Tuesday Morning Reaction

How I am feeling about Mike Vrabel.

This usually runs on Monday. It didn’t because I took the day off to spend time with my family. So, it will now run on Tuesday. I hope that is not too upsetting or confusing for anyone out there. If it is, I would like to apologize for any feelings of confusion or stress this decision may have caused. I deeply regret my actions.

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Five Reasons Every Titans’ Fan Should Love Marcus Mariota

My man-crush on Marcus Mariota is real and spectacular.

If you had polled Titans’ fans prior to last season, I am convinced that an overwhelming majority of them would have been “all in” on Marcus Mariota. They would have believed he had proven that he was the franchise quarterback this team has been looking for since the Steve McNair era. Then the 2017-2018 season happened and the narrative about Mariota changed. Drastically. He went from being one of the most exciting young QB’s in the game to one of the most head-scratching. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season, his accuracy seemed to get worse, and he clearly did not have the same sort of electric speed and mobility of his first two professional seasons. Now, it is not uncommon to hear Titans’ fans talk about Mariota being a bust or that the team needs to draft his replacement. We live in crazy times.

I am firmly in the camp that believes that last season was an aberration. Due to a myriad (yes, I used myriad – deal with it) of factors, Mariota took a step back in his development last year. Here’s a quick recap of a few of those factors:

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A Look Around the League (The NFL on REO)

We take a quick trip around the league. (1, 061 words)

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”

Colts vs. Bills

How amazing was the Colts vs. Bills game on Sunday? The records didn’t matter. The actual game-play didn’t matter. All that mattered was the snow. It was an ugly game for on-field execution, but is was a beautiful game for aesthetics. Seeing giant, super-human type athletes slog through the snow was about as fun as it gets. Seeing clouds of snow explode after every tackle or diving catch was mesmerizing. And even though Adam Vinatieri missed two field goals, watching him nail the game-tying extra point from over 40 yards away was one of the greatest kicks I have ever seen.

I hope we get a few more of these types of games this season. They make some of these less interesting matchups much more enjoyable.

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Two Tales of One City (The NFL on REO)

Updated Power Rankings a look at sports in Nashville. (1,505 words)

Power Rankings

I got some help this week for the NFL Power Rankings from fellow REO contributors Gowdy Cannon and Mike Lytle. I asked them to rank their top 15 teams. We then assigned a point value to each team based on where they were ranked and then added those points together to get the final product – The NFL on REO Top Ten. (Example for the ranking: A 1st place vote receives 15 points, a 2nd place vote receives 14 points, and a 15th place vote receives 1 point.) I’ve listed the total point value for each team so you can see how this all came together. For the tie-breakers, I listed the rationale for why one team was placed above the other.

1. New England – 45

Back when the Patriots were 2-2 with what was by far the last place team in defensive points given up, it looked like the rest of the league may have had a prayer of not having to deal with this constant playoff juggernaut this year. It was a testimony to how incredible the offense is that they were 2-2 since most teams would have been 0-4 giving up 38 points every week.

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The NFL on REO: Game Time!

The Regular Season is here! We rank all 16 games and we give our staff predictions for the Tennessee Titans’ record. (947 words)

It’s game time baby!

The NFL season kicks off tomorrow with the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs. I am so excited, even if this first game includes my most hated team in the history of all sports – the Patriots. It’s real NFL football for the first time in over half a year! What is better than that?

To commemorate this momentous occasion, here is my interest level for each game this week. We’ll start at the bottom.

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The NFL on REO: Tennessee Titans Edition

We go “all-in” on the Tennessee Titans! We recap Preseason Game 3, do Five Questions with Paul Kuharsky, and get your predictions for the upcoming season. (1,572 words)

The Tennessee Titans – High Hopes and Legitimate Concerns

This week, we are going to take a little break from our usual league-wide coverage, and focus only on the Tennessee Titans. For those that think that seems unfair, too bad. It’s my column and I can do whatever I want. Last season, the Titans finished second in the AFC South with a 9-7 record. They missed the playoffs in a tie-breaker to the Houston Texans. The Titans have made what look to be smart moves this offseason to improve the roster and hopes are high in Tennessee.

Or, they were high until the preseason started.

The Titans were uninspired and seemingly bored the entire first preseason game against the New York Jets. Their offense was anemic and their first team defense gave up a quick score to an awful Jets’ offense. The Titans rebounded and looked good the following week against the Carolina Panthers. Both sides of the ball made plays and they calmed the doubts and fears that had been festering in the hearts of the Tennessee fan base after the first game.

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Titans Tuesday: Pride

How I am feeling right now about the Tennessee Titans.

One thing my 33 faithful readers will know1 is that I fully expected the 2016 Tennessee Titans to exceed most expectations. I would wager that the majority of the national sports media would have had them finishing with no more than four or five wins this season. I think their 9-7 record goes beyond exceeding expectations. It shatters them. And I am unbelievably proud of the Titans for that accomplishment.

I did not address the horrible loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Christmas Eve for a few reasons.

One, I was on vacation with my family for Christmas and I did not want interrupt it.

Two, where we were staying, there was no WiFi access so I was effectively shut out from the internet world. That ended up being a good thing. I didn’t want to write about that loss. The grief was still too near.

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  1. It was 32 for a long time, but I finally convinced one of my good college friends, Matt, to start reading.

Titans Tuesday: Perspective

Is Marcus Mariota the same QB as Jake Locker?

I live in Nashville. I am a huge sports’ fan. Therefore, I listen to a lot of sports’ talk radio. Too much, to be honest. And it is driving me crazy.

After the Tennessee Titans had won two games in a row, and clawed their way to a 3-3 record for the season, too many of the local shows were starting to talk playoffs.

Playoffs?!?

(I won’t bore you with the whole Jim Mora bit. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times.)

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Titans Tuesday: Winning!

Two wins in a row!

The Tennessee Titans just won two games in a row for the first time since weeks 16 and 17 of the 2013 season. That is:

1,023 days.

Or 2 years, 9 months, 18 days.

Or 146 weeks and 1 day.

In other words:

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In more words: That shows a level of incompetence that should be impossible in a league designed to make the majority of teams competitive week in and week out. But somehow, the Titans and the previous regime were able to not only beat the odds, they defied ALL THE ODDS. More evidence that Ken Whisenhunt and Ruston Webster were a tag team worse than the Godwins1.

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Titans Tuesday: Do Better

We examine exactly why the Tennessee Titans lost to the Raiders on Sunday.

The Tennessee Titans are 1-2.

They could easily be 3-0.

They could easily be 0-3.

Where does this leave us? How good or bad is this team?

At this point, I don’t think anyone knows for sure. There are plenty of positive signs for the team, but there are also plenty of negatives. As head coach Mike Mularkey said after the loss, “We have to coach better, we have to play better, and I think they have to officiate better. All of us have to do things better.” Many Titans’ fans believe the team would have defeated the Oakland Raiders if it were not for three questionable calls/no-calls at the end of the fourth quarter.

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