Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons Free Pick – 8/24/13

Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons Free Pick - 8/24/13
2013-08-24 07:00:00 EDT

The Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans take the field with both teams looking for their first win Saturday.

Atlanta is a perfect example of why the final score in a preseason game doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story of how either team performed. The Falcons dropped a 27-23 decision to Baltimore and I’ll bet they couldn’t care less. Why? Because the first team dominated the Ravens first team 20-7 heading in to the break before various back ups and bench players fell apart over the final 15 minutes with the Ravens out scoring them 20-0. Atlanta moved the ball at will in the first half and finished with over 400 yards with Matt Ryan (8-15/98) leading the first team to a big lead, while Steven Jackson and Josh Vaughn combined for 86 yards on 13 totes. The Falcons first team defense did give up a 77 yard scoring toss but allowed just 249 yards and 13 first downs while limiting Baltimore to a mere 20:20 of possession.

Just as I said above, preseason scores can be very deceiving and Tennessee knows the feeling all too well in a 27-19 loss at Cincinnati in week two. This might have been a case of what Tennessee did not do versus what the Bengals did, although Cincinnati’s first team offense had zero problems moving the ball with 220 yards in the first half on the way to 429 total yards. The Titans also gained over 400 yards but the difference was the Bengals scored when the opportunity arose and Tennessee didn’t. Jake Locker (12-20/116) did move the ball at times for the Titans in the first half with Ryan Fitzpatrick (9-13/136) looking great with a pair of touchdown thitems in the second half to make things interesting. Tennessee was their own worse enemy with three missed field goals and a failed two point conversion.

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Atlanta got what they wanted from their first team against Baltimore while Tennessee certainly could have won versus the Bengals minus the miscues. Having said that, I like the Falcons first team against the Titans first team so I’ll take the points but I don’t have a crystal ball that will tell me who playing and for how long…

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Carolyn Shelby's Free Pick:
Atlanta +3.5
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