The Titans show up this week with a solid 7-2 record, breathing right down the backs of 1st place Jax.
It's fashionable to think that the Stillers will play well, based on some sort of "revenge" from last week's embarrassment to Cleveland, as well as their solid away-record of 4-1.
Two problems with that line of thinking:
- Our away wins have come at Cleve, Balt, Cinci, and SF. Not a 1 of those teams is worth a tinker's damn. Thus, this 4-1 road record is no more relative to this team's ability, than the record of a Nebraska or an FSU beating up on hapless division-3 teams.
- This quote by Marty Jr. says all I need to know for this upcoming game: "You have to weigh the change you're making and recognize would progress be made if you made a change here or a change there, or is that just another step backwards?"
See, Bill feels that if you beat your head into a wall, and the wall does not budge, then you simply keep beating and beating your head, again & again & again. His feeling is that there is no sense in getting a bulldozer to hit the wall, or trying out a different person's head, etc. Just keep beating and beating one's head against the wall. You know what they call this? Stubborn Stupidity. Our offense has struggled since the 1998 opener at Baltimore, yet Field Goal Bill is "weighing" making any changes. He's afraid to tinker with an offense that is so bogged down in its own manure, that Arkansas farmers are looking at bidding for the entire offense at auction, mistaking this crew for a herd of pigs.
The Titans are no slouch, either. Eddie George, who ravaged us last year -- twice -- should have little problems shredding us again. The Titan passing game, even without Pigpen, is still good enough to give us fits. When Cleveland can beat you on the game-winning drive by completing a long pass to Darren Chiaverini, you know you're defense ain't up to playoff-caliber snuff.
The Titan defense will also have an easy time bottling up Field Goal Bill's predictable, stale, 15-Cent Offense. Fisher has been shrewd enough, that last year he mimicked the Baltimore and NE run-blitz defenses, giving us fits and bottling up everything. There's no reason to think that Fisher won't do the same this weekend. And, considering Bill's refusal to make changes, there's no reason whatsoever to think that we can counter this defense. Bill's idea of a "big innovation" will be to use Ward as a BWB (blocking wingback), which didn't work fer shit last year when CJ did this versus Tennessee. All it does --- for teams like the Titans who are prepared for it --- is clog more and more defenders in a tighter area. This is far beyond Marty Jr.'s comprehension of offense, but if we actually SPREAD out our formations, we might find some cracks to run thru.
I hate this prediction, because if it comes true, this basically knocks us out of the playoffs. However, as the true saying goes, "Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it". Field Goal Bill refuses to learn from the history of '98, so we are doomed to another sub-par season. Final Score: Bitans 23, Stillers 13.
The Still Mill