Final Preseason Thoughts

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Well Titans fans, the preseason is over and I for one could not be happier. It has been a total slog. Really, it could not have been more boring. Injures have piled up and we barely know anything about the new direction of the team. Seriously, this preseason was awful. As for the health of the team, I am hoping that they are mostly healthy by the Miami game, however we still do not know the severity of many of the injuries. So fingers crossed.

Looking back on the 3rd preseason game, it was pretty much a disaster for the offense. They looked bad, even laughably bad. But really how much should we actually take from this game or the preseason? Probably not a lot. Like I have said before, I do not think that we see this offense in sync until midseason or so. However, if they are playing like garbage by week ten, then it’s time to PANIC. Until then all is well!

I will say this though, the offensive line is legitimately concerning. They were obliterated last Saturday. Until Conklin is back I think they are going to be a weak unit. I really hope that this does not give Mariota flashbacks to the Whisenhunt days. Additionally, Derrick Henry still cannot pass block. He really needs to figure it out. Due to these issues, I bet the offense will be a pretty conservative until the pass blocking improves.

Another potential issue is that the receivers still do not appear to be on the same page as Mariota. The interception and the missed Corey Davis pass have been discussed ad nauseam. I think it has been slightly overblown. Yeah Mariota screwed up, but those were not career defining plays. People need to settle down and save the hot takes for the regular season. However, if Mariota keeps making those mistakes into the season, then yeah I understand that there should be major concerns. I am hoping that Mariota and the receivers jell soon, but I remember saying this every week last year, so there is some trepidation.

The defense on the other hand looked fine. The secondary appeared solid, but they were not playing the Steelers’ best, so really what does it mean? However, the pass rush was fairly weak. I would expect a lot of blitzing when the season starts, so I do not think it will be that bad next week. However, Landry’s injury is definitely concerning. I wonder if the trade for Kamalei Correa means anything about Landry. Apparently he has potential to be a decent pass rusher. He’s a former second round pick and is pretty intriguing. It will be interesting to see what they can do with him.

Well that is about it. The preseason is boring and I am ready for the season to start. I will do a game preview early next week. Until then, Titans fans, keep those thumbtacks flaming!

Second Titans Preseason Game and Other Thoughts

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Two preseason games down, two to go. We are nearly there. Preseason can be difficult to talk about considering that the “games” are essentially glorified scrimmages. However, I have been encouraged by what I have seen from the starting offense. For instance, the passing game appears more complex than last year. So far we have yet to see bunch formations and insane rout distributions in which wide receivers run to the same spot. Additionally, the emergence of the screen game can be nothing but encouraging. Both running backs appear that they can be effective passing targets, and of course it was glorious to see Taywan Taylor take a screen to the end zone. Nine out of ten times last year that pass goes to Eric Decker, the other time it goes to Harry Douglas, and every time it fails. Furthermore, Dion Lewis looked fantastic. The shiftiness and the explosion that he displayed was impressive. I think there will be games that he takes over. Other than that there is not too much else to say. I have however, been disappointed my Luke Faulk. He does not appear to have an NFL arm. Maybe he makes the practice squad this year, but I do not see him on the final roster.

The defense appeared decent. Harold Landry had another solid performance. However, I think it will take time to adjust to the new rules. It is still preseason so I am not panicking too much about them. But I can definitely see huge issues during the season.

I am also sort of shocked by the Rishard Matthews extension. It came out of absolutely nowhere. But I cannot complain. I like Matthews a lot. He’s been the best receiver the team has had since Nate Washington. For the rest of the NFL this is not saying much, but the Titans are cursed at the position, so just consistently showing up and making a few plays is huge. Furthermore, I was surprised to find out that Matthews negotiated the contract without an agent. Probably not the best idea, but I hope nothing but the best for him. Hopefully he recovers from his mysterious injury soon.

