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Chargers at Titans

12/25/09

At 13-3 a year ago and with the team largely intact, no one expected the Tennessee Titans to fall flat on their faces like they did to start off this season. At 0-6 they were the laughing stock of the NFL and Jeff Fisher was wearing a Peyton Manning Jersey stating he wanted to "feel like a winner". Well, no one is laughing now as Fisher and the Titans are still alive for a playoff birth at 7-7.

The Titans Chances are slim. They will need to win their two remaining games, and basically need the Ravens and Broncos to lose their final two games. Not likely. But they can only worry about what they can control at this point. The Chargers meanwhile, wrapped up the AFC West last week but still need to win in order to get the 2nd seed in the AFC and a first round bye.

So, what we have here Christmas Night is pretty close to a playoff game, with one side facing elimination. A meaningful game to say the least. Who would have thought that, looking at the schedule a few weeks ago.

It should be a good one as it's a match up of two of the hottest teams in the NFL. At this point you can forget about what happened in September and October. It's now, "what have you done for me lately".

The Titans have been impressive. If we break this down by looking at each teams last 6 games we find the Titans with yards per point numbers of 14 on offense and 18 on defense. Very good. Numbers like that suggest this team can not only play with anyone, but can beat anyone on any given day. Had they started winning earlier in the year, this team would be a contender. It will take a miracle, but if the Titans get in, I wouldn't want to face them in the playoffs.

But they face a tough test in facing another one of the hottest teams in football. Perhaps no team is hotter than the Chargers, winners of 9 straight. If we take a look at the Chargers numbers over the last 6 games, as we have done with the Titans, we find their numbers to be even better than the Titans. They weigh in with a 12.5 offensively and a 20.6 defensively. Very solid.

So the Chargers would be a +8 and the Titans would be a +4. Giving the Titans 2 or 3 points for Home field advantage, the Chargers would still be a 1 point favorite here, making the +3 very attractive.

We agree with the numbers here and think the Chargers are the right side. It's the Chargers that have been the more consistent team for a longer period of time. It's the Chargers that have a very good chance to be playing in the AFC Championship game with a shot at going to the Super Bowl. That all starts with a first round bye and the #2 seed, which starts with a win Xmas Night. 2* Chargers +3
 

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