I’m a little bit out of sorts. It might be because I’m above 10,000 feet at the moment, watching the credits for The Great Gatsby on the small airplane TV screen. This is not how Baz Luhrmann intended the movie to be watched.
I’m flying to San Francisco, where the NFL day begins at 10 a.m. That will mess me up a bit, as the Titans play the late afternoon game against the Titans, which is 3 p.m. where they kick off, 4 p.m. at my home and 1 p.m. on the West Coast. I don’t think the Titans have played a late home game in a long time.
What do you do when you’re off your usual schedule? I would love to see the city but seriously folks, this is NFL Sunday. With luck I’ll get to a sports bar in time for the second half of the opening games. I’m in town for a conference, my second in a two-week span after a three week absence from the scene. It’s all about what I do in an unusual situation.
When you’re used to the same routine, anything different can mess you up. The Titans kick off at noon all but two weeks this year. This week and a home Thursday night game against the Colts (bench everyone in fantasy already) are the two. This will mess up everyone a bit, as fans will start drinking earlier and players must be at their physical peak a little later than usual.
Jake Locker had his breakout game last week, but there’s a good word of warning. The Chargers gave up 68 points in their first two weeks and the Titans needed a TD in the final 15 seconds just to reach 20. He’s probably not going to be a 30-point fantasy performer every week. I have to start him in one league because Cam’s on a bye and the Texans play the Seahawks. I’m hoping to get north of ten points this week. For the first time all year, this is a game the team should win. Heading to Pittsburgh is usually asking for disaster and the Texans are tough at home. The Titans had never defeated the Chargers and Philip Rivers is hot, so that was a coin toss at best. The Jets are solid on defense and have a playmaker at QB. Sometimes he makes plays for the other team. Geno Smith has six interceptions in three weeks and the Titans are going to need to get turnovers for the team to win. Another reason is because the offense is overdue to cough the ball up.
You can’t go an entire NFL season without turnovers. Everything comes back to the mean. Locker’s going to have a two-interception game or CJFUk’s going to put the ball on the ground. While I say the Titans should win this game, they’re a field goal to a touchdown on the superior side, so losing the turnover game or giving up a lot of sacks kills that differential. The Jets had eight sacks last week and the Titans offensive line hasn’t been that great. Locker may have to scramble for a first down or two and he’s had struggles against the 3-4 this year.
It comes down to big plays. If CJFUk can break one like in last year’s Monday Night debacle, if Locker gets the green light to target Hunter deep again and they can connect, if the defense can score again, it will be a nice day. If Santonio Holmes or Stephen Hill breaks one or Antonio Cromartie takes a pick to the house, it goes the other way.
You have to play through pain, as it were. I’ll be at a conference, and conferences are known for overindulgence of food and strong drink. I’ve been fighting a sinus infection for a week. Whether I survive for a W, aka learn something of use and come home with enough health to ensure my doubleheader Missouri and Titans weekend next week, depend on me performing in unusual circumstances.