That is about it. There is just so much to say about a glorified scrimmage. The third preseason game will be a little more interesting, however, I do not think that we will get a good feel for the new offense until a month or so into the regular season. Until then, Titans fans, keep those thumbtacks flaming!

Thursday Thoughts/First Preseason Game

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Welcome Titans fans and people lost on the Internet. Well we are in the thick of the preseason doldrums. The excitement of training camp has waned and the reality that preseason is kind of boring has hit. In all honesty just getting through the month with minimal injuries would be ideal.

Speaking of injuries though, Vrabel’s refusal to provide any information regarding them has nearly driven me to madness. Seriously this is crazy. Is Corey Davis practicing? Why was he out? He traveled with the team to Green Bay and he put on a uniform, but why? Now he’s back, I guess. What happened to Rishard Matthews? Where is Brian Orakpo and what’s the deal with Rashann Evans? Seriously Evans had turned into bigfoot. For anyone that has read this far, I am sure they have seen the guy on twitter claiming to sell furniture to Evans. The guy said that Evans was fine, and then a few days later Evans sent a cryptic tweet stating that he is good to go. But what does it all mean? Is he really hurt? Anytime he is seen on the practice field or in Nashville people film him like he sasquatch, then break the film down trying to find what the “injury” might be. I’m starting to doubt that it was a “heat related” issue. He appeared fine in many of the videos that I have examined, so maybe it’s a concussion, or maybe it’s a deep conspiracy within the Titans, we could be at the tip of the iceberg.

As for the progression of the team and thoughts about the first preseason game, I will say that I liked most of what I saw. Obviously it is quite difficult to get a feel for a team after the first preseason game, but I’ll fire off a few poorly thought out reactions.

Personally, I felt that the offense on the opening drive appeared fine. I was worried that protection could be an issue with Dennis Kelly in, however, he held up well. The 3rd down pass to Nick Williams has ben analyzed to the point that it’s almost become a preseason Zapruder film. I’ve read the hot takes from Blake Beddingfield, I have seen what sports writers think, and I have skimmed through the message board reactions. It is preseason game one, they completed the pass, who cares! I understand that people are claiming that Taywan Taylor was the first read and Mariota misread the play. But how would anyone but the coaches possibly know that. Plus, if Taylor was the first read, then there is no way Mariota would have missed him, he was wide open. I need to stop; I do not want to waste any more time on this. It’s completely ridiculous.

The rest of the offense appeared fine. The backup qbs looked like backups. Although a few of Nick Faulk’s passes appeared almost comically inaccurate. But he’s the next Tom Brady, so it will work out.

As for the defense, the starting secondary got roasted by Brett Hundley. If this were an actual game, it would be deeply upsetting, however it’s not. The defense had a super vanilla game plan, thus they were clearly not at their best. I am not worried. I did think that Harold Landry looked good. If he can keep it up, he should be a solid contributor this year. For the rest of the defense, they need to tackle better. The missed tackles were embarrassing.

The only other big take away for the Titans were the staggering amount of penalties. It was absurd. They need to clean it up.

Finally, regarding the first game, I thought that the broadcast was awful. The announcers were not in preseason mode, maybe mini-camp came mode, but certainly not up to par for early August. Additionally, Ed Hochuli’s kid needs to work on his biceps. He has a long way to go before he’s truly Hochuli’s air.

That is about it. I am looking forward to the joint practices with Tampa Bay. Until then, Titans fans, keep those thumbtacks flaming!

Two Tone Rant Offseason Review

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After taking six months to mourn the loss in Foxborough, I am back! All two of my readers must be filled with tremendous excitement.

I find myself in a new world. Mike Mularkey is gone, DeMarco Murray retired, and the Titans have new uniforms. Are they even two tone blue anymore? I honestly do not know. But I am not going to change the name. That would require altering the word press site and doing other things that I just don’t care to mess with. Anyway, I’ll reflect on our wild offseason and offer premium content.

