Thursday Thoughts/First Preseason Game

Coming from somewhere deep beyond the cosmos, it’s the Two Tone Blue Rant! This post is proudly sponsored by Robert’s Sporting Goods. With football season around the corner it’s time to get your kids set up with the latest equipment. Robert’s supplies bone protecting shoulder pads, anti-ACL leg braces, concussion preventing helmets, ultra shock mouthpieces, and hip pads to prevent dislocations. Football can be dangerous sometimes, so why not spend a little extra to safeguard your loved ones?

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

Coming from somewhere deep beyond the cosmos, it’s the Two Tone Blue Rant! This post is proudly sponsored by K & L Jewelers. Guys, is your significant other dreading the return of football season? Do they feel cold neglect every night that you waste away watching grown men play a kid’s game? Then come on down to K & L and show your partner that you still care, even during football season, by buying a hunk of diamond. That’s the K & L between 20th street and 19th Ave.

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.

Texans v. Titans Recap     

Coming from parts unknown, it is the Texans v. Titans recap. Proudly presented by Burnside’s Razors. They invented sideburns, and now they want to give you a razor to make them.

Well Titans fans this was another weird one. Watching these games is starting to feel like groundhogs day. The Titans get down, offense is stagnate sans one or two really good drives, the defense carries the team, and then the offense pulls it out in the 4th quarter. It’s strange. I feel like I should be thrilled. The team has a winning record and actually has a chance at the playoffs. However, I feel bad about this team. The offense is just not good, while the defense has been good, but they still just gave up over 350 passing yards to Tom Savage. So I don’t know what to think.

Also the officiating in this game was complete trash.

Offense

The offense was not a disaster this week, but it was not great. I thought that the running game was good though. Demarco Murray appeared significantly better than he did during the last few games, and the offense line was able to generate a decent push. Of course, Derrick Henry looked great. I have noticed that he does a lot better when he gets on the edge. Perhaps they should use Murray between the tackles and have Henry work on the edge. Additionally, seeing Henry’s speed made me wish that they would use him more in the passing or screen game. Not much else to say here. I thought the line and both rbs had a good game.

The passing game once again had some issues. It appears that they really wanted to go super conservative in order to limit mistakes. I also think not having Rishard Matthews really hurt their ability to do a lot. Still I was hoping to see Taywan Taylor and Corey Davis more involved. I am a little surprised that they did not attempt more deep passes to them. I am not really sure what the deal is with Davis. I understand that my expectations are a little wacky, but he’s been basically nonexistent since he has been back. I expect a little more from the 5th overall pick.

Furthermore, I thought that Eric Decker had a decent game, and Delanie Walker was amazing. Still, the passing game was so inept at times. For whatever reason they just cannot get into any sort of consistent rhythm. It’s frustrating, but at this point, expected.

I thought that the play calling was better this week, with the exception of the bizarre screen pass in which there were only three players on the offensive line and also that god awful jet sweep the Taylor. That was garbage.

Overall the offense was pretty much the same as usual, with the exception of a slightly better run game.

Defense

I thought that the defense played well. Perhaps not as good as last week, however, the Texans are a better offensive team than the Colts.

I thought the Titans were great at stopping the run. In fact, Lamar Miller was nearly ghosted. I was however a little surprised at the lack of pressure during the majority of the game. I thought that the Titans d-line would dominate against the makeshift Texans line. Additionally, it really is disappointing the see DaQuan Jones get put on injured reserve. I thought he had really been playing well these last few weeks.

As for the secondary, I thought that they were decent. I was surprised that they did not double DeAndre Hopkins, however, he did not blow up, so I guess they contained him for the most part. It is also disappointing to see Logan Ryan go down. I thought he had a good game.

Overall the defense was ok. They seemed to have been playing bend don’t break, which is what they have been doing all season. Although giving up 365 passing yards to Tom Savage is quite concerning.

Final Thoughts

Well a win is a win, I suppose. I would rather the Titans win and look like shit than lose and look good. So I might as well enjoy it while it last. Furthermore, It is great to finally have a wining record in the division. I love that. Next week will be a lot harder though; I hope the Titans are watching plenty of film!

Texans v. Titans Preview

Coming from somewhere underground, it’s the Texans v. Titans preview. Proudly presented by Johnny Feinstein’s Medical Supplies Plus. If in need of respiratory equipment, prescription drugs, or tubes, give Johnny a call. He’ll fix you up.

Well Titans fans, here we are, another game in which the Titans should win easily, but probably won’t. I would love for this to be the week that everything on offense finally comes together and the Titans get some payback against the Texans. But I am not holding out much hope. This will most likely be a close game with the victor getting the win during waning part of the 4th quarter. Hopefully it is the Titans.

Offense

            Everyone has said it every week, but this should be the week the offense does something special. The Texans defense is pretty beat up. Yes, they have Jadeveon Clowney, but that is about it. Their secondary has been struggling all season and injuries have devastated them everywhere else.

I think the Titans should come out guns blazing and work to establish a quick lead and then pound Derrick Henry. However, I am not the coach and I know that the reality will be that they will come out running DeMarco Murray up the middle for no gain, and then put Marcus Mariota in impossible positions on third down. So I am thinking the same offense we have seen for the majority of the season.

If I were to guess the gameplan, I would think that Mularkey wants to be conservative here because he is probably thinking that the Texans are so riddled with injuries and have some many issues, including a hurt QB, that the Titans can just grind out a win with a plethora of field goals and relying on Tom Savage to make mistakes. It’s not flashy, but it is pretty Mularkey.

Thus, I hate to be a Grinch, but I do not think Titans fans will get any of their wishes this week. Henry and Murray will still split carries again, there will be plenty of bizarre playcalls (See Eric Decker screenpass and Harry Douglas playing left tackle) and the offense will struggle. Basically the Titans will play not to lose. Until this offense changes, I am just going to expect more of the same.

Defense

I think the defense will have a similar performance as last week. The Texans offensive line is quite beat up, so I think the Titans should have a strong pass rush. Furthermore, I believe they will have success at stopping the Texans running game. Lamar Miller has really struggled this year, and the Titans are actually solid at stopping the run.

The main focus on the defense should be stopping Titans killer Deandre Hopkins. He absolutely murdered the Titans earlier in the season. Part of that was due to Deshaun Watson being so good, but Hopkins always kills the Titans, even when he has trash QBs throwing to him. He’s simply one of the best receivers in the league. The Titans need to put two or three guys on him, especially now that Will Fuller is out. They cannot put Brice McCain on him, no matter how bad Lebeau wants to do that. I expect Hopkins to make some plays, but if the Titans can just contain him, then they have a good shot at stopping the Texans offense.

I think the defense should play well. Tom Savage is not a great QB and he does not have a lot of talent around him. It really is just Hopkins. Thus, I would be surprised if the defense significantly struggles in this game.

Final Thoughts

The Titans have to win this game; if they lose to this Texans team then they will have blown a great opportunity. However, with the way that the Titans have been playing recently I would not be shocked if they lost. I am not trying to be negative; this is just what the Titans are right now. They play sloppy and keep games close. I am hoping they prove me wrong, and beat the Texans handily. However, I am not counting on it. But I will be happy with any sort of win, whether it is by one point or thirty. I just want to see the corporate entry that I cheer for win. So let’s get some vengeance on the cows. Go Titans!