“There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men for this treachery performance.”
J.R.R. Tolkien and Phill Lytle
I have no words in my vocabulary to describe what we saw last night. Well, that is not exactly accurate. I know some words. Some real good words, but this is a family friendly blog and I am a family friendly guy so I don’t use those words. And, since I can’t find the words to help make sense of the absolute embarrassment we witnessed, I will walk you through my reactions using only GIFs, pictures, and memes.
How are you guys feeling about the Titans allowing the Indianapolis Colts to ruin the home opener? Me, I’m not feeling all that great. If I had written this article last night, it would have been incoherent and borderline insane. I’m glad I let the dust settle, because, as the name of this series suggests, this is a reaction. Not an overreaction.
It’s playoff time! Here is your preview for the Wild Card Round – picks included.
Tennessee at Kansas City
by Michael Lytle
The Tennessee Titans are big underdogs in the Wild Card match up with the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is not surprising. The Titans are without their starting running back, they have played poorly on offense for most of the season, and they are short on playoff experience. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have an explosive offense, a very successful head coach, and are playing at home. Even as a Titans fan I admit that it makes sense that the Chiefs are a 9 point favorite.
Updated Power Rankings a look at sports in Nashville. (1,505 words)
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.
When all else fails, I talk about the Titans. (1,131 words)
I’m too hyped about tomorrow’s game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to get any real work done this week. It is easily one of the best matchups of the season with two division leaders squaring off in prime-time. If you have read this column before you know that I am a die-hard Titans fan. Have been since 1999. More on that in a bit. For today’s edition of The NFL on REO, my brain naturally turned to all things Titans – even in ways that probably won’t make much sense to anyone else. But, as I have said before, it’s my article and I will do whatever I want.
We hand out the midseason superlatives. (532 words)
It has been a long week and I don’t have the time or the desire to churn out another 1,500 words on the NFL. Instead, I have opted for the lazy man’s way out of this problem and have decided to do a list of superlatives at the half-way point of the 2017 season. I realize that we just watched Week 9 and it sounds weird to say this is the half-way point, but if you actually look at the records and how many games teams have played, this is a much more natural mid-way point than the end of Week 8. Plus, it’s my article and I can do whatever I want.
Most improved team
The Los Angeles Rams. There is no other answer here. If you said anything else, go to the end of the line and take a long, hard look at your life. Bonus points to the Rams for being coached by a former Boy Band Member!
Catches, media incompetence, and bad wins. We cover it all this week. (1,687 words)
In Watchmen, the genre-defining masterpiece by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, there is a slogan that can be seen throughout the graphic novel, spray-painted on walls, “Who watches the Watchmen?” It’s a message about keeping those in power accountable and if that is even possible. While the things I examine this week are much less important in the grand scheme, I believe they belong in the conversation. It’s too often that we find incompetence or worse coming from those that are in a place of power in the sports’ world – whether it be the leagues, the teams, or the media that covers it all. So here is my attempt to watch the watchmen.
The NFL has a lot of problems. What are they and how do we fix them? (1,569 words)
The NFL is in trouble. That’s the bad news. The good news is that most of the problems with the league can be corrected, as long as the NFL acts decisively and quickly.
The NFL is best seen as a giant battleship. It’s enormous and built to last, yet its size makes it unwieldy and difficult to change course quickly. Right now, it is the biggest and baddest ship on the water, but it is headed in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, it has dozens of small cracks along its hull that are slowly taking in water. Not one of those cracks is enough to sink it, but collectively, those cracks will eventually bring it down.
Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t really learn much after one week of play in the NFL. It is going to take a lot more to convince me that the New England Patriots are as bad as they looked on Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. Similarly, it will take a lot to convince me that the Los Angeles Rams are as good as they looked against the hapless Indianapolis Colts.
Game one is never the strongest indicator of future performance. You just have to look at the two years Ken Whisenhunt coached the Tennessee Titans. If you only saw game one in those two years, you would have thought the Titans were a juggernaut of a team. Unfortunately for fans of the team, those two games were far and away the highlights of each season.