Last year, I was a sharp critic to Mularkey. I never liked the hire and wanted him gone for nearly the majority of his time as head coach. In 2016, I was wrong, but in 2017, the offense was a train wreck and the most of what they were doing appeared insane. For instance, in the Arizona game, putting a rooking cornerback at wide receiver for the most pivotal play of the game was absolutely bananas. However, despite the issues, after the Kansas City game I did not know what I wanted. Before the game, I thought if they simply got blown out, they would just fire Mularkey and we would move on. But after the comeback I kind of wanted to keep him. We had not see playoff success since 2003 and I was filled with more emotions than I could handle.

The New England game would quickly dissolve my warm feelings. I did not go into that game with delusions of grander or even thinking that they would win. However, the game plan was pathetic. New England’s secondary was suspect last year, and they made no attempt to spread the ball around and exploit that. It was basically a flashback to every game of season. No coherent plan, no adjustment, and pure stubbornness. It was a Mularkey special. Not to mention, it felt that once Jack Conklin went down the coaches and the team quit.

Of course the most infamous press conference in Titans history took place a few days later. Mularkey did his best Baghdad Bob impression shouting that all was well with his broken offense. Upon watching that disturbing display of stupidity I slipped into a deep depression. I saw a world with a significantly stronger AFC South. It featured a fully healthy Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck. Both along with Jacksonville would be in the playoff hunt, while my Titans would continue to run a 1970s offense and struggle mighty against the elevated competition. I thank our savior, Jon Robinson for seeing this too, and making the right move.

I was pretty exited once Mularkey was ousted. However, I never want to cheer for someone losing their job, but Mularkey is a millionaire, so he’ll get over it.

The hiring process for a new coach was quicker than I anticipated. It seems that there is a decent chance that they wanted Vrabel the entire time. I was surprised when he got the job, and I will admit that I have some trepidation. He has such a minuscule amount of experience, that I am not sure what to expect. However, I trust J-Rob. I definitely think that the staff looks good. Dean Pees and Matt LaFleur are great hires. I am specifically exited about LaFleur. He’s probably the best offensive coordinator that the Titans have had since Mike Heimerdinger. Thus, he’s a far cry from the likes of Terry Robiskie and Chris Palmer. (Seriously have they ever run a modern offense?)

I have been impressed with Vrabel demeanor. He comes across as intelligent and collected. I thought that he would be more of a meathead, but he appears quite the contrary. I am cautiously optimistic.

A coach is nothing without talent, so I’ll do a quick rundown of the draft and free agency. The addition of Malcolm Butler was a pleasant surprise. Typically my expectations for free agency are small. The years of seeing the Titans do very little have conditioned me not to anticipate much. However, I tend to forget that we are in the J-Rob era and he’s a GM that’s not afraid to make a move and this year certainly showed that. I absolutely love the Butler and Dion Lewis signings. I think Butler is a potential lockdown corner who could elevate the secondary to perhaps one of the best in the league, while Lewis provides them with another dynamic offensive playmaker who combined with Derrick Henry could make the Titans rushing attack quite potent.

I hate to make this the sunshine and rainbows blog, but I was also a fan of the draft. I am a believer in the philosophy of drafting defense early and often and the Titans did just that. The addition of Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry will obviously enhance the defense. I think that Evans is a guy they can move around a lot and do some interesting things with. As for Landry, I am excited to see him added to the pass rush. I expect HONOR (this joke is already done to death) to make some big plays this year.

As for the rest of the draft, there is not much to say. I thought that Dane Cruikshank looked good in the two minute youtube video that I saw of him and as for Luke Falk, I always love getting a developmental quarterback. It’s like playing the lottery. Most of them end up Mettenberger, but once a generation you get a Brady. My only real criticism of the draft class would be that it was a relatively small one. But other than that, it looks fine.

That’s the entire off-season or at least the most important stuff (sorry Dodd). I am ecstatic for the season. I cannot wait to see what this team can do. I’ll talk more about the preseason in the next post. Until then, keep those thumbtacks flaming Titans fans!

