felt plenty of heat, as PFF has Locker as being pressured on nearly half his throws so far.

-Getting off the field.
The defense had all kinds of difficulty getting off the field on third downs last year. It allowed offenses to convert 40 percent of all third-down opportunities in 2012, the eighth-worst figure in the league. But thanks to a better pass rush and superior pass coverage, the Titans held the Steelers to just four third-down conversions in 13 attempts and the Texans to six in 17. Overall, the two opponents converted a combined 33 percent of third-down attempts, which leaves the Titans tied for ninth-best in the league.

-Staying on the field.
The offense hardly gave the defense a chance to rest in 2012, when the Titans had an average time of possession of 27:41 – worst in the league. Through two games, the offense is still sputtering too often, but thanks in part to an increased emphasis on the run, the Titans are at least holding onto the ball longer. The Titans have had the ball for more than 30 minutes in both games so far, and their time of possession average of 32:38 is sixth in the league.
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09/19/2013 02:58 PM
Manti Te'o practiced Wednesday for the first time since injuring his right foot in August. The San Diego Chargers' second-round pick out of Notre Dame wasn't all the way back but his return represented progress.

"It's been a long time and it's definitely been a learning process," said Te'o, who was injured Aug. 8. "But I'm glad I'm at the stage where I am right now and we're going to get better every day."

Te'o hoped to work on Thursday as he tries to compensate for his time off.

"He has been in every meeting, been at every practice, been at every walk-through, been on the road with us," coach Mike McCoy said. "He hasn't missed anything besides practice time. It's just a matter of how quickly he gets back into football shape and gets ready to go."

McCoy said Te'o did have "a little rust" and declined to say whether Te'o would be activated for Sunday's game at Tennessee.

Te'o wasn't certain if he would be fit for Sunday, either.

"I hope so, but I don't know," he said. "There's always a chance I can play. To be honest with you, we haven't really tested it. We don't want to test it and take steps back. So what I did do out there, I was cutting, I was taking off, change-of-direction, and it felt pretty good."

Te'o saw action on just nine preseason plays before getting hurt. He spent the rest of training camp in a walking boot, something he shed about two weeks ago as his running on the sidelines increased.

"I think we are all happy to have him back out there," McCoy said. "That's why we picked him where we did, we wanted him to be part of the team on game day."
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09/20/2013 07:37 PM
The Titans have some issues -- especially on offense -- as they prepare for Sunday's home opener against the Chargers. But after two games, Tennessee is well ahead of last year at this point, when they opened with one-sided losses to New England and San Diego.

Here are five early reasons to believe that the Titans (1-1) have made significant strides from last year's poor season:

- Turnover ratio.
In 2012, the Titans finished with a minus-four turnover ratio that was 11th-worst in the NFL. But after two games this year, the Titans are tied for second with a plus-four ratio. The Titans and Chiefs are the only teams without a turnover. Those are important numbers, considering the Titans never had a losing record in any of the eight seasons they recorded an even or positive turnover number.

- Opposing passer rating.
The Titans were carved up time after time last year, from the big names like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to the lesser names like Chad Henne and Christian Ponder. By season's end, quarterbacks had combined for a 92.7 rating against the Titans, which was seventh-worst in the league. But the Titans have held two of the NFL's better QBs -- Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub -- to a combined 76.6, which is ninth-best. In a pass-happy league, keeping enemy quarterbacks under control is vital.

- Locker under pressure.
There's no doubt Jake Locker and his corps of receivers need to be more productive this week, but the third-year pro has performed better under pressure so far this year. In 2012, his accuracy rate under pressure was just 43.5 percent, one of the worst figures in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. But this year he has improved to 58.8, per PFF. And he's felt plenty of heat, as PFF has Locker as being pressured on nearly half his throws.

- Getting off the field.
The defense had all kinds of difficulty getting off the field on third downs last year. It allowed offenses to convert 40 percent of all third-down opportunities in 2012, the eighth-worst figure in the league. But thanks to a better pass rush and superior pass coverage, the Titans held the Steelers to just four third-down conversions in 13 attempts and the Texans to six in 17. Overall, the two opponents converted a combined 33 percent of third-down attempts, which leaves the Titans tied for ninth-best in the league.

- Staying on the field.
The offense hardly gave the defense a chance to rest in 2012, when the Titans had an average time of possession of 27:41 -- worst in the league. Through two games, the offense is still sputtering too often, but thanks in part to an increased emphasis on the run, the Titans are at least holding onto the ball longer. The Titans have had the ball for more than 30 minutes in both games so far, and their time of possession average of 32:38 is sixth in the league.
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09/20/2013 07:40 PM
The San Diego Chargers' offensive line has been a pleasant surprise during the first two weeks of the season. The new-look unit has given Philip Rivers the necessary time to be a dominant quarterback again.

One of the reasons for San Diego’s success on the line is first-round pick D.J. Fluker, who has stepped in and made an impact at right tackle. But the Chargers may be without him for Sunday's game at Tennessee.

Fluker did not practice Thursday because of a concussion he suffered in practice the day before. Because of league protocol, it may be difficult for Fluker to pass all of the tests necessary for him to be able to play Sunday. Mike Harris, a starter at left tackle last season, would start if Fluker can’t play.

Meanwhile, linebacker Donald Butler was limited in practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with a groin injury. The team thinks he can play Sunday. Rookie linebacker Manti Te’o practiced on limited basis for the second straight day after being out nearly six weeks with a foot injury. Still, it may be a long shot for him to play Sunday.
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09/21/2013 12:37 PM
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray is really high on the San Diego Chargers’ interior offensive line.

The trio of left guard Chad Rinehart, center Nick Hardwick and right guard Jeromey Clary have been quite good so far at giving quarterback Philip Rivers time to work.

Casey “When you watch them on film, (the interior line) is like a fortress for him and he’s standing back there, and if no one’s getting close, he’s making all the throws,” Gray said. “...The last two games, they’re not letting anyone come in there.”

But the Titans' top interior rusher, Jurrell Casey, doesn’t necessarily see things the same way.

“I’ve been looking at them, they’re decent," Casey said. “I wouldn’t say they are anything different than the other players that we’ve played against so far. Coaches are going to do what they do, pump them up, pump them up. But I look at every guy the same, they’re just another person in front of me. There should be no reason we don’t get push up the middle.”

If the Chargers' interior line plays the way Gray says its played, the Titans will need consistent pressure from their edge rushers: Derrick Morgan, Akeem Ayers and Kamerion Wimbley.

There could be a weak spot at right tackle. San Diego's rookie starter D.J. Fluker missed Thursday’s practice with a concussion. His backup is Michael Harris, a second-year player who came into the league undrafted out of UCLA.
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09/22/2013 07:22 AM
The Chargers have been a big surprise this year in the NFL, but so have the Titans. The Bolts make their second trip to the east coast in as many weeks and the Titans will win their home opener.

Pick: Titans -3
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