Posts Tagged ‘tennessee titans’

Unabated to the Quarterback, Week 15: AFC v. NFC

“Nothing is given to mankind, and what little men can conquer must be paid for with unjust deaths. But man’s grandeur lies elsewhere, in his decision to rise above his condition.”

–Albert Camus

For virtually the entirety of the Aughts, the AFC has been far more intriguing than the NFC. After pulling two Super Bowl upsets to start the decade (one little upset by a big margin, one big upset by a little), the AFC has been favored to win the NFL’s title game the last seven seasons. It has given us the decade’s best rivalry (New England vs. Indianapolis), its transcendent players (you can make a case that the best player to spend most of the decade in the NFC is Torry Holt), its best individual teams, and its best franchises.

Suffice to say, the story of the NFL in the Aughts was almost always the story of the AFC.

And I wanted to write how that was changing this season, how the NFC—by being the home of a team that reached 13-0 for the first time in the conference’s history, of the league’s most polarizing figure in Brett Favre,* of what portended to be its best division (the NFC Beast)—was the more interesting conference in professional football. I was going to use the glut of 7-7 teams corrupting the AFC playoff picture—including a Texans’ team that hasn’t won a big game in its franchise history and a Jets’ squad that seems like it has more interceptions this year than touchdowns—as a starting point to talk about how the NFC is deeper, how its playoffs will be a thrilling toss-up where pretty much any team can emerge and then provide a legitimate challenge to the AFC champion in the Super Bowl. Continue reading

Unabated to the QB, Week 12: From Invisible to In-Vince-Able

“Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage.”

—Albert Camus

It was the worst GameCast experience of my life and the perpetuation of what would become an annual Giants’ tradition. On November 26, 2006, Big Blue led the Titans 21-0 going into the fourth quarter. They were about to put an end to an ugly two-game losing streak, move to 7-4, and proceed to win the NFC East—or so I thought.

That’s when Vince Young went to work. The then-rookie led the Titans on one touchdown drive, and then another. Then the Giants had Tennessee in a 4th-and-10, and Mathias Kiwanuka had his arms around Young, and he let go, and Vince ran for the first down and eventually, threw for another touchdown. An Eli INT—by PacMan Jones, no less—and a Rob Bironas field goal completed the comeback.

Three years later, Vince Young led a similarly remarkable comeback, converting three fourth downs while driving the Titans 99 yards in the final moments for a 20-17 victory over the Cardinals. One would think that the postgame narrative would have been structured around Young’s abilities in the fourth quarter, perhaps with references to his Rose Bowl appearances and that comeback against the Giants. Instead, much of the talk was on how Vince Young is finally living up to the hype. Gregg Easterbrook said Young’s success proves Tim Tebow can start in the NFL at quarterback. On PTI, Peter King even compared Young to JaMarcus Russell.

Continue reading

NFL Preview Bonanza: AFC South

TENNESSEE TITANS

Last Season: 13-3

This Season: 11-5, AFC #2

Solid if unspectacular, the Titans’ defense will suffer from the loss of Albert Haynesworth while the offense will benefit from the continued maturation of Chris Johnson and LenDale White and the off-season pick-up of Nate Washington (it doesn’t sound like much, but do you realize who this team’s receivers are?). Can I see the Titans being a team that goes from 13-3 to 7-9? Absolutely: Kerry Collins is their quarterback. At the same time, I expect them to grind out close wins and find themselves at the top of the division and with a first-round bye for a second straight year.

Tim’s favorite player in Tennessee Titan history is…: I talked about it a few weeks ago, but the late Steve McNair was my favorite player of the last decade.

A Great and Recent Titan Game: Ten years later, and it’s still hard to believe Home Run Throwback happened. Especially if you’re from Buffalo.

You know who might be underrated? Kerry Collins was one game away from going to a championship game with his third different franchise. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another quarterback who’s done that, and the only two I can think of that took two teams that far are Kurt Warner and Joe Montana.

I was really excited for this, but now I’m not as much: The Titans will wear Houston Oilers throwbacks during the season to honor the 50th anniversary of the AFL. Unfortunately, they’re wearing their old AFL jerseys and not the greatest uniforms in the history of football.

If the Titans were a character from The Wire, they would be: Kima. They’re not flashy, they’re not the main character, but they’re always there, doin’ work.

Did you know? Eddie George once did this to Ray Lewis.

Continue reading