Titans v. Patriots Preview/Two Tone Rant

Coming from somewhere deep underground, it’s the Two Tone Rant, sponsored by Stuckey’s Malt Liquor. “It’s the champagne of Malt Liquor!”

Hello Titans fans, what a glorious time to cheer for our favorite corporate entity. I have been watching the highlights of the Chiefs game all week, and I still cannot believe it. The comeback was simply astonishing. That game was the moment that Marcus Mariota became president!

There is so much to talk about regarding the Chiefs game, and a lot has been covered so well, that I just want to mention a few things.

I think the two iconic Mariota plays are some of the best in franchise history, and will forever be remembered. They were both gutsy and McNairesque. When we first drafted Mariota I had some reservations, there were even times this season that I had some doubts, but what doubt I had has been obliterated. Mariota is our qb and I could not be happier.

I complained about Derrick Henry last post, saying that he ran weak. He must have heard my complaints, because he ran like he was back in Tuscaloosa. He was simply unstoppable. It really is true that once he gets going he’s a runaway freight train. I think he has the potential to be one of the best running backs in Titans history (we actually have a solid history at the position).

Of course, it could not be a Titans blog without talking about the offensive philosophy. I think it has been proven ad nauseam, but they should run more power spread. It is clearly what fits this team and when they used these concepts against the Chiefs, they took over. Additionally, I really think they should try to run some pistol. It may be too late to add those formations, but one would think that they take a hard look at adding some pistol formations in the off-season.

Finally, I would like to thank the defense. After settling down, they dominated the game. There was not one player on the defense that took a play off or gave up, even when the team was down. It really is a special group. They may not be the most talented, but they always give the best effort.

On to the next round!

Foxborough in the playoffs, against the greatest qb and coach in NFL history, sounds terrifying. On paper this looks like the most difficult game that the Titans have played in a decade. It is David v. Goliath. But I am not even sure that the Titans are David. They maybe closer to his younger, shorter, and less attractive brother, Davis. There really is nothing that they can do to win. I have heard that Mularkey is even considering taking the team to Legal Seafood instead of playing. Seriously this game has no reason to be played. The Pat’s are just going to turn the Titans into chowder.

That could happen, or something much different could also happen. The Titans could keep this thing close (audible gasp). I think the Titans could show up more than people think. However, I am not calling the upset of the century.

The Titans need to use power-spread formations in this game. They do not have to run a lot of hurry up, because I think the key against the Pats would be to control the ball and the clock. However, I think running a lot of jumbo formations would be a mistake. Furthermore, it seems that Henry runs much better out of shotgun. Additionally, Mariota plays infinitely better in the spread. Thus, I think the Titans would benefit from spreading the field and running Henry out of the shotgun.

I would throw in a little hurry up, but not a ton unless the team gets down big. However, I honestly would not mind seeing the team come out with the hurry up on the opening drive. I think that could be beneficial for a number of reasons. It could get Mariota into a rhythm early and if they get a touchdown it could quiet the crowd and give the Titans a huge momentum boast.

In reality, I expect a lot of Henry in this game. The Pats are not great at run defense, so I could see the Titans wanting to slam Henry all game. I think they go jumbo formation and run him a lot. Hopefully it works.

As for the defense, as great as they have been, I think they will have some issues in this game. The Pat’s offense is very good. They are going to make big plays. The Titans just have to try to limit them, and of course they have to get in Brady’s face. If they can start hitting Brady, then they could have a chance to disrupt their offense. But the Pats are going to make plays. The defense just has to bend but not break. Similar to last week, if they can keep them under 24 points, then the Titans have a real shot. But that is a very big if.

As a life long Titans fan this is surreal. Six weeks ago I never would have thought that the Titans would get into the playoffs, pull off a historic comeback and then find themselves facing off against the Patriots in the divisional round. I think this season has become a massive success and I have never been more proud of a Titans team. Win or lose in New England, this team will always hold a special place in my heart. I am counting on a loss, but of course hoping for a win. I am ready to see how much magic this team has left. Let’s go Titans!!! Let’s win this fucking game!!!!!

