Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Our scouting report, score prediction

It's a twist straight out of a whodunit mystery: The matchup between two teams connected by their blockbuster wide receiver trade will probably be decided in the running game.

The AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans (7-4) visit the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday (noon, FOX) in a matchup most notable because of the offseason trade that sent Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown from the Titans to the Eagles. But for as valuable as Brown has been in Philadelphia, this game will likely come down to the rushing offenses and defenses.

The Eagles have the NFL's third-best rushing attack and have the league's most rushing touchdowns. The Titans have the NFL's third-best rushing defense and have allowed the league's fewest rushing touchdowns. Titans running back Derrick Henry is the NFL's second-leading rusher and the Eagles' defense is averaging five tackles for loss per game.

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With two offenses that love to run the ball and two defenses built to stop it going head-to-head, this matchup figures to be an interesting strength-vs.-strength battle. Here is The Tennessean's scouting report and score prediction for Sunday's game.

Titans offense vs. Eagles defense

In three games since getting quarterback Ryan Tannehill back from injury, the Titans' offense has done a bit of a backflip. Henry went from averaging 109 yards per game in his first eight contests to 59 per game in his past three. And the passing attack went from gaining 136 yards per game to 282 yards per game. Whether before or after the injury, though, the Titans offense is still averaging fewer than 20 points per game.

At its best, the Eagles' defense is among the league's scariest. Seven opponents have failed to score 20 points against Philadelphia this season. But of the four teams that broke the 20 mark against the Eagles, three carried that all the way to more than 30 points. Two of those teams, like the Titans, don't average more than 20 points per game.

There's reason to believe the Titans can get their rushing attack going Sunday; seven of the Eagles' opponents have passed the 100-yard mark on the ground this year. But if the Titans have to turn Tannehill loose against the Eagles' No. 2-ranked pass defense that also leads the NFL in interceptions, the Eagles would decidedly have the advantage.

Titans defense vs. Eagles offense

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is putting together an MVP-caliber season, accounting for 25 passing and rushing touchdowns with just three interceptions. He broke loose for 157 rushing yards in his most recent game, and half of his rushing production this season has come on designed pass plays. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow had immense success turning pass plays into run plays against the Titans, scrambling for 109 combined yards in two Titans losses.

Philadelphia's designed rushing attack will have a tougher time breaking through against the Titans, one of the five teams in the NFL allowing fewer than 4 yards per carry. The Titans have allowed only three teams to rush for more than 100 yards this season and haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 1.

That's where Brown and fellow standout receiver DeVonta Smith could come into play. The Titans allow the fourth-most passing yards per game in the NFL, but the ninth-fewest per play. Opponents throw the ball more against the Titans than any other team, and there'll be room for Brown and Smith to make big plays because of that. But don't mistake raw numbers for per-play numbers, and don't mistake this matchup as a clear advantage toward the Eagles.

Score prediction:

Eagles 24, Titans 17: The Titans haven't played a game decided by more than 10 points in either direction since Sept. 19. That doesn't feel likely to change this time around. But the Eagles have the NFL's best record for a reason, and the Titans don't have quite enough offensive firepower to keep up on the road.

Nick Suss is the Titans beat writer for The Tennessean. Contact Nick at nsuss@gannett.com. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Scouting report, prediction