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» 2017 Defensive Personnel Analysis

Defenses have taken a wide variety of responses to the rise of 11 personnel. Is any one system better than another? And how has the rise of the "moneybacker" changed defensive philosophy?

06 Dec 2016

Scramble for the Ball: Make It So

by Bryan Knowles and Andrew Potter

Andrew: So how about that Jeff Fisher then?

Bryan: Well, he was right about one thing this season -- he's not going to finish 7-9 again!

Andrew: Now, now, they have games against the 49ers and Cardinals left -- one of whom they have already beaten on the road, the other of whom hasn't won since beating the Rams in Week 1. If they can fluke a game against Atlanta or, more likely, a Seattle team they always seem to play tough, 7-9 is very much on the table.

Bryan: I see the NFL you believe in works on the principle of hilarity.

Andrew: Always. I adore the idea of the Rams being 4-9 this time next week, and STILL finishing 7-9 when the dust settles. Even though, as a Saints fan, it would pain me to see the division slip further out of sight with a Falcons victory this weekend.

Bryan: Andrew, buddy, I hate to break it to you, but… the divison's already out of sight for New Orleans. The Saints aren't going anywhere this season. They need to be looking ahead to 2017, not thinking about what might have been this year.

Andrew: Nuh-uh. I bought these fancy new binoculars. They let me see whatever I want, whenever I want to.

Bryan: I'm fairly sure that what Saints fans traditionally wear at this point of the year is a paper sack, yes? They may be mathematically alive, but the loss to Detroit on Sunday pretty much killed any hopes of a parade down Bourbon Street this year… well, a football parade, at the very least.

Andrew: Pah. Next you'll be telling me LSU doesn't have a Bowl game to look forward to.

Bryan: It's college football. I'm pretty sure everyone gets a bowl game appearance just for showing up and playing Eastern Southwestern Divisional College Tech in their three out-of-conference games.

Andrew: Is that the college equivalent of playing the AFC South in a down year?

Bryan: The AFC South has up years?

Andrew: My, how we forget. The AFC South, a mere ten short seasons ago, had no team with a losing record and sent three teams to the playoffs, including the reigning champion Indianapolis Colts.

Bryan: Having to go back ten years to refute my point sort of ends up supporting my point. The SEC, this ain't.

Andrew: It would be, though, if relegation were a thing in American sports.

Bryan: I'm still fairly sure even the Cleveland Browns would trounce the top college team, making relegation somewhat moot -- but there are a few things the NFL could take from their college counterparts.

Andrew: Their top players? Their brightest head coaches? The ethereal Spirit of Amateurism?

Bryan: Surely, you jest.

Andrew: I do. As Bobby Petrino and Greg Schiano will attest, it isn't only the brightest college head coaches who are hired by NFL franchises.

Bryan: No, I was talking about bowl games! I admit that I pay far more attention to the NFL than the college game, but the deliberations as to where Ohio State would go, and then what would happen to the Big 10 champion and so forth made for some very interesting viewing -- with more suspense than, say, what will happen to the Dallas Cowboys (spoiler: they're going to win home-field advantage).

Andrew: So you're suggesting that, instead of sensibly allowing the league's lesser lights more time off to watch its biggest stars bludgeon each other for an extra month, we make the bad teams play on too?

Bryan: I actually think that would be a terrible idea, but we've already scrapped an 8,000-word article tonight, fearing the Wrath of the Editors. So for the sake of argument, yes! Yes I am suggesting that!

Andrew: The Wrath of the Editors? Not feeling the weight of their love, are we? It's OK, even that end has a start.

Bryan: You're aware three people will get that joke, right?

Andrew: That's three more than usually get my jokes! In this light and on this evening, let's embrace your bowls idea before our deadline sees it thrown in the back room.

Bryan: For those not familiar with the bowl selection process, it makes no sense.

For those wanting a slightly better description of the bowl selection process, once the playoff teams are sent off to their big-money, National Championship-determining games, the other, lesser bowls start picking from the teams that remain. They don't just pick, say, the fifth- and sixth-best teams to play against each other, though; they're looking for interesting matchups and big fan bases, and hope that they're not the one that gets stuck with an uppity mid-major from the middle of nowhere.

Andrew: On that subject, this would probably have been a more interesting idea last week, before your 49ers got curb-stomped by the Chicago Bears.

Bryan: Like the 49ers and "interesting ideas" have anything to do with one another in 2016.

Andrew: Aye. They're becoming more and more Ponderous by the minute. (copyright: Will Allen )

Alright, let's go for it then. We'll do as the NCAA does and siphon off the playoff teams, using the current playoff picture as our guide, leaving us ten more games to distribute as we see fit.

Bryan: Normally, the first pick for any outside bowl game would be Dallas, with their huge national fanbase and devoted following. They're actually good this year, though! So they're off to the "actual" playoffs, and we've got to go elsewhere. So, if you're a big bowl looking for ratings, you're probably taking the Packers, right? You've got marquee stars in Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, you've got the playoff history, you've got a passionate and devoted fan base -- what's not to love?

