Jeff Fisher welcomes the team that employed him for 17 seasons on Sunday as the St. Louis Rams host the Tennessee Titans at Edward Jones Dome.
Over that span Fisher was the longest tenured coach in the NFL, and amassed a 142-120 record, including a 5-6 record in the postseason that saw the Titans capture the 1999 AFC title and lose the subsequent Super Bowl to St. Louis by a single-yard.
Hall of Fame guard Mike Munchak took over for Fisher, and other than a 9-7 record in his first season, the Titans have been a sub-.500 team. This season they sport the seventh ranked pass defense in the NFL, and things have clicked for quarterback Jake Locker to the tune of 1,047 yards and eight touchdowns to one interception.
Fisher lost his top quarterback Sam Bradford to a season-ending ACL tear, and Kellen Clemens has taken over for a 48.6 percent completion rate and two interceptions.
St. Louis may have found some stability in the rushing game with rookie Zac Stacy, who recorded the first 100-yard game of his career in last week’s 14-9 loss to Seattle. In St. Louis’s best defensive performance of the season, they also held one of the NFL’s best rushing teams to 44 yards on the ground and no touchdowns, and sacked the quarterback seven times.
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Tennessee is coming off a bye week after losing three straight to top teams like Kansas City, Seattle, and San Francisco. The Titans averaged 15.6 points in that stretch, and all season have failed to get running back Chris Johnson his first touchdown of the year. However Johnson may have to take some blame. During his first three years in the league he reached paydirt 34 times, and over the last three just 10.
Johnson will have to bust through the Rams punishing front line in order to snap his cold streak. James Laurinaitis and rookie Alec Ogletree have accounted for nearly a quarter of the Rams total tackles this season, and third-year defensive end Robert Quinn is fourth in the NFL with 10.0 sacks.
Tennessee’s secondary could also have a field day with Clemens. Corner Alterraun Verner is tied for the NFL leads in passes defended (13) and interceptions (4), and safety Bernard Pollard leads the Titans with 47 total tackles.
Betting Odds: Tennessee is favored by 3 points
Over/Under: 39.5 points
Where To Watch Online: NFL Sunday Ticket
TV Channel: CBS
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern Time
Prediction: Tennessee 24, St. Louis 17