Redskins & Titans Do Battle In Playoff Eliminator

Redskins & Titans Do Battle In Playoff Eliminator
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This week the Washington Redskins arrive in Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans in a game of extreme importance. Both of these teams currently sit with one game of the playoffs in their respective conferences. The Titans need a win to put the pressure on the Ravens and Colts for the final AFC Wildcard spot. The Redskins, despite all of their issues recently, currently sit just one game behind the Cowboys in the race for the NFC East and just half a game out of the Wildcard spots. 

Therefore, this matchup is of utmost importance for both franchises in 2018 and could be a fascinating game on Saturday evening.

The Derrick Henry Factor

The Titans are coming into this game on the back of a three game win streak. This is their second such streak of the season but this streak has something different about it. In the last two games the Titans have leaned heavily on the running of Derrick Henry. In those two games Henry has rushed the ball 50 times for 408 yards and six touchdowns. He has become the main source of offence for the Titans and I cannot see that changing this week.

The Redskins have struggled against the run since Week 7. From Week 8 onward they have allowed over 100 yards rushing in every game. In that time their average yards surrendered on the ground is 153 yards per game. If they do not change that this week then Henry and Marcus Mariota are going to run them into submission.

The Turnover Battle

Turnovers are going to be key in this game. The Redskins won their first game in five last week and it was the only game of the five in which they did not commit a turnover. In fact the Redskins are 3-7 when their offence commits at least one turnover and 4-0 when they do not have a single turnover.

The majority of the problem has been with the quarterback position, as the Redskins have given up just four fumbles this season, the second best total in the league. In contrast they have thrown 12 interceptions this season and rank 17th in the league. If Josh Johnson can play mistake free football the Redskins have a chance to cause an upset in Nashville

Additionally, forcing turnovers has not been a problem for the Redskins. They rank fifth in the league in forcing turnovers, with 25, second in fumbles recovered, 11 and eighth in interceptions, 14. In fact they have forced turnovers in all but one game this season.

The Titans for their part have been careful with the ball, ranking sixth in committing turnovers, seventh in fumbles lost and 12th in interceptions thrown. They will need to be careful once again this week as they rank in the bottom 10 in creating turnovers of any kind.

Overcoming Inconsistency

The Titans have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL this season. After losing a weird game in Miami to open the season, they then won three straight games. They then travelled to Buffalo and were completely shut down to start a three-game losing streak. After their bye week they beat both the Cowboys and Patriots by double-digits. They were then beaten by double-digits by both the Colts and Texans prior to going on this three-game winning streak.

If they can win this week then it will allow them to carry some momentum into a massive game at home against the Colts next week. Win that game and they could enter the AFC playoffs as one of the hottest teams and have every chance to cause an upset in Wildcard weekend. However, they need to show this week they are not the inconsistent team of the first 11 weeks.


The Titans come into this game as 10 point favourites and it is easy to see why. The Redskins offence is ravaged by injury and they are starting their fourth choice quarterback. Additionally, four of their eight victories this season have come by more than 10 points, including their last two. However, 10 points just feels too much in a game I expect to be low scoring. I would stay away from betting either side because the Redskins offence has proven how ineffective it can be given their current state in the last few weeks.

My belief is that neither teams gets far over 20 points in this game. There is also every chance that the Redskins do not score two touchdowns and for that reason I would look to bet the under with the current line set around 37.

This may not be the most exciting game of the weekend but it should be hard fought. They can often be the most exciting game and with potential playoffs on the line this could be a fascinating game to watch on Saturday afternoon.

Image credit: Mark Zaleski/AP

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