Andrew: Then, in the same vein, we pitch them against the Pittsburgh Steelers. All of Pittsburgh's major rivals are off to the real show, so instead we pit two of the league's greatest historical franchises against each other in a rematch of Super Bowl XLV. Two teams that started the season with genuine playoff aspirations, no less, and which might both still reach the actual postseason.

Bryan: That game would be a ratings bonanza, even if Green Bay's defense is theoretical, at best.

Andrew: Perhaps even because of that. We need a catchy name for it, however.

Bryan: A matchup like this needs something blue-collary. Like, the Iron Bowl or the Rust Bowl or the … well, maybe not the Steel Bowl.

Andrew: Yeah, rust screams Detroit rather than Green Bay to me. Industry Bowl?

Bryan: Works for me, though it probably ends up being the Bud Light Industry Bowl or something when all is said and done.

Andrew: Well it's that or something about cheese and ketchup, which is probably a better description of my post-nightclub munchies in Glasgow than anything to do with football.

Bryan: We can save the Condiment Bowl for another time.

Of the 18 teams remaining, what do you think about grabbing Washington?

Andrew: I think he'd probably object, and then we'd get into some awkward legal territory.

Bryan: Har-de-har-har. You are fun at parties, aren't you?

Washington's got a winning record and is flirting with playoff contention this year; and they've got that whole Hogs legacy from the '80s and whatnot backing them up, but they've also got an extraordinarily unlikeable owner and an awkward, at best, franchise name.

Andrew: So you're saying that pairing them against the Buffalo Bills might make the marketing more interesting than the game itself?

Bryan: I'm saying that a bowl, looking to sell tickets, might think twice about a team that ranks second-to-last in attendance, just ahead of a team that might be leaving town.

Andrew: You're so stuck in the last century. Nobody cares about selling actual physical tickets any more, it's all about TV and advertising revenue! But yes, Buffalo isn't a huge selling point.

Bryan: No, I was actually talking about Washington there -- Buffalo's fans are loyal and travel well. They're also surprisingly good this season, and have the best tailgating parties. And, you get the benefit of having a week of the Ryan Brothers talking in front of media. That sells! Washington-Buffalo might just be the bowl game for us, there.

Andrew: It's two genuinely decent teams, too. Inconsistent, for sure, but exciting in their own ways. Plus, they're close enough together geographically to make it a reasonably practical matchup for travelling fans.

Bryan: Plus, it's our second straight Super Bowl rematch; they met up in Super Bowl XXVI, so there's some history there, too. I like it! Book it.

Who goes next? Miami, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Indianapolis are the remaining teams without a losing record, but none of those markets really scream "must-pick."

Andrew: At this point, we start looking at matchups more than individual teams, I think. Colts versus Browns has the "I Hate Baltimore" edge to it, but unless Andrew Luck refuses to play or something it's hard to make much of a game of it.

Bryan: It's too bad there's no team in North Dakota, because a "Carson Wentz and the Eagles go off to face his favorite team growing up…" sort of matchup might be money at this point. Plus, DVOA loves the Eagles, and we love DVOA.

Andrew: I'd put the Eagles against the Saints, because that looks like a great matchup. Great defense versus great offense, and bad offense full of short passes against bad defense that lets short passes turn into 109-yard touchdowns. And yes, I know that's not possible in a play from scrimmage, but if anybody could find a way, it would be this Saints defense.

Bryan: I was going to suggest the Titans as a possible matchup for the Eagles, in a young quarterback sort of vein, but I'm fairly sure there are only three Tennessee Titans fans, so the Saints might make a heck of a lot more sense.

Andrew: Are your three Titans fans the same people who get my Editors reference? Also, I know at least two of them -- I've been to Wembley with one.

Bryan: And I've had a long-running argument with the third about why this year isn't the Titans year -- doesn't matter which year we're talking about, but always "this" year.

Andrew: I had no idea you and Tom argued so much.

Bryan: I'm still not 100 percent sure Tom exists, and isn't just a persona created by Aaron to counter the accusations that we're biased towards more popular teams.

But no! No Defense Bowl! People love offense, the Saints have offense for days, book it!

Andrew: I prefer the Malcolm Jenkins revenge bowl, but your version of events is fine.

Bryan: Even with their faults this year, this feels like where Carolina should go -- they're the defending NFC champions, they have the defending Most Valuable Player… when talking about teams that aren't so hot, they seem like a great pick for your bowl.

Andrew: OK, pit them against the Jaguars. Not just because of the obvious cat thing, though there is that. We want to see Newton and the Panthers run game against this quietly decent defense, and see how Blake Bortles manages to throw four interceptions to different holes in Carolina's zone secondary.

