The Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos battle in the nightcap of a Monday Night Football doubleheader to close out Week 1 of the National Football League. The AFC clash kickoffs at 10:10 p.m. EST inside Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Co. Denver successfully beat the Titans 16-0 last season in their only matchup against each other. Tennessee is a three-point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is coming off a 9-7 season and NFL playoff berth where they played their way to the AFC title game before falling to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans have finished the regular season 9-7 for four-straight years.
Ryan Tannehill took over the quarterback duties midway through the season when former starter Marcus Mariota struggled. Tannehill took the Titans from 2-4 to 9-7 by season’s end was voted as the NFL’s 2019 Comeback Player of the Year. Tannehill returns under center and the star of the Titan’s playoff run, running back Derrick Henry. AJ Brown and Corey Davis are back at wide receiver, and both expect to make leaps in production in 2020.
The Titans’ defense was a lower-tier unit among other teams last season. Early projections believe the defense might take an even further step back in 2020. Former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney signed with the Titans in the offseason to bring a veteran presence to the linebacking core. Malcolm Butler is back for the Titans at corner and DaQuan Jones at nose tackle.
What to Know – Denver Broncos
Denver finished the 2019 campaign with a 7-9 overall record after beginning the season 0-4. Vic Fangio’s squad rallied at the end of the season, winning four of their last five games.
Drew Lock played a large role in the season reversal. The rookie came off the injured list and started the final five games of the season to compile a 4-1 record. Denver signed running back Melvin Gordon to compliment Phillip Lindsay in the backfield. Pro Bowl wideout Courtland Sutton mans a receiving core that includes highly-touted rookie Jerry Jeudy and second-year tight end Noah Fant.
The Broncos made a few splashes in the offseason to improve their defense. Denver traded for defensive back A.J. Bouye and five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey (from the Titans). Bradley Chubb returns, but Von Miller could miss most of this season with an injury. Bryce Callahan is back from injury to provide the Broncos with one of the league’s best defensive backfields as Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons return at safety.
The Pick is In
The Broncos pitched a shutout in Denver last season against the Titans, where Mariota started and was replaced by Tannehill during the game. Tennessee held the Broncos to just 204 yards of offense, including only 39 yards on the ground. Drew Lock is now under center, and the Broncos have added key pieces on both offense and defense to improve. We favor the Broncos getting the points in this one.