Tennessee sportswriter Ben Arthur breaks down the game and offers his prediction:
Titans offense vs. Giants defense
This matchup bodes well for star running back Derrick Henry, starting his bounce back campaign. The Giants are thin in the middle — veteran Blake Martinez was unexpectedly cut last week and one of their top backups, sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers, tore his ACL over the summer — so they could struggle to contain Henry. New York ranked 25th in defense of the run last season, allowing 129 yards per game.
With the status of Giants top pick Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and 2021 second-rounder Azeez Ojulari (calf) uncertain, rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere and the right tackle spot — the Titans’ biggest concern up front — may not seriously threatened. But the Titans must remain vigilant in pass protection. Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale, who served in the same position with the Ravens the past four seasons, is known to deploy blitzes at a high rate.
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With New York’s worries at an end, this could be the perfect game for Ryan Tannehill and his new confidence-building weapons.
Who has the edge? Titans
The Titans defense against the Giants offense
The Titans’ defensive front is poised to dominate the line of scrimmage and make quarterback Daniel Jones’ day miserable — even without top running back Harold Landry. The Giants are at offensive tackle between No. 7 overall pick Evan Neal (right tackle) and 2020 first-round pick Andrew Thomas (left tackle), but their interior offensive line is one of their biggest weaknesses. That’s good news for star defensive tackles Jeffrey Simmons and Denico Autry, who combined for 17.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss last season.
However, running back Saquon Barkley will be a bit. The 2018 rookie offensive lineman has played in just 15 games over the past two seasons due to injury.
“Everyone must be at the point of attack. meaning he can take it in, bounce it, jump,” coach Mike Vrabel said of Barkley. “If there’s a crease there, he’ll take it. You just have to build a wall. We played against him a few years ago, but our good games were the ones where we had the edge and there wasn’t much space inside. Trying to avoid those opportunities where there’s only one guy making a tackle because those (situations) are tough.”
Tennessee is unproven at cornerback opposite Kristian Fulton between second-year pro Caleb Farley and rookie sophomore Roger McCreary, but New York doesn’t appear to have the personnel to be a serious threat on the outside. The Giants’ top two wideouts, veteran Kenny Golladay and 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney, combined for fewer than 1,000 receiving yards last season. Golladay, who had an unspecified offseason procedure, surprisingly played significant snaps in the preseason, and Toney underwent offseason knee surgery and a hamstring injury.
Who has the edge? Titans
Not only do the Titans have an obvious advantage in talent, but the Giants also have injury issues, compounding their concerns in this matchup. This should be a no-brainer for Tennessee if they play to their potential.
Titans 30, Giants 14
This article originally appeared on the Nashville Tennessean: Tennessee Titans vs New York Giants: Score prediction, scouting report