Some people are fans of the Tennessee Titans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Tennessee Titans. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Tennessee Titans.
Your 2018 record: 9-7. The Titans could have made the playoffs for a second year in a row. All they had to do was beat the Colts at home in Week 17 … with Blaine Gabbert as their starter OH GOD. Let’s see how that worked out for them! YOOOOOOOOOO GABBERT GABBERT!
Even Blaine knew that was coming. The Titans have gone 9-7 three years in a row. Even firing Mike Mularkey last offseason couldn’t knock them off that steady non-trajectory. Yes, these Titans have been a winning team of late, but only as the obvious result of arbitrary schedule breaks and dumb luck. If I told you they’d gone 7-9 these past three years, would you doubt me? You would not.
Because this is a team that is always 7-9 in spirit. Rishard Matthews got inexplicably frozen out of the offense, to the extent that he had to beg for his release (the team obliged him). Their fans couldn’t hold their signs correctly. One of their other fans pulled a Maude Flanders. Taylor Lewan, who is a fucking asshole, fully embraced his league-wide role as mentally healthy Richie Incognito. Delanie Walker’s leg snapped like the Elder Wand. They boldly went for two to beat the Chargers at the gun in London, only to watch their QB throw the ball to the upright. On the bright side, they beat the Pats AND Derrick Henry finally topped 1,000 yards. Wow. I reach to feel things about the Titans, and so do all the players on this roster.
Your coach: Mike Vrabel, who perpetually looks like he just drank a 12-pack of Budweiser for breakfast. Yes, the Titans now have to compete with not only the Texans but also the Lions for who can stage the most disastrous Patriots imitation. Vrabel recently confessed to Lewan that he would cut off his own dick to win a Super Bowl. Lewan, naturally, said he would not. BRO I STAND FOR MY PENIS BRO THAT’S WHAT I USE TO GET CHICKS BRO. Fortunately, this is not a trade that either man will ever have to worry about making good on. Their dicks are safe from dismemberment. Now, gonorrhea? Whole other story.
Your quarterback: Marcus Mariota, who started 13 games last year and threw a whopping 11 touchdown passes. Patrick Mahomes throws that many TDs in a fucking HALF. And yet here is Mariota, seducing coaches and executives with his unrelenting professionalism and pious demeanor, all while being terminally unable to score any fucking points. Like everything associated with Oregon football, Marcus Mariota only runs smoothly against cupcakes but completely falls apart against an opponent with even a whiff of competency.
This is the final year of Mariota’s deal, and the Titans will be left with an even thornier decision than the Bucs have with chronic shithead Jameis Winston. They can overpay Hawaiian Tebow like he’s Sam Bradford and go 9-7 for the next million years. Or they can replace him with some variation of a Gabbert out there and … go 9-7 for the next million years. You see why this is such a dilemma. Bland if you do, bland if you don’t.
Your new backup is failed Miami quarterbacking project Ryan Tannehill, who will absolutely start five games this season when the guy above him gets hit by a dude riding a contraband Bird scooter down the sidewalk. Ryan Tannehill is just like Marcus Mariota, only with guns.
What’s new that sucks: Speaking of underwhelming Miami imports, the Titans also poached edge rusher Cameron Wake away from the Dolphins. Cam Wake is 37 years old, but ignore that for a moment because the Titans elected to be PLAYERS this offseason. They got Wake. They got elegantly named Rams guard Rodger Saffold. And they got … Adam Humphries. Goody. You can’t be an official failed Patriots clone unless you have an Adam Humphries lurking around the slot, ready to run the bravest five-yard square-in patterns you’ve EVER seen.
Lewan was suspended four games for PEDs. Good. Fuck him. He’s a piece of shit. Here he is on video proclaiming his innocence and sporting a hideous knee tattoo that fits his personality to an uncomfortable degree. HE’S LIKE A BEAR! A DRUG-FREE BEAR!
Lewan posted a polygraph he says proves that he’s clean, and that he’s just bein’ honest when he says he should be able to use that word if black people can.
What has always sucked: I finally went to Nashville last year, and so I can promise you that all the hate you’re about to be served has been locally sourced. Have you said to yourself, “Hey, I wish there was a city that had Dallas’s urban planning, but also drunken bachelorettes!” My friend, you’re in luck. Nashville’s got all that and more! Half this town is highway overpasses. All the gentrified parts of Nashville serve inferior, expensive versions of recipes stolen from the non-gentrified parts of Nashville. It has overpriced boots. It has an even WORSE Broadway than New York City’s. This Broadway is lined with three-story McBars, all of which have shitty country bands competing for decibels with MORE shitty country bands both upstairs and next door.
If you drive a pickup truck with 50 bumper stickers splayed across the back of tailgate, this is very much your kind of scene. If you are a normal human like me, this is not. Country music is a hate crime. Nashville is its nexus: just one generic honkytonk after another, each one trying to deafen passersby with the soundtrack to a fucking ICE raid. Next time I go to Tennessee, I’m going to Memphis. I’m not a fool.
On the field, it’s been years since he’s been there and the face of the Titans is STILL Jeff Fisher. Go ahead and make all those 9-7s into 7-9s. Who’s gonna remember any different anyway? This is a franchise with the fewest highlights of any of them. They haven’t had a functional wide receiver in, like, 10 years. Their current receiving core is all made up of randomly-generated Madden clones. They will never use their running backs correctly. This is the shortest preview every year because I just wanna get on with living my life. Bud Adams was a pile of shit. His daughter is a jackass.
By the time Amy Adams Strunk arrives at Nissan Stadium, it’s only an hour before kickoff, so she heads straight to the field.
Right away, it starts. “Miss Amy!”