Titans v. Chiefs Playoff Preview

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.

Jags v. Titans-The Final Showdown

Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the Two Tone Rant, sponsored by Chappies’ Corn Liquor. It’s made in the woods!

Hello Titans fans. What a depressing few weeks. My readers have gotten very little content due to me having to constantly fly around the country for Holiday obligations. Also the Titans have been losing a lot.

Just to recap the Rams game a bit, I actually thought that the team played well. Like most Titans fans, I assumed it would be a blowout, thus I was pleasantly surprised. Besides from one bad int, Marcus Mariota looked great. The receivers, especially Corey Davis also played well. It is amazing what the no huddle can do for the offense. It is beyond time to move towards a spread system.

The defense had some great moments too, however, the screens to Todd Gurley killed them. Additionally, Cooper Kupp destroyed Brice McCain. I wonder if having Logan Ryan would have made the difference in the contest.

Overall though, it sucks losing, however this was not a bad lose. The Rams are one of the best teams in the league right now. There are no moral victories in the NFL, but this may be as close as you can get to one.

With that being said, I will say what I think I have said nearly every week, and that is the officials blew multiple calls for the Titans in this game. I do not want to dwell on them too much, but this is ridiculous. I think this league is rigged.

Anyway despite the losing streak, the Titans find themselves in control of their destiny. If they beat the vile Jags, a team in which one will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, then the Titans make the playoffs.

It is slightly nerve wrecking. The Jags technically have nothing the play for. They are locked into the third seed of the playoffs and cannot move up or down. They could rest their starters, or they could be of the mindset that they just want to eliminate their division rival, and thus go all out to beat the Titans.

As for the Titans it is hard to comprehend which Titan team we will see. Will it be a super motivated team looking to come barreling into the playoffs or will it be a flat team that sort hangs around and then loses. I know it sounds crazy to even suggest that the team could come out flat, but we have seen this team come out flat in huge games numerous times. The most notable example would be last year against the Jags.

For these reasons this game is very hard to predict. But I do have an ominous feel about it. I think that may be due to the fact that the Titans have usually let us fans down. We have seen so many backbreaking loses, crushing defeats, and spectacular failures, that I have come to expect it. I just don’t want to get my hopes up only to see the team get blown off the field by Jacksonville backups.

With all of that being said, I feel as though the team can be effective when they run the no huddle. Furthermore, with Demarco Murray out, I really want to see what Derrick Henry can do with a lot of touches. I would really try to get the screen game going with him.

If I were the coaches, I would give this game to Mariota. I would go all out, let him run the offense and attempt the break the Jags with the hurry up, then start pounding Henry in the second half. I would not play it safe and hope to kick a last second field goal for the game; I would play to blow the Jags out. Obviously I understand the futility in this statement. This game will be a low scoring game with lots of running.

Simply put, it all comes down to this. This is what they play for and why we watch. The highest drama there could possibly be. Win and advance, lose and go home in shame. I am nervous, but I am also ready to see what this team is.

For fans of a team that has been in the wilderness for nearly a decade, it does not get much better than this. This is the biggest game the team will have played in years. I hope they can grasp this. This will be the beginning or the end. Good luck Titans, and let’s go win the game of the decade.

 

Titans v. Cardinals Recap/State of the Franchise

Coming from a dark place, it’s the Titans v. Cardinals recap/state of the franchise rant. Sponsored by Benny’s Malt Liquor, it’s so strong it will make you forget Math.

Hello Titans fans. Well this has been quite the week. For this entry I will not do a typical game recap, because well, the defense was great and the offense sucked. That’s about it. There is really not much else to say. For this post, I think I’ll just Kerouac it and reflect about the state of our beloved franchise.

