Kickoff Sunday, Sep 10th 1:00pm Eastern

Titans (
19.25) at

Saints (

Over/Under 41.5


Key Matchups
Titans Run D
10th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
13th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
24th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
20th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass
Saints Run D
25th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
18th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
11th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
24th DVOA/16th Yards per pass


By Hilow >>
  • Derrick Henry averaged 23.33 carries per game in games that were decided by 10 points or less in 2022, with five games of 28 or more totes during the 2022 season.
  • The offseason acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins hints at a team more likely to tack on additional percentages to their pass rate considering an offensive line almost unanimously ranked in the bottom three of the league.
  • It will be interesting to see the run-pass breakdowns early in the year for the Titans considering the changes to their personnel.
  • The Saints begin the 2022 season without Alvin Kamara and likely without rookie third-round running back Kendre Miller.
  • Jamaal Williams is likely going to be extremely popular in Week 1. As a low per-touch upside back, in a difficult matchup against a team that bases its defensive identity on stopping the run, in a game with a low game total, I am more inclined to let the field chase a modest range of outcomes.
  • Could Taysom Hill be utilized as a heavy contributor on the ground behind (or alongside) Williams?
  • Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league over the previous two seasons in expected points added per drive (EPA/drive).


Mike Vrabel has been the head coach for the Titans for the previous five seasons. During that time, we’ve seen the same smashmouth, in-your-face style football that we should expect heading into the 2023 season. That has meant an emphasis on stopping the run on defense through additional assets in the box, clogged lanes, and low blitz rates on defense and a methodical offense designed to march the field with sporadic shots deep that are built off of play action and the run. The biggest unknown surrounding this team heading into the regular season is their offensive line. No longer present are the staples along the line that we’ve grown comfortable seeing each week like Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold, Ben Jones, Nate Davis, and David Quessenberry. The new version of this offensive line is complete with a largely unproven cast that will be playing together for the first time this season. With an abridged preseason, a rookie first-round left guard, a former undrafted free agent center from 2020, and a former undrafted free agent right tackle from 2017 (who is making the move from right guard this season), the range of outcomes as far as performance up front to begin the season is extremely wide. In other words, this unit is almost unanimously ranked as a bottom three unit to start the year. That said, I still expect the Titans to try to win games in a similar fashion to what we’ve grown accustomed to during the previous five seasons under Vrabel, and the matchup with the Saints does not necessarily bode well in that regard.

We should also feel extremely comfortable in what to expect from Tennessee’s run game. Yes, the team drafted rookie Tyjae Spears in the third round in this year’s draft, but Derrick Henry is in the final year of his contract, and it is highly likely that he will no longer be with the team beyond the 2023 season – whether that is through retirement (likeliest, in my humble opinion) or free agency remains to be seen. From that perspective, I would think it’s highly likely that Spears was drafted as more of an understudy rather than someone expected to take a large portion of Henry’s work this coming year, leaving Henry as the de facto emphasis of the offense once more. The matchup on the ground is likely more difficult than the 2022 numbers would indicate after the Saints struggled through injuries and ineffective play along their defensive line and in their linebacker corps last year. The Saints allowed a middling 4.5 yards per carry in 2022 after a stifling 3.7 in 2021, the latter of which led the league that season. The most interesting part of that discussion is all of that could be thrown out the window considering previous tendencies under Vrabel. Derrick Henry averaged 23.33 carries per game in games that were decided by 10 points or less in 2022, with five games of 28 carries or more. As in, the team is highly likely to start games with an offensive design built around Henry, and they are equally as likely to continue to ride him for as long as they remain within striking distance.

The pass offense received a significant boost with the offseason acquisition of certified alpha wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, a move that will allow second-year wide receiver Treylon Burks to play a more natural route tree for his skillset as opposed to being forced into upside limiting routes typically asked of an X-type receiver. As such, I expect to see more six to nine routes (dig, corner, post, and go) from Burks in addition to more upside generating routes over the middle of the field, like slant and crossing routes. Expect Nuk to continue to operate in the heart of the route tree, with comebacks, curls, outs, and digs his bread and butter. That said, and based on camp footage and preseason tendencies, we should see sporadic usage in the seven to nine area of the route tree for Hopkins as well. Considering his contested catch prowess and elite hands, Hopkins’ presence on this offense is likely to be a significant boost to the efficiency metrics of the Tennessee pass offense. Tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo received a lot of hype this offseason for his improvements as a blocker, which should allow the second-year tight end to develop into more of a complete player and see an increase to his modest 35.8 percent snap rate and 30.3 percent route participation from his rookie season. Tight end Trevon Wesco and wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine should soak up the majority of the remaining snaps as the team should be expected to play primarily from 11- and 12-personnel.


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