This is one of those games we should think is no problem, and many of us do... which worries me. After that Tampa loss, I just bring myself to be certain we'll beat any bad team. And the Titans are a bad team.
Eagles offense vs Titans Defense
Defensively the Titans are dead last in the NFL, giving up 374.3 yards a game. As a unit they've done a very poor job tackling which will be a big problem when facing Brian Westbrook. Westbrook is ranks 6th in NFL in yards form scrimmages and leads the team in both rushing yards and receptions. With the Eagles renewed commitment to the run, Westbrook could very well be in for the first back to back 100 yard rushing performances of his career. #36 is on pace to become 1st Eagle with 1,000 rushing & 800 receiving yards in single season.
Through the air, the Titans have also struggled. Their secondary has some raw talent, but have been plagued by miscues and blown coverages all year that have led to big plays. as we know, the Eagles have quite the affinity for the big play. The team leads the league by more than twice as many scoring plays over 40 yards than any other team. Donte Stallworth finally looked healthy against the Redskins and immediately made an impact with a 6 catches for 139 yds and a TD. I would expect the Titans to give him the same 10 yard+ cushions that the Redskins were. This should open up Reggie Brown and LJ Smith who both have been quite lately for plenty of opportunities to make plays.
Titans offense vs Eagles Defense
The Titans approach will likely be no different than the Redskins approach last week. They'll look to establish the run with Travis Henry and look to keep the Eagles offense off the field. Henry has had a decent year with 586 yards and 4 TDs so far.
Overall though the Titan's offense is just not good. They are 4th from the bottom in the NFL in offense scoring only 16 pts a game. Rookie QB Vince Young has shown flashes, but like all rookies he's going through the usual growing pains. He's only completing 46% of his passes for 121 yards a game with 8 INTs. Should he need to start throwing the ball the Eagles much improved and opportunistic secondary will likely have a field day.
Since the return of Lito Sheppard & Rod Hood the Eagles defense has been very good. The secondary hasn't allowed a passing TD in three straight games. Overall the Eagles defense now ranks 5th in the NFC in yardage allowed with 311.9 yds/game.
Vince Young does present some problems with his legs with 176 yards rushing this year for 3 TDs, but he's certainly no Mike Vick. He's only rushed the ball 37 times this year, comparatively McNabb has rushed 32 times for 222 yards and 3 TDs. Where Vince Young could hurt the Eagles is on 3rd downs, where they tend to blitz and can overpursue, leaving the middle of the field open for Young scramble for a first down. We've seen QBs alot less mobile than Young beat the Eagles for 1st downs in those situations. I'll be interested to see if Jim Johnson gives him the Vick treatment and brings pressure up the middle and plays containment with his speedy ends.
Vinnie Iyer from the Sporting News picked this game as his "lock of the week"
The Titans' defense really has no answers for both Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, and you can expect their offense to struggle as wily Eagles' defensive coordinator Jim Johnson pulls out his old tricks to fluster McNabb's rookie counterpart, Vince Young. Really, I've been given a lock on silver platter -- I think. Eagles 34, Titans 13.
On paper, there's no reason to argue with Vinnie. I'll say Eagles 31, Titans 10.
A second strong performance in a row would give me a whole lot more confidence in this team making a playoff run.