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Sport Saints at Titans how to watch: TV, streaming, odds, pick as Tennessee looks to keep top seed in AFC

08:45  12 november  2021
08:45  12 november  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

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The Tennessee Titans are on the verge of NFL history after beating four straight teams that made the playoffs last season to emerge as the top seed in the AFC through the midway point of the season. A win against the New Orleans Saints Sunday would give the Titans five consecutive wins against playoff teams from 2020, matching the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles for the longest win streak against playoff teams from the previous season.

  Saints at Titans how to watch: TV, streaming, odds, pick as Tennessee looks to keep top seed in AFC © Provided by CBS Sports

Tennessee has a challenge with New Orleans coming to town. The Saints boast a top five scoring defense, yet are down to their third-string quarterback in Trevor Siemian -- who started his first game for the team last week. Siemian will start for the Saints again this week, coming off a loss to the Falcons in which he completed 25 of 41 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions (94.5 rating) . He'll face a Titans defense that has significantly improved from last year. Tennessee already has 23 sacks after just recording 19 in 2020, which presents a tough task for Siemian and the Saints' offensive line.

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Can the Saints avenge their loss to the Atlanta Falcons and improve the offense under Siemian? Will the Titans continue their winning streak? Here's a preview of Sunday's interconference clash.

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Nov. 14 | Time: 1 p.m. ET

Location: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tennessee)TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Follow: CBS Sports App

Odds: Titans -3, O/U 44.5

Key Matchups

Trevor Siemian vs. man defense

Siemian has been solid in his two games, completing 58.6% of his passes for 406 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions (94.5 rating). Barring a major setback in performance, he'll be the Saints starter for the rest of the year -- even though Tennessee could play a huge factor in determining that fate Sunday.

Siemian hasn't been good against man coverage, completing just 41% of his passes compared to 69% against zone. The Titans have been in man on 29% of pass plays this season, which is 15th-most in the NFL. This shouldn't be undersold, as Tennessee did play man against Zach Wilson in Week 4 45% of the time with the New York Jets quarterback struggling against that coverage (the Titans did lose that game). Tennessee has allowed 51% of passes to be complete when playing man, third-lowest in the league.

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Don't be surprised to see a lot of man coverage against Siemian on Sunday.

Titans rush offense vs. Saints run defense

The Saints have the best run defense in terms of yards per carry, allowing just 3.2 yards per attempt. New Orleans held the Atlanta Falcons to just 1.4 yards per carry last week, a bad sign for a Titans run offense that doesn't have Derrick Henry. Tennessee averaged a season-low 2.7 yards per rush in a Week 9 win over the Los Angeles Rams, and the Titans had their third-fewest rushing attempts of the year with 26.

To put it in context, Henry had more rush attempts in his last full game played (28) before going down with his injury than the carries Tennessee had in Week 9. The Titans had a season-low 68 yards rushing and 194 total yards, clearly missing the presence of Henry -- even in the easy victory.

Adrian Peterson led Tennessee with 10 carries. He'll have to be better against a Saints defense that clogs the gaps quick as the Titans will rely on him to carry the power running game.

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Prediction

Latest Odds: Tennessee Titans -3

The Saints are going to have to lean on Alvin Kamara if they wish to beat the Titans. Kamara accounts for 32.2% of the Saints' offense, the highest of any player in the NFL. New Orleans has a weird knack for beating teams .500 or better -- defeating Tampa Bay, Green Bay and New England. They'll be up for the challenge against a Tennessee team that needs to throw the ball downfield in order to win.

New Orleans is tied for the second-most completions of 50-plus yards allowed (five) and tied for 28th in completions of 25-plus yards (23). Tennessee needs Ryan Tannehill to air it out to A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to extend its winning streak.

This game can go either way, but a big play downfield will be the difference. The Titans have the playmakers for that to happen.

Titans 23, Saints 21

Falcons' Cordarrelle Patterson game-time decision Thursday vs. Patriots with ankle injury .
The Falcons weren't yet willing to rule Patterson out as of Tuesday evening, and that remains the case roughly 24 hours ahead of kickoff. According to Nick Shook of the NFL's website, Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith said that Patterson will be a game-time decision Thursday evening. As noted by Shook and ESPN stats, Patterson has evolved into the Falcons' top ball-carrier out of the backfield, leads the team with five touchdown receptions, and has accumulated 776 yards from scrimmage and seven total scores. Interestingly, it remains unclear who would serve as Atlanta's RB1 on Thursday if Patterson can't play.

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