Both the Seahawks and Titans entered 2021 with high expectations. Seattle is a perennial contender with Russell Wilson under center and Pete Carroll on the sidelines. And Tennessee has been playoff-caliber since Ryan Tannehill started operating Mike Vrabel's old-school approach. But only one of these two teams looked like a real challenger in Week 1, with the Seahawks cruising past the Colts in a 28-16 win chock-full of big plays, and both Tannehill and the Titans getting demolished in a 38-13 loss to the Cardinals.
Chances are, both Seattle and Tennessee will still be in the hunt come December. But first, they stand in each other's way. On Sunday, the Seahawks will play host to the Titans in an effort to start 2-0 atop the NFC West. Can Russ stay hot airing it out against Tennessee's belabored defense? Or is Tannehill due to get the Titans back on track now that his offensive line has gotten a dreadful performance out of its system? Either way, this Week 2 clash figures to go down to the wire.
We've got you covered below with odds, predictions, key questions, information on how to watch, and more:
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How to watch
- How will the Titans' O-line respond to its Week 1 beating? More specifically, is Taylor Lewan just on the decline? The former Pro Bowler is still less than a year removed from an ACL tear. If he can't shore things up, Tannehill could be in for another long day, as Seattle got a surprising amount of pocket push against Indianapolis.
- Can Julio Jones emerge? After a quiet three-catch Titans debut, the big man needs to capitalize on Seattle's lack of cornerback depth and do his part to get Tannehill and Co. back on track. This has the makings of a physical, potentially ugly game, and in that case, Julio is all the more valuable as a key-down and red-zone specialist.
- Will Seattle stay aggressive through the air? The Seahawks gave Chris Carson a decent workload but thrived against Indy by airing it out, with Wilson averaging 11 yards per attempt and three different pass catchers logging receptions of more than 20 yards. Tennessee was even worse against the pass in Week 1. Shane Waldron could very easily dial up the big shots again.
After losing so handily in their home opener, the Titans feel like the kind of hard-nosed team capable of rebounding with a grind-it-out road upset. It's going to be hard for Lewan to be as bad as he was in Week 1, after all, and that means more/better opportunities for both Tannehill and Derrick Henry. This should be a closer game than both sides experienced on opening weekend. Still, Russ should have little trouble hitting on a few big plays to Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf against the Titans' spotty secondary, and the Seahawks' defense showed enough creativity getting after the QB to hold down the fort at home.
Pick: Seahawks 26, Titans 23
Check out CBSSports.com for even more predictions on this game and the rest of Week 2.