Eagles-Titans Scouting Report

Posted: October 21, 2010

Recent history: The Titans defeated the Eagles, 31-13, on Nov. 19, 2006 at the Linc. The Eagles lead the series, 6-3, but the Titans have won the last three.

OFFENSE

Eagles

380.3 yards per game (4th)

Titans

297.8 yards per game (26th)

Quarterback

Eagles

Kevin Kolb will make his third straight start. He ran Andy Reid's offense to near-perfection last week, completing 23 of 29 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Kolb is a rhythm passer who generally gets the ball out quickly and accurately. In his last two starts, he's got a .733 completion percentage.

Titans

Vince Young suffered a sprained knee and ankle vs. Jacksonville. While he's expected to play, his injuries may affect his ability to get outside the pocket and extend plays. The more Young throws the ball, the less chance the Titans have of winning. In the four games he's started and finished, Young has averaged just 21.5 pass attempts.

Pick: Eagles

Running back

Eagles

Despite playing with a fractured rib, LeSean McCoy has averaged 24 touches a game the last 2 weeks. He had 25 yards on his first three carries last week, then only 39 on his last 18, including five carries for losses. He was frequently used to chip the d-end on LT King Dunlap's side. He has a team-high 32 receptions.

Titans

Chris Johnson is a dangerous runner who can take it to the house on any carry. He has an explosive burst through the hole and is an outstanding downfield runner. Johnson has rushed for 110 or more yards in four of six games and is averaging 5.4 yards per carry the last two games.

Pick: Titans

Receiving

Eagles

Jeremy Maclin picked up the slack after DeSean Jackson went down last week, catching seven balls for a career-high 159 yards and two TDs. Titans will roll coverage to his side, which means the Eagles' other receivers, particularly Jason Avant and TE Brent Celek, are going to need to step up.

Titans

The Titans use two tight end sets a lot. Bo Scaife is a better receiver than blocker, but doesn't really have the speed to get behind linebackers like many of the league's top TEs. The best wideout is 6-3, 215-pound Kenny Britt. He can stretch the field and is tough to cover when Young is able to get out of the pocket.

Pick: Eagles

Offensive line

Eagles

This unit has started to stabilize after a horrendous start. It has given up just one sack in two of the last three games. C Mike McGlynn has made giant strides since Week 1 with his blocking and assignment calls. After giving up three sacks 2 weeks ago, LT King Dunlap played pretty well last week against John Abraham.

Titans

This is one of the league's best units. They're not very big inside - none of the interior three weigh more than 303 - but they don't need to create much of a crease for Chris Johnson. Michael Roos and David Stewart are in their fifth years as the Titans' starting tackles.

Pick: Titans

DEFENSE

Eagles

314.0 yards per game (11th)

Titans

328.5 yards per game (16th)

Defensive line

Eagles

The d-line has accounted for 15 of the Eagles' 18 sacks, including five by relentless RE Trent Cole. Darryl Tapp has been a difference-maker as a DT in nickel the last 2 weeks. Hard-to-move DT Antonio Dixon has done a good job of clogging up the middle and freeing others to make plays.

Titans

The Titans have a league-high 24 sacks, which is only eight fewer than they had all last season. They rotate eight players up front, which has enabled their undersized rushers, including Dave Ball (five sacks) and ex-Eagle Jason Babin (six) to stay fresh. Ball had just four career starts in 6 previous years.

Pick: Eagles

Linebacker

Eagles

This unit is coming off its best effort of the season, when the LBs were active against the run and the pass. OLBs Ernie Sims and Moise Fokou did a good job, along with the ends, of setting the edge vs. the run and funneling plays inside toward MLB Stewart Bradley.

Titans

Will Witherspoon has three sacks, which is two more than he had last year with the Eagles. He's good in space and is a solid cover LB. MLB Stephen Tulloch, who is the defense's leading tackler, is only 5-11, but has a lot of pop when he delivers hits. He struggles getting off blocks, as does OLB Gerald McRath.

Pick: Even

Secondary

Eagles

Opposing QBs have completed just 54.9 percent of their passes. SS Quintin Mikell is again playing at the high level he was 2 years ago, thanks in large part to the trust he has in rookie FS Nate Allen, who has a team-high three interceptions. CB Asante Samuel is coming off his best game of the year.

Titans

The Titans have 10 interceptions, six in the last two games. They give up a lot of passing yards, but few passing TDs (six in six games). Safeties Michael Griffin and Chris Hope both are former Pro Bowlers. Titans are deep at corner, particularly with the emergence of rookie fourth-rounder Alterraun Verner.

Pick: Titans

Special teams

Eagles

Rookie Jorrick Calvin will handle all of the return duties. He had a 44-yard punt return vs. Falcons. Eagles' coverage units both are ranked in the bottom third of the league, though they are coming off a solid performance. PK David Akers missed three FGAs last week for the first time in his career.

Titans

PK Rob Bironas has one of the league's most reliable legs. He made 91 of 104 FG attempts the previous 3 years, and is 11 of 12 this season. Rookie return man Marc Mariani is ninth in the league in both KRs and PRs and has a 98-yard KR for a TD. Both kickoff- and punt-coverage units are ranked in the top 10.

Pick: Titans

Domowitch's prediction: Titans 21, Eagles 16

KEY MATCHUPS

1. Eagles RT Winston Justice vs. Titans LDE Jason Babin: Ex-Eagle Babin has been one of the keys to a pass rush that already has notched 24 sacks. Justice is athletic, but can be overpowered. Advantage: Titans

2. Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin vs. Titans CB Courtland Finnegan and FS Michael Griffin: With DeSean Jackson out, Titans will be able to roll coverage toward Maclin, who had a career-high 159 receiving yards and two TDs last week. Advantage: Titans

3. Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley vs. Titans RB Chris Johnson: Eagles shut down Frank Gore and Michael Turner the last 2 weeks, but neither has the explosive speed that Johnson does. Advantage: Titans

Hot and Not

HOT

Eagles: WR Jeremy Maclin. He had seven catches for a career-high 159 yards and two TDs in last week's win over the Falcons.

Titans: RB Chris Johnson. He has rushed for more than 110 yards in four of Titans' six games.

NOT

Eagles: PK David Akers. He missed three FGAs in a game for the first time in his career last week.

Titans: WR Nate Washington. He had just two catches for 33 yards the last two games despite being targeted nine times.

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