A few hours removed from the end of the game still hasn’t made this loss any less excruciating. Trying to drum up facts to feel good about is still a frustrating exercise. Coming off the best overall performance of the season with a win over Philadelphia, Seattle looked poised to start their typical December run. They are 18 – 5 in December since quarterback Russell Wilson has been under center.
All signs pointed to a team coming together, developing at the right time and finding their elusive identity. They even won the coin toss for land’s sake! From the beginning, the defense looked strong allowing only one field goal. But penalties and a turnover in the offense were the beginning tremors that would erupt later in a full seismic meltdown.
After being defeated 57-14 and humiliated by the Houston Texans in October, there was some talk about this game being a rematch or a revenge game. I would say it was not an even rematch.
The Texans had lost two of their brightest stars, rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson and defensive end JJ Watt to injuries. I would say it wasn’t even a revenge game. Just another divisional game that the Tennessee Titans had to win to keep hope alive to finally get into the playoffs. Something that the team hasn’t done since 2008. The Titans keep plodding along and getting unspectacular wins, but by gummies, they are getting wins.
Yep, it was another slow starting, low scoring game for the Tennessee Titans. In the first half, Tennessee was only scoring by field goals. Kicker Ryan Succop did all the scoring. First, with a 29-yard kick and then a 45-yard kick for the Titan’s only scores.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw two interceptions in the first half of the game. That created flashbacks to the horror that was last week’s Thursday Night Football game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. A 40-17 loss where Mariota had four interceptions. The second interception during this game happened when wide receiver Taywan Taylor fell down, and the ball went sailing into Indianapolis defender Nate Hariston’s arms.
It came down to the last minute of the game, but the Tennessee Titans eked out another win at home. Running back DeMarco Murray had three touchdowns this game. He had a seven yard TD catch from quarterback Marcus Mariota with only 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That sealed the victory for Tennessee.
Murray showed his pro form by keeping his knees off the ground and stretching to reach into the end zone and get that touchdown. It was a thing of beauty. Murray also scored on the Titan’s opening possession. It was the first TD on an opening drive for the team since Week 1 against the Raiders and the fifth game that the Titans were able to score on the first drive. This fan is very grateful that Murray had a fantastic game.
The Titans are back from their bye week with a victory at Nissan Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens. Also back from extended recovery periods were safety Johnathan Cyprien and wide receiver Corey Davis, who both had been out with hamstring injuries.
So far, this entire Titans season it has seemed like something is missing. The Titans are barely squeaking by with wins. If you thought the return of Cyprien and Davis would make a huge difference, you were wrong (or is it just me thinking that way?) Davis made a spectacular catch with some toe drag swag, catching a 23-yard pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota. Cyprien was part of the Titans defense that did not allow a completion of 20 or more yards.
Less than 24 hours after the city of Houston celebrated a World Series win, the fans in Houston get dealt a devastating blow. Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL at practice today and is done for the season. He was on the way to having a very special season. After already losing defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus, the last thing this team needed was an injury their quarterback.
This news caps off a rather crazy week for the Texans. The Texans owner, Bob McNair, made some questionable comments last week, inferring that Texans players were “inmates”. News also broke earlier today that their division rival Indiana Colts quarterback Andrew Luck would be shut down for the rest of the season as well.
This leads us to ask the very intriguing question. Are the Jacksonville Jaguars now in a position where they could win the division?
This game was exciting, astonishing, breathtaking, dangerous, dramatic, intriguing, moving, stimulating, thrilling, electrifying, eye-popping, and mind-blowing. Or just fun. Maybe not every moment was fun, but on a whole, this game was fun.
I say that now because the Seahawks came out on top of the Texans 41 to 38. I can also say that because my heart rate has gone back to normal and I found another stash of rubber bands for the next game.
Both quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were the talk of the game. From the opening drive where Watson threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Will Fuller V, achieving something that has not been done against Seahawks defense this year. To the last scoring drive of the game where Wilson came up with another signature save.
Week 7 was full of surprises, and I still ended up picking 10 games correctly. Week 8 is likely to be a bit more predictable, but if the trend of 2017 being weird continues, we could all be shocked by some of the outcomes. I’m a bit late getting my column written, so for now, I’m posting my picks for the first six games of the week. I’ll update this a bit later with the remaining games. Here’s to Week 8!
Miami Dolphins (4-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Thursday Night Football pits the 31st ranked offense and 18th ranked defense of the Ravens against the 32nd ranked offense and 10th ranked defense of the Dolphins. With rankings like those, it’s pretty clear this game will be decided by the defense that plays the most complete game.
It was not a fun game to watch and certainly not a game any NFL fan would want to have extended into overtime. Neither the Cleveland Browns or the Tennessee Titans were able to score a touchdown; it was a boring battle of the field goals.
This seems to be reminiscent of last week’s Titans game against the Indianapolis Colts. At least Tennesee came alive during the fourth quarter and scored 3 touchdowns for that game. But, there were no great scoring drives to end this week’s game, just another field goal in OT to give the Titans the victory.
Kicker Ryan Succop aka “Mr. Automatic“ had four field goals this game, clinching the win in OT with a 47 yard kick. He did have one missed attempt in the fourth quarter from 53 yards out. Succop did extend his NFL-for-consecutive-made-field-goals within 50 yards, his record is now 55.
The other bright star for the Titans was safety Kevin Byard with three, count ‘em, three interceptions off of two different Browns’ quarterbacks. Byard picked off rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second and third quarters and QB Cody Kessler in the fourth.
The 2017 NFL season has been full of surprises. Teams that we all expected to be garbage have pulled off some astounding wins, while teams that we expected to roll over most of their opponents have faltered in losses to much weaker opponents. Pick’em pools have been torn to shreds, and some survivor leagues have already crowned their winner.
Each week, I’ll post my picks and my reasoning behind them, and on Tuesdays, I’ll do a quick rundown on where I went wrong, and what I got right. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my predictions, so feel free to drop a comment on the post, or @ me on Twitter.