If I catch any of you calling Amy Strunk MISS AMY, I will break a guitar over your head.
What might not suck: Corey Davis will have just enough big plays to make you think he’s a monster-in-waiting, and then he’ll finish the year with 800 yards and four TDs. ELECTRIFYING.
HEAR IT FROM TITANS FANS!
When a team with a notoriously meh offense that finished 29th in passing yards per game makes the big splash signings of Ryan Tannehill and Adam Humphries, it’s no wonder that the coach would want to cut his own dick off.
For the record, I’d be willing to chop off my own dick if I didn’t have to watch this godforsaken team this season.
At least we’re “it city” because this team continues to blow.
I am secretly hoping that Tua gets hurt in September and falls far enough in the draft for the 9-7, playoff-missing Titans to take him. I am a terrible person. But that would be fucking awesome.
Our uniforms are still completely hideous and no one in Nashville will admit they make us look like an AFL3 team from Portland. We traded for the only other QB who gets hurt as much as our starter. There will be one game this season where Derrick Henry has to take 50 snaps in the wildcat. I’m already sick of this season.
Because I’ve thought about getting the Titans logo tattooed on me for awhile now because I’ve loved them consistently for 20 years but the only remaining shred of common sense in my mind tells me not to.
Recognizing that Marcus Mariota is neither “MariGOATa” nor the guy who will lose his job to Ryan Tannehill in Week 5 is something that this entire fanbase can’t comprehend.
I’m one of like maybe three Titans fans from Pennsylvania and I had never been to Nashville. But for my 40th birthday last year, my wife bought us tickets and we hopped on a plane. It was my first time to Nashville and I can honestly say it’s a super fun town! We did all kinds of cool shit. We got wasted on Broad Street like tourists. Saw the Predators beat the Wild (my first NHL game too). Ate some chicken that burned a hole in my esophagus, but in a good way. Caught a Ween show at the Ryman Auditorium. Walked through a completely unnecessary full-size replica of the Parthenon. Did some other shit too. But the whole reason we traveled all that way was for me to see my very first ever Tennessee Titans Home game experience!!!
It rained the whole game. They had 51 total passing yards. Mariota was sacked 11 times. They lost 21-0 to the Ravens, making it the very first time they’ve ever been shut-out at home.
- I literally picked this team as my favorite (even though I’m from Chicago) while watching the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars because I thought their uniforms looked cool and because I thought Jeff Fisher was a defensive mastermind. I was 12.
- They’ve even managed to define mediocrity on Thursday Night Football. Their record? 3-6
- Can’t wait for that 11-6 victory over the Jags in week 17 to cement their playoff spo....oh shit the Bills and Jets won their games.
The annual Titans/Jaguars Thursday Night smegma-bowl has been renewed for the 2019 season. Yay schedule makers!!!
Anyway, I’ve been a fan of this sorry ass excuse for a franchise for so long that I consider these past three seasons of finishing 9-7 the second renaissance of Titan football. This team is bad for my mental health. They make me tell myself lies, lies that I will wholeheartedly believe to be absolute truths by the end of the summer: this is the year we win at least 10 games, this is the year we win the division, this is the year Mariota’s bird bones hold up for the entire season, etc.
When Mariota sails a wounded duck floater (happens at least twice as game) 15 feet over some no name WRs head (we have like 16 of them), it’s the receivers fault for not running the correct route or for not being Yao fucking Ming.
The Titans only seem to pull a good season out their ass when some schlub like Neil O’Donnell or Kerry Collins has a significant role to play in that season. They then lose their one home playoff game that year as a #1 or #2 seed and we go back to mediocrity. I fully expect Ryan Tannehill to play that role this year as we get streamrolled by the Bengals or something on a pleasant 50 degree Nashville winter day in January. Why do I do this to myself.
The Titans were coming into the 2017 season after a forgettable 9-7 2016 campaign. We followed that up in 2017 with a, you guessed it, 9-7 season. No matter. In 2018 we got a fresh new square block of red meat for a head coach and ascended to new heights with a....9-7 season? GODDAMNIT.
Marcus Mariota is entering his fifth season and we are so unsure of his okayness that we are just gonna ride out his 5th year option. It’s the football equivalent of paying $20 million for a late checkout. The AFC South now has Deshaun Watson, Nick Foles, and Andrew Luck. We’ll be pining for those 9-7 halcyon days before you know it.
Prediction: 5-11 with a Week 6 Mariota benching for Ryan Tannehill who, upon hearing he is to enter the game, detonates the bombs he had surgically implanted in his own kneecaps.
But enough about the Titans. Let’s talk NASHVILLE BABY. We had the draft!! Everybody enjoy that? I did not. I spent that whole week dodging guys named Kyle in Eagles jerseys riding around on Bird scooters.
The draft is a symptom of a larger disease. Nashville rode the “It” city status just long enough to sell its soul to corporate interests. I guess it was only a matter of time. Amazon, AllianceBernstein, EY, and Apple are all opening satellite shops. 5,000 people here, 2,000 people there. Basically playing just-the-tip with our city to get absurd sweetheart deals.
Tennessee put Marsha Blackburn in the senate. The leading opioid extortionist and climate denier. The governor, who inherited his wealth from a fucking air conditioning company, named a day Nathaniel Bedford Forrest Day.
Nashville is landlocked, hot as shit, newly expensive, culturally dead, and ascetically unappealing. It’s full of racists feigning as libertarians and horny mayors.
The new Nashville is people from other places cosplaying Southerners cosplaying people from LA: a manufactured feedback loop for the asinine.
Did I mention our coach said he’d cut his own dick off to win a Super Bowl? Titan Up.
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