Yes, last week was horrible, but the offense had been trending in that direction for a while. It was like a building on the verge of collapsing and the Arizona game was what finally brought the entire structure down.

There is no easy solution. I know that a lot of Titans fans want to fire Robiskie, however, he’s calling Mularkey’s plays, so not much will change if he’s ousted. I personally never liked the Mularkey hire. But after last year I was willing to back him, but now I am ready to move on, especially if they lose out, which I think is a very real possibility.

I understand that constantly changing coaches is bad for a young QB, and that keeping Mularkey brings stability. However, what stability has he brought to the offense this year? Our young QB has fallen off a cliff, the o-line is trash, and all of these great receivers that they brought in haven’t done anything. It’s painful to watch. They need to bring in a young offensive minded coach who can build an offense around Mariota’s strengths. Not force him into an offensive scheme that was innovative in the 1970s.

Nearly everything about the offensive is abhorrent. The predictably, the horrible misdirections, trick plays, and the constant third and longs. Additionally, the option routs are beyond stupid. Nobody knows where they are supposed to be and it has resulted in tons of mistakes. I can rant about this all day, so I’ll just stop here.

With all of that said, I know that there is nearly a zero percent chance that Mularkey leaves after this year. I just hope he sees that his system is bad, and it is ruining his young franchise QB, and he changes it.

I have been saying this for years, but I think that they should run a spread offense with quick timing passes. Mariota is good at short quick passes. I wish they would play to his strengths. Maybe Mularkey will evolve.

While I can complain about the system, it would be unfair not to mention that part of the reason for the offensive woes is Mariota himself. He looks shell-shocked, and he has no confidence. It could be that he’s uncomfortable with the offense, or maybe the injury from last year is affecting him subconsciously. There are clearly a lot of issues. I still believe in him though. However, I think this season is a wash for him, and he needs a good reset in offseason. I think he can get back on track next season, but it will take a lot of work from him and whoever the coaches are.

While the offense has been bad, I think the defense has been solid. They can dominate bad teams, but have typically been exposed against good ones. Still they have over-performed this year.

There is not much else to say. Have I given up, no. However, I do not have much faith. I would still love to see them win and get into the playoffs. However, I have a feeling that this week the wheels come completely off and San Francisco becomes Waterloo.

Titans v. Cardinals Preview

Coming from somewhere deep below the Earth, it’s the Titans v. Cardinals preview, sponsored by Joe’s Fruit. Good people selling good fruit.

Well Titans fans here we are, another pivotal game. This one will be against a Blaine Gabbert led offense. Seems easy right, wrong! I think this will be a difficult game for the Titans. The Cardinals have super star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a strong defense, and home field advantage. The Titans will have to play a lot better this week if they want to win.

As for injuries, it appears that Derrick Morgan will be out. Erik Walden will replace him. Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker are expected to play

Offense

The Cardinals have a pretty good defense with a lot of dynamic playmakers. I think when making the offensive game plan, the Titans will keep this in mind. Thus, I expect a very conservative approach. I think they are going to want to run the ball a ton. The Cardinals main strength is their secondary, so if they can get the running game going, then perhaps they can have some offensive success.

As I have said in the past, I would love to see Derrick Henry get the ball 20 times. I think he has the ability to break runs at any given moment, thus, with a higher volume he would have a significantly better chance at a few big plays. However, if DeMarco Murray plays the way he did last week, then I expect them to split carries. It will certainly be interesting to see how the running game goes.

As for the passing game, I think we will see a similar game plan as last week. They are going to want Marcus Mariota to throws easy passes that have a high completion rate. I do not expect them to do anything too crazy. At times Mariota has appeared shell-shocked, especially after the Steelers game. Thus, I think they are going to want to get his confidence up and limit his difficult throws. Additionally, it may be foolish to throw the ball 40 times when the Cardinals have Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson in the secondary.

Therefore, expect the boring. Lots of runs, two wide receiver routes, throws to the tight end, and a few 3rd and Mularkeys (3rd and long after running up the middle for no gain on 1st and 2nd down).

