I might as well go big for my first real article on Titans Ever On. These predictions are not for the faint of heart. I will be pulling no punches. Fortunate favors the bold and all that. So, buckle up and hold on tight. (I’m all out of cliches…) Here are my five Titans season predictions.
1. The offense will share the load.
In the Return of the King, one of the most iconic scenes is when brave and loyal Samwise Gamgee carries Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom. (If that sentence has you questioning whether this is a sports’ article or the musings of a nerd, the answer is both. You might as well come to terms with that now.) Frodo is completely worn down by the weight and power of the ring he is carrying. (Seriously, if you don’t understand this reference, I’m not going to re-tell the entire story. Go watch the movies or read the books.) Sam realizes he cannot carry the ring – its power would consume him as well. So he decides to carry his friend instead. It’s an amazing and powerful moment in a film full of amazing and powerful moments.
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.
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.
Recap of the 2017 NFL draft, and a few other points of interest.
An Exhaustively Researched Hypothesis
The NFL just concluded the 2017 draft. As usual, it was three days full of excitement, drama, and way too many opinions. It also helped confirm in my mind a little hypothesis I have been developing for some time: The NFL is the girl in high school that is socially oblivious, dumb as a box of rocks, kind of a jerk, but is pretty hot. Allow me to elaborate. That girl from high school had no problem getting dates. All the dumb, hormone driven, high school boys could easily overlook her lack of intelligence, her meanness, or her propensity to say or do publicly embarrassing things because…hotness. All those other negative qualities did nothing to lessen her popularity with the guys. That’s the NFL.
The NFL draft is three days of the NFL showing off, patting themselves on the back, and doing it all in the most bombastic and cringe-worthy manner possible. And we still watch. Because hotness. The NFL is hot, has been hot for a long time, and will be hot for many more years to come. It will be hot until all the negatives about the sport finally surpass how attractive it is to fans. And believe me, that time is coming.
It was fun while it lasted but after churning out two dozen amazing and insightful articles that focused on the Tennessee Titans, a few things became very clear:
I am probably not as amazing or as insightful as I think. Nah! That can’t be it.
The REO readership doesn’t care about the Tennessee Titans very much. The stats bear that out with depressing accuracy. Sad face.
The best performing editions were those that branched out and covered general NFL topics and not just things related to the Titans.
What that means is that instead of continuing Titans Tuesday, I have decided to let it evolve and become something that is more comprehensive of the whole league. That is not to say I will ignore my favorite team. The Titans will get their own section each week. If you have don’t care for the Titans, you are more than welcome to not read that section.
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.
The Titans did their best to lose on Sunday but failed due to the Bears being a little more inept.
I was furious when the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Chicago Bears ended on Sunday. I sat there, on the edge of the couch, with my head in my hands. It was ridiculous to react that way to a 27-21 Titans’ victory, but some wins are just different from others. And this win was garbage.
For the majority of three quarters, the Titans proved they were a better team than the Bears.
After a few early hiccups on defense, the team settled down and dominated, scoring 27 straight points. Marcus Mariota and the offense continued their hot streak of moving the ball and putting points on the board. The defense got in on the action as well, turning the Bears over a few times. Life was good, until the Titans forgot that in the NFL, you have to play four quarters in a game, not three.
I’m not sure what else needs to be said about the Tennessee Titans’ absolute dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. We could talk about how good the running game looked. We could talk about Delanie Walker and the stiff arm of doom. Talk about the weapon Rishard Matthews has become in the offense. Talk about the game plan the coaches constructed that kept the Packers’ defense on its heels the entire game. But, as I have made it clear on numerous occasions, I have a massive man crush on Marcus Mariota, so we are going to spend a little time on him today.
We saw the best and the worst the 2016 Tennessee Titans have to offer. What does it all mean?
The Tennessee Titans’ loss to the San Diego Chargers was a microcosm of the 2016 Titans’ season. There was a lot of good. There was a little more bad. As I have said many times before, the Tennessee Titans are a team that is playing with very little margin for error. They cannot afford to make mistakes; especially not big mistakes as they did on Sunday. When the Titans play a clean game, they can beat almost any team in the league. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be capable of playing mistake-free football in consecutive games.
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:
Or 2 years, 9 months, 18 days.
Or 146 weeks and 1 day.
In other words:
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.