I’m not sure what else needs to be said about the Tennessee Titans’ absolute dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. We could talk about how good the running game looked. We could talk about Delanie Walker and the stiff arm of doom. We could talk about the weapon Rishard Matthews has become in the offense. We could talk about the game plan the coaches constructed that kept the Packers’ defense on its heels the entire game. But, as I have made it clear on numerous occasions, I have a massive man crush on Marcus Mariota, so we are going to spend a little time on him today.
At this point in the season, if there are still doubters about Mariota, they need to skulk quietly into the night. They have no place at this table. Marcus Mariota is playing at a Pro Bowl level. In the past six games, he is putting up numbers that are in line with only the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is the leader of an offense that is scoring more points than almost any other team in the league during that time frame as well. In fact, the Tennessee Titans just scored over 35 points in three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. (That includes their time as the Houston Oilers.) Mariota is in complete command of the offense. He is accurate. He is decisive. He has the arm strength to make any throw required. He has a glorious moustache! He will still have games where he makes mistakes. He is only 22 games into his career after all. But it’s clear to anyone that has eyes and a brain that he is the future of this team. He can absolutely take the Titans to the Super Bowl. It won’t happen this year, but the talent is there. Rejoice Titans’ fans! Your long winter of failure is over!
As I watched the Titans physically, emotionally and strategically dominate the Packers, I realized how much I missed seeing my favorite team play at a high level. It’s been way too long. This team is still missing too many pieces to be a great team, but they have just enough to claw their way to become a good team. I can’t wait to see what they will look like with one more offseason and draft under Jon Robinsons’ leadership. We’ll see how it all plays out, but at this point, they have to be anticipating and expecting a playoff run in 2017. I don’t see how anything less could be in play.
I’ll end this article with some quick fire bullet points to highlight a few things that stood out to me on Sunday:
- Valentino Blake pointing the wrong direction after the fumbled punt was the funniest thing that happened during the game. My kids got a huge kick out of that. Way to go Valentino. I’m glad the referees aren’t influenced at all by players pointing in a direction.
- The Titans need a number one cornerback. Jason McCourty can be a really good two. Perrish Cox can be a serviceable three. Brice McCain and Valentino Blake can be fantastic practice squad players. This needs to be a draft or free agent move this offseason.
- The Titans need to keep Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo, and Derrick Morgan around for a long time.
- Was Jeff Triplette drunk on Sunday? Man did he struggle explaining the flags!
- Delanie Walker played angry and it was amazing! I’ll leave you with a good look at the stiff arm of doom he unleashed on the Packers.