Week 10 was frustrating for many with a ton of the “obvious” plays failing to pan out. It seems a lot of the season has gone that way just to a lesser extent. Enough living in the past, we are onto Week 11 in the NFL which includes an interesting compilation of matchups. There is only one game with a double-digit favorite (Chiefs over Giants) and there are six games with Vegas totals of 45 or higher which is actually quite a few for the NFL this season.
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Note: DVOA referenced in this article stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average which is a metric from FootballOutsiders.com.
So, let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Titans pulled out a late victory over the Bengals last week and now will have a short week as they travel to Pittsburgh. The Titans’ offense could have some struggles moving the ball and putting points on the board this week against a very solid Steelers’ defense that ranks 5th DVOA against the pass and 4th DVOA against the run. The best matchup in the passing game appears to be for WR Rishard Matthews and maybe WR Corey Davis as the Steelers’ have allowed 173 receiving yards (25th) to opposing WRs over the last five weeks. The Titans could have a little more success on the ground as the Steelers have allowed 4.41 YPC (25th) to opposing RBs this season, although that number dips to 3.01 YPC (3rd) over the last five weeks. With a split backfield and questionable production, it looks like the whole Titans’ offense should be passed by when building lineups.
The Steelers escaped Indianapolis with a narrow victory last week but will come home where they typically play better especially on the offensive side of the ball. The passing game led by QB Ben Roethlisberger should be able to move the ball on the Titans’ 24th DVOA ranked pass defense. They should be especially productive in the red zone where the Titans have allowed 1.89 TD passes (26th) per game this season. Look for WR Antonio Brown to make up for Sunday’s no-show while Juju Smith-Schuster should also get some looks on deep balls. Le’Veon Bell gets a great matchup in the passing game as well as the Titans have the 27th DVOA ranked defense against pass-catching RBs while allowing over nine receptions (27th) for 53 yards (29th) this season. While Bell will have success via the pass, his production on the ground could be limited against a solid Titans’ run defense that has allowed just 3.45 YPC (4th) and 0.33 rushing TDs (3rd) to opposing RBs.
- Ben Roethlisberger (*)
- Antonio Brown (**)
- Juju Smith-Schuster (*)
- Le’Veon Bell (*)