New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 22, 2019
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
NASHVILLE – The New Orleans Saints have their sights set on improving their playoff positioning in the NFC. The Tennessee Titans are just hoping to stay in contention for a spot in the AFC as the teams head into a significant matchup today.
With Drew Brees eclipsing the all-time record for passing touchdowns in a 34-7 dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night, the Saints kept pace with the top teams in the NFC, although they enter Week 16 behind Seattle and Green Bay for a first-round bye due to a variety of tiebreakers.
“There’s more to be desired with some of the things that we’re doing. There’s definitely room for improvement,” Brees told reporters this week in the wake of his 29-for-30 passing display against the Colts. “You come off a game like that and you say, all right, well yeah, I mean it was pretty good all the way around, but each opponent requires a different game plan.”
The Titans had won six of seven before falling 24-21 to Houston last Sunday in a battle for first place in the AFC South. They close with a visit to the Texans next week in a game that likely will have loads of playoff implications.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -2.5. O/U: 50.5
ABOUT THE SAINTS (11-3): While Brees and company seemingly are clicking on all cylinders, New Orleans’ defense should get a boost from the addition of cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was claimed off waivers after getting released by the New York Giants. “It felt amazing,” Jenkins told reporters of getting claimed by the Saints. “I’m just happy to be here, man. I like the way they work around here. I love coach [Sean Payton], how he coaches guys. I’m just ready to play football.” Jenkins has a career high-tying four interceptions and will join a team that ranks fifth in the NFL with a plus-11 turnover differential.
ABOUT THE TITANS (8-6): With a potential do-or-die matchup with the Texans next Sunday, head coach Mike Vrabel is making sure his players are focusing on the matter at hand. “To talk about the next time we play the Texans would not be giving our team, or the Saints, the recognition that this week deserves,” he told reporters when asked about the Week 17 game. “We understand that we’ll play them again, but we have to focus on what this game was, the stuff that came out of this game, and then we have to move forward to the Saints and put our focus there.” Tennessee averaged 37.5 points during a four-game winning streak before being shut out in the first half of the loss to Houston.
- Saints WR Michael Thomas needs 11 catches over his final two games to surpass Marvin Harrison’s NFL single-season record of 143.
- The Titans placed Ryan Succop on injured resserve and signed fellow K Greg Joseph, who made 17-of-20 field goals with Cleveland last season.
- Tennessee has won five of the last six meetings, including a 2015 matchup in which Brees threw for 387 yards and three touchdowns.
PREDICTION: Saints 28, Titans 24