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Tennessee Titans - Week 8

I'd like to start with some advice for my fellow Austinites who were unable to see the game this week. Let's stick with options other than whining or boycotts, which are supergay, and also Houston has them copyrighted.

1. Replay the Tampa game and pretend it's the Raiders. Trust me. It was the exact same game. Only the ending was different, sort of like a director's cut. Denzel's character still dies though.

2. Head to a sportsbar with your buddies. While you're there you can make fun of the Texans fans who show up for their weekly clobbering. Why do they do that? Hey guys, wanna go drink some beer, ogle some hot waitresses, and watch some baby seals get clubbed? Yeah, should be great. Really. I don't get it either. I watched ten minutes of that game and turned it off. It was like watching Maori tribesman attack a troop of Webelos.

3. Built a crude pirate satellite dish out of a microphone stand, lamp shade and some IKEA flooring. It's pretty straightforward.

    Step 1. Cut a hole in a box.
    Step 2. Put your junk in that box.
    Step 3. Make her o-ho ho...wait a minute.

Wrong instructions. Sorry about that. Anniversary coming up. OK here is the file I was looking for.


It's not finished yet, but when I hook up the Pocket Fisherman and the Flowbee I ordered from KEYE during the game this baby will pick up signal from China. Or fry all of my neighbors pacemakers simultaneously. I can't wait.

Question: What is Fisherball?

I mean really. Some of the greatest minds of our time have spent years pondering such deep philosophical questions, only to come tantalizingly close to the truth without finding it. Is it a theology? A mantra? A way of life? Is there a meaning behind the mustache? I think I may have found the answer. At it's base foundation it's very simple. Fisherball is three quarters of mind-numbing grind it out football followed by 15 minutes of your television actively trying to kill you. Only instead of that creepy girl from The Ring crawling out to choke you it's a 4 point lead and a prevent defense. The good news: you win a lot of games. The bad news: none of them are decided until the last 30 seconds or so. If then.

I meant what I said about this being the Tampa game redux. Or maybe a nice Tampa/Atlanta blend, since it was full of dropped balls, penalties, ST gaffes, pass protection chicanery, tackling tomfoolery, mayhem and ballyhoo. Then the Raiders took the field and the wheels really started to come off. If you like watching our interior lineman block or a relentless maniacal pass rush from the front four then it's a fun team to watch. If you tune in expecting to see the breathtaking magic of last season, stay tuned. I've decided to officially take away Norm's wizard hat until further notice.

This hurts me more than it does you Norm.

Offensively we are as good rushing as we are bad passing. The splay is impressive. The reason we are running well is outstanding offensive line and fullback play, even with Kramer at FB instead of Hall, and LenDale running hard and getting extra yards every down. Our current offense is predicated on being able to convert 3rd and 3, which is exactly what I think Fisher wants. LenDale reminds me of one of those cool weather fat guys who suck in August and dominate in October. Looks like Jane plays like Tarzan. Or maybe looks like a manatee plays like Tarzan. I don't know. The guy can run. Henry did a nice job off counters and cut backs against overpursuit, Chow used both backs very effectively this game. Henry has earned that 2nd round pick in my opinion. He has massive upside if he keeps progressing like this, and with the way we're throwing the ball I'd rather have a home run back than the project WR everyone wanted us to draft there right now. Young has virtually disappeared as a running threat, he's still drawing some attention backside and on rollouts, but he's obviously got a bad wheel right now and leaning heavily on the Oline and backs. I've never seen Vince Young slide in bounds short of the first down before. Ever. As far as I know it has never happened. I didn't know he knew how to slide. He's hurting.

BTW- I can handle a little foolishness from the announcers but at some point it's ridiculous. They flip-flop more than presidential candidates.

    I just have to question LenDale's conditioning here Bob. You know he was gassed during the Tampa game, I just don't know if he has what it takes to be an every down back.

    I hear you. You have to wonder whether this is the guy who can tote the rock 25 times a game and get it done in the fourth quarter. So far we haven't seen that.

Ten minutes later.

    LenDale is just punishing defenders, getting to the second level, throwing the stiff arm. That was a 24 yard run. I love this kid. This is his second game over 100 in a row you know.

    Absolutely. He just gets stronger as the game goes on. This is exactly what we expected from him coming out of USC. You just knew he was going to dominate at this level.

You guys do realize we can hear you up there, right? You're wearing microphones, idiots. Pot heads and Alzheimer's patients caught that. Stop it.

The passing game however is another story. The problems are legion. We can talk about them if you like, they've become more repetitive for me at this point than the lyrics to Soulja Boy, but what the hey.

