As we all prepare for the start of the 2020 NFL season, let’s take a look at the four teams of the AFC South. New quarterbacks, old quarterbacks with new teams, teams completely shaking it up, we have it all in the AFC South.
The Titans ended their 2019 campaign playing in the AFC Championship game. They came up short against the team that would turn out to be the Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. They were led by veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was picked up via trade with the Miami Dolphins, who had replaced long time QB Marcus Mariota.
The year’s first postseason game will kick off on Saturday afternoon with the Houston Texans playing host to the Buffalo Bills.
Houston Texans – This will be the Texans 6th wild card appearance and they’re 3-2 in the wild card round. With the division locked up, Texans coach Bill O’Brien sat most of his starters including his star receiver and quarterback during last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans. But the biggest news came earlier this week, as the Texans activated defensive end, J.J. Watt, off injured reserve. Watt was injured early in the season after tearing his pectoral muscle.
If you ask anyone on Twitter, or anywhere, to be quite honest, of course, everyone will say that they are the best fans in the NFL. If you ask me, it’s a title that really shouldn’t be taken too seriously, because there’s always some sort of bias to it. But that’s just me.
However, a professor from Emory University, Dr. Mike Lewis, performed a study and ranked the fanbases of all 32 NFL teams.
The top 3? Eagles fans, Patriots fans, and Cowboy fans.
The bottom 3? Titans fans, Chiefs fans and Rams fans.
With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints, and a Houston Texans loss to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were the sixth seed. In order to secure a playoff spot, Indianapolis has one more task at hand on Sunday Night Football: beat the Tennessee Titans or simply go home.
This Sunday means everything to this 9-6 team. With a win over the Tennessee Titans, they will earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2014. With a Titans loss, Colts will secure the sixth-seed and earn a wildcard spot. Here is where it gets interesting, with a win over Tennessee, and if the Houston Texans lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts will be crowned as the AFC South Champs.
This situation is also mirrored for the Titans, who are also 9-6 and are behind the Colts.
The best decision the NFL has made was going back and allowing touchdown celebrations. It even has a Twitter page dedicated to celebrations called @GetYaPopcorn.
Glad they got the message that celebrations are fun. Wish they could get the message about other things, but that’s another post for another day.
Bottom line, the best thing for a good celebration, is winning. One of the more clever ones is from the Chicago Bears, Club Dub. They turn their locker room into a mock club environment and celebrate the win. To show what a big person I am, I’m posting Club Dub-Thanksgiving Edition, when they beat the Lions.
The game in Dallas started out rather rocky for Titans fans. A fumble and a turn over by quarterback Marcus Mariota in the first quarter set up Dallas for an easy score by new Cowboys’ wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The Titans had just come off of their bye week and Mariota started the game without the glove he has had to wear since the beginning of the season; he’s been playing with a tweaked nerve in his throwing arm since week 2.
The gloveless Mariota had sparked hopes that he had healed and would be back at the top of his game, but then this game starts with a fumble, and those hopes were dashed a bit.
The Titans “missed it by that much” as Maxwell Smart used to say in the Get Smart tv series. The Los Angeles Chargers held on to the win, 20 -19 in the last few seconds of the game after the Titans tried for two after a touchdown made by tight end Luke Stocker.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota attempted to throw to wide receiver Taywan Taylor, but the throw was tipped by one of the Chargers defenders and it was just not a catchable ball.
The Titans really did put forth a good effort in this game. It was an exciting and the win could have gone to either team as the battle went on until the very end.
Let’s just put it out there and get it over with. The Titans punted on every single drive, and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked eleven times.
There was nothing to cheer about if you are a Titans fan. This game was the first time that the Titans were shut out at home since the team has been in Nashville. The Tennessee offensive line did not have an answer for the Ravens rushing attack, and Mariota was scrambling without success each and every quarter.
The team did not seem to have a good game plan this week, or last week against the Buffalo Bills for that matter. Titans’ defensive coordinator Dean Pees did not figure out how to shut down the Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco. Pees didn’t seem to have any inside track for how to beat his old team.
The Titans’ offense was even worse. The receivers didn’t have the ability to get open for Mariota, and the offensive line was getting run over. The running backs just couldn’t run. At all. They kept getting stuffed and losing yards.
It was another no touchdown game for the Titans. They’re back to square one and living off of kicker Ryan Succop’s field goals. There is no way you can get to the playoffs and win without players that can catch and hang on to the football. Nope.
Tennessee had three turnovers during this game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York, and the Bills took full advantage of them. During the Titans’ first possession, wide receiver Taywan Taylor fumbled the ball which the Bills recovered and turned into a touchdown run for quarterback Josh Allen. Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a pass intended for WR Nick Williams and it was picked off by Buffalo cornerback Taron Johnson.
The Bills did not score after this turnover in the second quarter, but the interception seemed to just be ‘par for the course’. That made it hard for the Titans to get any momentum going at all. Titans running back Dion Lewis fumbled the ball in the third quarter, and the Bills were able to get a field goal off of that mistake.
The Titans had a game with touchdowns!!! After last week’s field goal fest against the Jaguars, touchdowns are the best thing ever.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed two touchdown passes and also ran for a two-yard touchdown. His TD was the first Tennessee touchdown in two weeks. The game-winning pass to wide receiver Corey Davis in overtime was a heart stopper. And all this happened with Mariota still working his way back from an elbow injury.
The week leading up to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles was rather strange in that veteran wide receiver Rishard Matthews asked for the Titans to release him, which they did. Matthews had signed an extension during pre-season and it was unexpected that he would want to leave. Matthews did tell A-Z Sports that he was unhappy with the number of plays he was getting.
The Tennessee Titans will have to rely on their young wide receivers Tajae Sharpe, Corey Davis, and Taywan Taylor going forward. Judging from this week’s game, the team is going to be fine. Corey Davis finally had his breakout game and his first regular-season touchdown. He was hampered in his rookie year by a lingering hamstring injury.