Monday, October 12, 2009

Ways the Titans Can Make the Rest of This Season Worth Watching

The Titans are 0–5, and in the last two games they haven't been competitive. They're headed to New England next week, and corner Nick Harper has a broken arm—a blow to an already depleted and struggling secondary. Yes, if the Titans were to win 10 of their final 11 games, they would still have a reasonable chance of making the playoffs. Of course, the Titans have no reasonable chance of winning 10 games, or even 5. So the time has come to take chances and make things interesting. Here are some things the Titans could do to ease the suffering of their fans by making losing fun:

  • Inappropriate onside kicks: There's precedent for this one. During a game against the Colts late in the 2004 season (possibly the Titans' worst season since they've been in Nashville), the Titans attempted three onside kicks in the first quarter. (I believe they recovered one of the three.) The strategy didn't really work—the Colts won that game 51–24—but it was interesting.

  • Eschew the punt: First-string punter Craig Hentrich is on injured reserve. The team should announce a) that it will be taking back-up punter Reggie Hodges off of the active roster in favor of an additional defensive back and b) that, until Hentrich comes back, the Titans will not be punting. When you're 0–5, you can't waste perfectly good downs on a play whose sole purpose is giving possession of the ball to the other team. Adopting such a philosophy may mean going for it on fourth and 23; and it may mean attempting the occasional 70-yard field goal. Either way, interesting.

  • Chris Johnson returning kicks: Normally, teams don't use their number-one running backs on special teams because the risk of injury is too great. But the Titans really don't have much to lose at this point. When you have the fastest player in the league, why save his talents for an offense that scores fewer than 17 points per game?

  • A two-quarterback package: Anyone who thinks that Vince Young gives the Titans a better chance of winning than Kerry Collins hasn't been paying attention. That said, Collins has had some struggles, and VY has a unique skill set (albeit one that isn't really suited to being a starting quarterback in the NFL). I say play Vince Young . . . and Kerry Collins. Put them both in the game. The opposition wouldn't know to whom Kevin Mawae would snap the ball. He might snap it to Collins; he might snap it to Young; he might snap it to Young, who would then toss a lateral to Collins; he might snap it to Collins, who would then hand it off to Young. Would it be a gimmick offense? Yes. Would it work? Probably not. Would it be interesting? Certainly.

There you go, Jeff Fisher. Let's make this happen.


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