Defense

Defensively, I think the Titans have a chance to have a good game. Blaine Gabbert has been playing well, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers. Plus, Adrian Peterson has been ruled out; therefore, Larry Fitzgerald is really all that they have.

I think the Titans run defense should fair well with Peterson out. Additionally, the Titans have played really well against the run this year. Not having DaQuan Jones will hurt. But I think Austin Johnson can step up. He’s played decent at times this year.

The Titans will look to pressure Gabbert and hope to cause some mistakes. I am thinking the defensive game plan will be nearly a carbon copy of last week. However, I am praying that they do not let Gabbert throw all over them like they did with Tom Savage.

I think they should double Larry Fitzgerald, but typically they do not double anyone, so I am assuming that Logan Ryan, if he can play, will be on him, and if not they may Put LeShaun Sims on him. Similar to DeAndre Hopkins, if the Titans can just contain Fitzgerald, then they should have a solid chance at shutting the Cardinal’s offense down.

Final Thoughts

This is a strange game, I guess because the Titans rarely play the Cardinals, in fact last time they did, Vince Young was on the team, thus it is hard to predict what could happen. On paper this seems like it should be a win for the Titans, but nothing has been a given this year.

I am optimistic, but also a little worried. Arizona is not terrible, and Bruce Arians is a great coach. I expect a slow game, with maybe a few turnovers. I hope the Titans can pull it off. It would be huge if they can get a victory here.

Midweek Report

Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the midweek report. Sponsored by Ralph’s Fried Chicken. Come down to their location attached to the Sinclair gas station off of Rural Route 40. It’s powerful good!

It is Wednesday and there is some Titans news. DaQuan Jones’ roster spot has been given to tight end Luke Stocker. The team hopes that Stocker can become Anthony Faso’s replacement. Additonally, Rishard Matthews and Logan Ryan are still questionable for Sunday.

In other news the national media has been hammering the Titans, calling them a bad team, and the worst 8-4 team in the league. Honestly, they are probably right. Besides from few areas, such as punting and run defense, this team is pretty mediocre. However, going back to the glory days with McNair and George I always loved it with the media hates on the Titans. Part of it is because they always seem to play better with they are either being ignored or trashed by the national media. For instance, in 2002 after the bad start, they were totally ignored. In fact, they had zero players in the pro bowl. That team finished 11-5 and went to the AFC championship. Again in 2008 the national media said that their record was a mirage and that they would collapse by mid season. However, they finished 13-3. Furthermore, last year the team was ignored and ridiculed by the national media after the slow start. They went on a mid season tear. When they gained hype, things fell apart. Thus, I think it is good that the team is being called out. They have not earned anything. Maybe this can light a fire under their ass.

Anyway, here are 10 things that I think could be true about the NFL and the world around us.

  1. I think Stocker will actually help the offense a lot. They desperately need a quality blocking tight end that is a threat to catch the ball. He’s not the missing link by any means, but he will help.
  2. I think this offense will not figure it out this year. At this point, this is who they are, pedestrian.
  3. I think Terry Robiskie gets fired this offseason. I know that him and Mularkey are buddies, but I have a feeling that Mularkey is going to have to let his friend go after the franchise jewel (Marcus) finishes with the worst numbers of his career.
  4. I think Mariota has definitely regressed at this point. It is a combination of a lot of issues, and hopefully they can solve most of them this off-season.
  5. I think Corey Davis will finish the season strong. I have zero reason to think this, other than blind fan optimism.
  6. I think the Saints are the best team in the league. Their offense is a lot of fun to watch.
  7. I think Jon Gruden would be a terrible college coach. His offense was too complicated for veteran NFL qbs! I don’t get it.
  8. I think that I hate fantasy football and will never play again.
  9. I think the NFL has by far the worst officiating in pro sports and desperately needs to fix it.
  10. I think The Last Jedi will be pretty great, and I am super exited to see it.