Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans for closing the regular season with three consecutive wins. It was ugly at times (especially on offense), but a 10-6 record and a playoff berth are accomplishments worth applauding.
The Titans travel to San Diego to play the Chargers on Sunday. Of course, on Dec. 9 the Titans played the Chargers in Nashville and lost 23-17 in overtime. It was a heartbreaking loss because the Titans blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead.
The Titans definitely have the psychological edge in this game. They know they should have beaten the Chargers last month and will relish the opportunity to right that wrong. Plus, the Chargers have floundered in the playoffs in recent years. After posting a 14-2 record last year, they gagged and lost to the New England Patriots at home. Additionally, the Chargers have lost their last three home playoff games. Will all this failure cause doubt?
The big question for Tennessee is the health of quarterback Vince Young. He strained a quad muscle in the win against the Colts. His mobility is part of what makes him a big play threat. If he can't move around, the Titans might be better off starting backup Kerry Collins.
Not many folks are giving the Titans a chance. I've seen some point spreads that have the Chargers as much as a nine-point favorite. That's too many points. If nothing else, most of the Titans games have been ugly and close.
However, I'm picking the Chargers. In recent weeks, running back LaDanian Tomlinson has really gotten on track, and when he is rolling, he is the best back in the NFL. The Titans are a young team, and my gut tells me some of them will be happy just to be in the playoffs. And, as we all know, that is not an attitude to have in the playoffs.
The pick: San Diego 24 Tennessee 19
Last week: 4-3 (.571), Overall: 131-47 (.735)