The timing is off, Vinces' accuracy is off, he isn't moving around well in the pocket the last few weeks, when he does hit someone it's promptly dropped. I don't think our receivers could catch Hanta virus right now if they were standing in the endzone when it hit them. No matter what Vince says he doesn't really trust anyone downfield except Bo- and that developed before he ever got here. Norm isn't moving the pocket and getting guys as open as he was at the beginning of the year either, and the TE contribution has dwindled considerably. When you consider our number one receiver is out, and the fact that he is our number one receiver in the first place, which is a different argument altogether, it's not looking good right now. It's not all on one guy nor a quick fix, but I hope it gets turned around soon. I know VY can throw the ball, I saw him do it for years. He looks right now just like he did halfway through his sophomore year at Texas, when a bunch of mouthbreathers wanted to move him to WR. Those people are all now aliased, hiding, or terminally mocked. I know this is going to get turned around before the end of the year but the sooner it happens the better. I'm going to look pretty stupid if we don't get at least to the AFC champ game- and believe me no one wants that.

Defensively you can't really ask for more from a football team. They have allowed some fourth quarter drives that killed us, but overall they are shutting down the run and making opposing quarterbacks run for their lives almost every down. It all starts with Haynesworth and KVB, and when you double or chip one of them it frees up Odom, Starks or LaBoy- who have played better to a man consistently this season than they did at any single point last year. I have come to regret saying Travis is easily blocked by a small yard gnome. I'm sorry Travis. Truly. Now if Norm can just make me regret giving him Wendy's hair my work here will be done. Even in my preseason swagger I wasn't expecting a top 5 defense and that is what we are playing like right now. It's an astounding turnaround- you can say it's personnel but how do you explain the Dline? I know Albert quit playing 3 technique because it was costing him a step and he flipped sides, but that isn't supposed to make you go from one of the worst defenses in the entire league to one of the best. You aren't supposed to go from getting pummeled all season to completely shutting down the run and playing smear-the-queer with the QB every time the ball is snapped. We had something like 4 sacks and 11 hurries, to the point that their tackles got into an offsides jumping contest by the second quarter. That's not "mental errors", that's fear people, and keeping TE's and backs in just to handle the front four that early in the game is conceding a huge chunk of your playbook right from the jump. I don't know what happened but it's putting us on track for a 10 win season right now. Go defense.

In the secondary I tried to watch Griffin and was completely unable to. They didn't show deep coverage on most of the field shots and they didn't call his name that I recall. I've seen more shots of Bigfoot than I have Griffin playing safety at this point. I will of course take this complete lack of data on my part, and the fact that he is a former Longhorn, to conclude that he played outstanding. It was the best start by a rookie safety in the history of football, possibly civilization. Way to go Griff. I better not hear or see a single thing about you next week either, unless you decapitate DeShaun Foster. Fisher himself said he had to watch film afterwards to check it out, so if he's under Fisher's radar with his first start at safety that is just fine with me. Thornton had a great game, Rey Hill played well on special teams, blah blah blah- our defense is really good.

Random Thoughts.

1. I think our WR brick catching drills backfired. I'm as much to blame as anyone, I thought it sounded cool too. Next offseason I propose we lob helium balloons wrapped in fluffy wisps of cotton. Trying to think outside the box here.

2. What is huge, fearsome, and runs really fast but has useless vestigial arms? Exactly. Mike Williams. I gave you partial credit if you said a Tyrannosaurus, though technically they're extinct.

3. Watching Huff play again was pretty cool. He's still fearless in run support. Looking back over our secondary the last few years I wish I had predicted how much we'd miss that guy. Every time I see him I think of that open field takedown on LenDale in the RB. Man I loved watching him play. Good luck the rest of the season Mike. I'm truly sorry you were drafted by a cluster**** of a team with a geriatric psychopath owner. Keep doing what you're doing and wait for the trade.

4. Is Carolina a good football team? I'm trying really hard to work up some excitement this early in the week. They're 21st in both offense and defense and not playing particularly well but they're 4-3 sitting atop a bad NFC South Division. They're 0-2 out of conference. I guess it doesn't really matter, we're going to win or lose by 2-3 points regardless of who we're playing. Ahhh.... the joys of Fisherball.

5. Asking myself whether Vinnie Testaverde or David Carr poses the biggest matchup problem this week is one of the strangest questions I've ever asked myself before a game. It's even stranger if you use the nicknames my clique has officially dubbed them: Methusaleh and Captain Vagina Gloves.

Does this chinstrap make me look gay?

Nickname/Photo courtesy of CJD. He has hundreds more his hard drive. Don't ask.