Friday, September 7, 2012
ESPN's Patriots-Titans prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Titans game playing out.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 38, Titans 20. Last year this team exploded in the opener against the Dolphins. I see the same thing happening. I like what Mike Munchak is doing with this Titans team, but with a quarterback who's getting his first NFL start and missing your No. 1 wideout, this will be a long day for the Titans.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 24, Titans 17. I think this is a game the Patriots should win. The Titans are the type of team that can sneak up on someone that takes them lightly and I don't see these Patriots doing that. It might be tougher than some people think.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Patriots 27, Titans 24. This could be a closer game than some might think. The Patriots will be on the road for their opener, always a dangerous proposition. The Titans will be without one offensive play-maker in receiver Kenny Britt, but will still boast running back Chris Johnson, who will be the focus of the Patriots' defense. Offensively, it could take some time for things to jell in returning coordinator Josh McDaniels' system, after a shaky preseason. If Tom Brady can get off to a fast start with new target Brandon Lloyd, this game could be more in the Patriots' favor than this prediction suggests.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Field Yates: Patriots 31, Titans 14. Going on the road to start a season is never easy, but the Patriots have proven in recent seasons that they can take care of business away from Gillette Stadium. The Titans present a unique offensive challenge because of the speed and home-run hitting ability of running back Chris Johnson, although second-year quarterback Jake Locker has much to prove as he assumes the full-time starting gig. The Patriots' offense shouldn't take long to get rolling in 2012, and count on Tom Brady to spread the football around to his array of weapons. With firepower on offense and a beefed up defensive front, the Patriots will prevail in their season opener.
* NFL Live: Both Bruschi and Bill Polian pick the Patriots (video below).
* Madden 13 simulation: Patriots 38, Titans 21. The Titans get Gronk'd. That's the only way to describe the 38-21 thrashing the Patriots put on in this one, as Gronk caught 7 balls for 71 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns to help New England break away. The Titans actually led the game 21-17 heading into the fourth quarter, but then Brady and crew went nuts, scoring 21 unanswered to not only pull out the victory, but make a breathtaking statement in the process. Stevan Ridley added 110 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to provide the Pats an effective ground attack throughout the contest.