Trap games. We all know they exist. No matter how much you root for your team to avoid them, they will appear on your schedule. There are lots of reasons for them too. Injuries certainly can play a part. Looking past an opponent to the next one. Just having a bad game or being on the road. The FPC_Titans staff sat down and each identified what games we thought might fall into those categories.

New York Giants

Matt Duckworth:

“For me, I think the New York Giants will create match-up problems for the Titans with their revamped offense. Facts are facts, Odell Beckham Jr. creates matchup problems for just about any secondary. That doesn’t even mention super rookie Saquon Barkley. It will be a great test for the Titans defense.”

“The Titans need to establish their running game early and use it often. If Eli Manning has no football to throw OBJ can’t catch it.”

Houston Texans

Edward Oliver IV:

“If Deshaun Watson picks up anywhere close to where he left off that offense could be scary. It will be hard to stop him and Will Fuller (his number one receiver) alongside DeAndre Hopkins (his number two receiver) from being high scoring. Hopkins is dangerous no matter who throws the ball to him but Fuller flourished playing with Watson last year.”

“The Titans D line has to get after Watson. Tennessee’s cornerbacks and safeties have to shut down/ slow down Hopkins and Fuller to have a chance and force Houston to run the ball more.”

Buffalo Bills

Jake Lyman:

“Don’t forget about the Buffalo Bills game in Buffalo. The Bills are going to play the Titans at a perfect time. The Titans are coming off of a high-profile game against the Eagles at home and their only road trips thus far will have been to Florida. Tennessee will have to deal with cold weather for the first time against a strong secondary boasting Tredavious White, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer. I think teams with great secondaries will challenge the Titans due to the lack of experience and depth in the receiving core.”

“If they want to win, the front seven will have to get after Josh Allen and contain Shady McCoy. Henry and Lewis have to force Buffalo to load the box and open up passing lanes for Mariota.”

Los Angeles Chargers (London)

Dean Williams:

“It doesn’t get any more on the road than this! The Titans first trip to Wembley Stadium matches them up with a potentially elite defense. The Chargers just missed the playoffs last year and should be even better this year. Plus you never know how a trip like that will affect people.”

“I think the Titans will find some success with the short passing game.  Plays that feature quick into and out of cuts, then mix enough power running in to keep them off balance.”

Trevor Woodworth:

“The Chargers are an up and coming defense that is young, athletic and unbelievably fast. Our unproven wide receiver core could be an issue against that quickly rising secondary. The Chargers do all the things well on defense that the Titans usually exploit. Mariota may find it difficult to scramble with the likes of Joey Bosa bearing down on him. All that said, it’s a game I still think the Titans should win.”

“I think for the Titans to have a shot, the Chargers game will need to be a necessity to win. Winning this game will provide us with the necessary confidence going forward. Being able to overcome a team that shuts down everything you do well will show an enormous amount of growth. The Titans are going to have to want it more.”

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Indianapolis Colts

Jake Lyman:

“This game falls between two games Mike Vrabel will be especially geared up for. His first game against Bill Belichick and his return to Houston. I know NFL teams say they never sleep on opponents, but this one could be overlooked. Andrew Luck will most likely be back to form by this point in the season and the Titans historically struggle in Lucas Oil Stadium.”

“Tennessee will have to take advantage of an overall weak Colts roster especially on defense and exploit the young, inexperienced corners. The young receiving corps will have to step up, and Mariota will have to limit mistakes to keep this game from getting away from them.”

Matt Duckworth:

“If Andrew Luck is back and in his old grove it’s not inconceivable that the Colts could be in the playoff hunt. Division battles and division wins matter more in the grand scheme of things. In the AFC South this especially. Potential tiebreakers in the division might mean the difference between the playoffs and going home.”

“The Titans will absolutely need to stay focused on the prize in this one. I agree with Jake in that the Titans young receivers need to play well to get the win here.”

Dallas Cowboys

Dean Williams:

“Finally the Dallas Cowboys. Of all the trap games mentioned, this is the game that the majority of us thought would be the biggest problem on the schedule. What is it about this game?”

Trevor Woodworth:

“Making Dallas one dimensional will be key here. Ezekiel Elliott’s ability to literally carry Dallas could pose an issue for the Titans. That’s regardless of how good our Defensive line is going to be. Add that to Daks mobility and it certainly could pose a threat to Tennessee’s ability to win the game.”

Edward Oliver IV:

“Yes, that’s the way to do it. Stop Ezekiel Elliott and make Dak Prescott try to beat you. Dak has proven he struggles when Elliott doesn’t do well or is not playing. Without Elliott, I think Dak is a very average QB.”

“To get out of this game with a win the front 7 has to dominate. This game will come down to rushing the passer and slowing Elliott down. I think the  corners and safeties will have 2 or 3 interceptions if the front 7 play well and pressure Dak.”

Trap Games

Trap games are survivable. It’s up to the players to stay hungry and motivated. With focus and some luck, you may wiggle out with a win. But you may not, that’s why they’re called trap games.

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