Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the Two Tone Rant playoff edition! Proudly presented by JD McGillicutty Tonic Water. “It will cure whatever ails ya!”
Hello Titans fans, well it was not pretty, but the Titans did it. After 9 long years, they finally made the playoffs. It feels great writing that, and I really did think for a while that we would never see the two tone blue again in the playoffs, but here we are.
As much as I have complained about this season, it really is great getting in. Although I do not think that the team can get very far, I am still exited.
Anyway as great as beating Jacksonville again was, I still saw many of the team’s major flaws glaring in the game. Basically the offense is still terrible. The interior line struggled all game, as did the passing game. Many fans have been complaining about Marcus Mariota in this game, but I thought he played pretty well. Obviously his running was fantastic, and his 3rd down run with his stiff arm will be immortalized in the minds of Titans fans forever. I know that he had some issues passing, but the receivers were killing him with drops. I feel like Eric Decker alone had maybe 60 yards that he left on the field due to dropped passes. I think if a few of those were completed then Mariota’s numbers would have been much better.
However, it would not be fair if I did not say that Mariota did have some passing issues. Furthermore, it seems like the offense doesn’t know what it is supposed to do half of the time. Obviously there was the Derrick Henry fumble, but there were tons of other miscommunications. It was week 17 and they were still making mistakes all over the field like it was preseason. It goes without saying, but the offense needs to be completely overhauled in the offseason.
So far it looks like I may have been wrong about Henry. I thought if they just kept feeding him then something would happen, and I guess it did with the screen pass, but his overall running was pretty weak. He tries to bounce everything outside, and more times than not he loses a big chunk of yards. I don’t know why he keeps doing this, and frankly it is perplexing. He is bigger than most of the defense, he just needs to run straight and bulldoze people. As of now I can see why they have been reluctant to give him the starting role. So I guess Mularkey was right about something.
The defense played great however, and I absolutely love them. They all came ready to play, and they won the game. They need the defense to show up the same way against the Chiefs in order to have a chance.
So here we are, the first playoff game in 9 years. The team has to go to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Vegas line is -9 Chiefs. Most people say that the Titans have zero shot. That could be true, or they could pull off a huge upset. Here is how they may be able to do that.
I think with how the run defense has been playing they could conceivably contain Kareem Hunt. If they do this and generate consistent pressure on Alex Smith, then maybe they could limit the Chiefs big plays. However, the Chiefs will have a few big moments. They simply have too much firepower on offense to do nothing. The Titans just need to limit the big gains, get a turnover or two. If they can keep the Chiefs under 24 points, then I think the Titans could have a real shot.
Now the offense actually has to do something here. I have said it all year, and here it is again, I think the offense should run the hurry up no huddle early. It could get the Chiefs off balanced and get Mariota into a rhythm. Additionally, if they can get Henry the ball in space or throw him a few screen passes, then they could have a chance at a few big plays. In my opinion, the running game sucks, and the passing game is not much better, but for whatever reason when they run the hurry up things work better, so I would just go all out. It is the playoffs, they have nothing to lose. With all of that said, I expect Henry up the middle 30 times for no gain.
As I said, I think the Titans could win, but I do not think that they will. I would love to see it, but I have no confidence in this offense. Still I am grateful that they made it in. It means a lot to me, but I am also really happy for the players who have been with the team throughout all of the horrible years, players such as Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug, and Derrick Morgan. They really do deserve a playoff game, and I hope that they can make the best of their first time in the playoffs.
Well that’s it, we are in the playoffs. This is one giant leap for the team. Hopefully they can eke out a win. If they do, I will be utterly ecstatic, but if not, I am still very proud of the players, and I hope that the coaching staff makes a lot of changes in the offseason. Let’s go Titans. Let’s pull off a miracle.