I was going to write an article about something other than the Titans, but then I saw a statement about them that I felt I had to respond to. Please feel free to comment on my story and agree/disagree with me.
MYTH: "nobody outside the 615 area code believes the Titans have a legitimate shot at an unblemished record like New England did in 2007" —Alex Marvez, October 21, 2008
FACT: Really? Because at this time last year, the Patriots had the same chance of going undefeated as the Titans do now. The Titans are winning in a completely different style than the Patriots did last year, but the end result is the same: they're still winning.
The Patriots last year had such a high-powered passing attack that the running game was almost an afterthought. The Titans have such a strong running game (they ran for over 300 yards in Kansas City last week) that it makes up for their complete lack of a passing game.
While the Patriots had Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth, the Titans seem to value run-blocking receivers a lot more than they value receivers who can make big catches. While it frustrates the fans, it seems to be working.
On defense, the Patriots were pretty good, but there offense scored so much that it was able to take some pressure off of the defense. On the other hand, the Titans use their dominant defense to take pressure off of the offense.
Though on any given Sunday, a team's chances of winning are 50-50, the remainder of the Titans' schedule shouldn't present too much of a challenge for them. It's hard to see any losses coming from inside their division.
Right now, the Colts' biggest weakness is stopping the run. The Titans' biggest strength is running the ball. Because of this, along with Peyton Manning's inconsistency due largely to his offseason knee surgery, the Titans should be able to manhandle the Colts.
The Jaguars' offensive line is plagued with injuries, making it even easier for the Titans to get after the quarterback. They already sacked David Garrard NINE times in their first victory over the Jaguars. They should be able to take care of business when they play them again.
The Texans? Not in this decade.
In fact, it's hard to see the Titans losing to any team in the AFC on their schedule. Due to the strength of the AFC South last year, the Titans finished third in their division with a 10-6 record. That meant they were scheduled to play the third-place team in the AFC West and East, the Chiefs and the Jets.
They already steamrolled the Chiefs, and Brett Favre can't make the Jets play better defense.
The Titans have to play every team in the AFC North, and they've already beaten the Bengals and the Ravens. The Browns aren't as talented as people like to believe they are, and the Titans' defensive line will absolutely dominate the Steelers' weak offensive line. If Roethlisberger hasn't already been injured by Week 16 due to poor pass protection, then I predict he will be when he plays the Titans.
In no way do I wish this to come true. I absolutely hate seeing any player get hurt. But I'm just predicting that these two lines will be a highly unfavorable matchup for Big Ben.
This leaves us with the Titans losing to someone in the NFC North, most likely the Lions. Just kidding. The Titans will win on Thanksgiving.
The Bears are very similar to the Titans, with their physical defense, reliance on the running game, and a solid game-manager at quarterback. This will be the Titans' biggest challenge of the year, and if I had to pick one game for the Titans to lose, it would be this one.
Overall, it's impossible to predict the outcome of every single game, so this is all speculation. I know it sounds like a huge task to go undefeated, and I'm not even saying I think it's definitely going to happen. But it's possible to make a case for the Titans to win each game when you look at them individually.
I don't know for a fact that the Titans will go undefeated. However, nobody knows for a fact that they won't either. So let's not write them off until they actually lose a game.
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