I decided on the afternoon before the final Titans home game to attend. After driving back and forth to Chattanooga three times in a week due to a funeral, I didn’t think I’d be up for the 3.5-hour drive to watch about 3 hours of fourth-preseason-level football. I decided what the hell.
For the year, I attended five Titans home games, which is the most I’ve attended since probably 2008. Over the past five years, the team has faded and I don’t get to a lot of December contests. I missed the blowout win against the Jets, the blowout loss to the 49ers (31-17 is a much closer score than the actual contest), and the Thursday night blah-fest against the then-struggling Colts.
It’s a tough Monday. As I watch coaches get fired with no consideration to the cost of their remaining contracts (Rob Chudzinski’s eight-figure parting gift is an especially nice one) and Mike Munchak left as a decision for later in the week, I’m pretty convinced that the Hall of Fame guard will be with the franchise for a 32nd season in 2014. That makes me not so happy.
As for the game itself, I tried to prepare myself by purchasing two giant Fat Tire beers to get things started. My departure time from Atlanta was 8 in the morning and I got to Nashville in time to scarf down a meatball sandwich before heading with the parents for the game. I drank those two beers, about 44 ounces of liquid courage, before the middle of the second quarter so my commentary is duly dulled.
The Texans scored a TD on the opening drive like me running through a field of eight-year-olds. It didn’t look good, but that was the peak of the Texans’ offensive effectiveness for the day. Ryan Fitzpatrick was his usual inaccurate self and receivers couldn’t make plays. The defense, after weeks of bending and breaking, bent but got four turnovers which was the difference. CJWTFk got his sixth-straight 1k season and scored his 10th TD of the year. Kendall Wright didn’t get to 100 catches but finished north of 90. Derrick Morgan got a sack, which means a comet is soon to visit us. Rob Bironas went 3-3 on field goals and Brett Kern punted well. If your kickers are deserving of game balls, well, I just fell asleep while writing that sentence.
The crowd stayed until the end, unlike the previous home game with the improbable 4th-quarter comeback and the very probable FitzTragic interception to lose it in OT. A guy behind me caught CJ’s thrown helmet after the game. It was a win the way the coach envisioned things when he told us in August that we wouldn’t be disappointed. The team started 3-1 and finished 2-0, going 2-8 in the gooey center. If the Chargers didn’t have one of the most unlikely wins of a year full of them, the Titans would have finished a game out of the playoffs. I’m kind of glad they didn’t sneak in even though the team has been playoff-free since 2008.
I lost my stomach for the season after the loss to the 0-win Jags on November 10. The team won three games after that point, and the teams they beat will draft 1st, 3rd, and 5th in next May’s draft. Those three wins were by 4, 4, and 6. That makes underwhelming seem like a gold-medal term in comparison.
I do love the expanded NFL Draft community. I’m not ready to talk about what’s going to happen in early May. I want to enjoy the playoffs, watch somebody not in Columbia blue hoist the Lombardi for the 47th consecutive year, and drink some quality beer. Try out the Corsendonk Christmas Ale. You won’t be disappointed.