Bryan: They are also forever linked in my mind as the two '90s expansion franchises, and Jacksonville's the most geographically close team left for Carolina, making it a good regional matchup, too. I was leaning towards Tennessee, but you sold me on that one -- let's put the Panthers and Jags together. We also might get to see another college tradition -- the firing of the coach before the meaningless bowl game! Poor Gus Bradley.

Andrew: We can call it the ImPuss… not that.

Bryan: We'll just put that down as a euphemism and move on to progressively skimpier picks.

While we're moving the cat teams, we probably should find a matchup for the Bengals next.

Andrew: Browns are too obvious, sadly. It's also the best matchup for all kinds of historical and geographical reasons.

Bryan: Well, forget about those logical reasons. We have illogical reasons we could choose, and I like the Titans here. Not just because both teams are about average. Not just because the Bengals seem to be on the way down and the Titans seem to be on the way up. No, it's a Tom Gower v. Rob Weintraub bowl.

Andrew: See, I like the Titans versus the Giants. That has some cool imagery going on.

Bryan: But if you match them together, they'll surely both seem regular sized, right?

Andrew: Right, but still larger than life.

Bryan: The Giants, however, are not available. They don't get to play in our fun bowls; they're too busy "actually contending for things."

Andrew: Feh. Well isn't my parade a washout?

Bryan: We already established that; you're a Saints fan; no parade for you this year.

Tennessee and Cincinnati are arguably our two top offenses remaining as well, and that's what fans generally prefer to see in their relatively meaningless games.

Andrew: OK. Do you have a snappy, witty name for this epic clash?

Bryan: Something Something Old AFC Central? The two teams were rivals until the last realignment!

Andrew: Alright. For our next trick, I'd like to change tack. We could go Jets-Cardinals for Todd Bowles (the Bowles Bowl), but I'd like to see the Jets play the Rams just to see if we could experience a live replay of 2011's Jets-Ravens epic.

Bryan: For those of us without an encyclopedic knowledge of the 2011 New York Jets season, the significance of that game is?

Andrew: Both offensive lines imploded, creating powerful gravitational fields which sucked the defensive lines on top of their quarterbacks. It was sort of like watching last year's Chargers, only with worse quarterbacking. Given how bad both of these offenses are, and how good both of these defensive lines are, I'd like to see if we can get a full game with more sacks than points scored on offense.

Bryan: Plus, there's that whole New York v. Los Angeles thing going on, but your reason is more fun. Sold!

For this next pick, we have to enter the dark and disturbing world of numerology. There are multiple conspiracy theorists out there who predicted that Super Bowl LI would end up with the Minnesota Vikings beating the Indianapolis Colts, for a variety of crazy compelling reasons!

Andrew: I await with bated breath. And one painfully elevated eyebrow.

Bryan: You do? Then have a look at this.

Andrew: … are … are any of those things actually words? They're certainly not sentences, as I understand sentences.

Bryan: No! They are numbers, and we're a site that's based on numbers, meaning we're part of the conspiracy as well! OPEN YOUR EYES, SHEEPLE.


Bryan: Seriously, searching for "Vikings Colts Super Bowl 51" gives you a good half-dozen of these numerological conspiracy theories, all of them based on different data. Who am I to argue against a bunch of crazy people? We'll give them their bowl game and quietly back away.

We're running out of teams. We've got Arizona, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco remaining. Arizona-Miami might be the best possible game left of that bunch, though Arizona-San Diego sounds enticing and more geographically convenient. Plus, it would allow for Miami-Chicago, which I'll always remember as the one thing standing between the '85 Bears and their perfect season. The '72 Dolphins will always remember that, too.

Andrew: We can do those two, and that leaves … San Francisco versus Cleveland, which is perfect! The Loser Winner Bowl!

Bryan: We could even put the first overall pick on the line in that one -- winner take all.


Bryan: I think the good Captain himself would praise our judgment. A finer collection of meaningless games you will not find.

And it'll probably still be more interesting than the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Scramble Bowls!

  • Industry Bowl: Green Bay Packers v. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Awkward Marketing Bowl: Washington Redskins v. Buffalo Bills
  • Who Needs Defense Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles v. New Orleans Saints
  • Euphemism Bowl: Carolina Panthers v. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Realigned Rivals Bowl: Cincinnati Bengals v. Tennessee Titans
  • Meet-At-The-Quarterback Bowl: New York Jets v. Los Angeles Rams
  • Innumerable Reasons Bowl: Minnesota Vikings v. Indianapolis Colts
  • Anyway You Want It Southwest Bowl: Arizona Cardinals v. San Diego Chargers
  • Pop! Goes Perfection Bowl: Chicago Bears v. Miami Dolphins
  • Loser Winner Bowl: San Francisco 49ers v. Cleveland Browns

Loser League Update

Quarterback: The long-rumored and fabled return of Ryan FitzSixPicks! Just in time for the holiday season. Fitzpatrick has once again been benched, but he led the Jets officially out of the playoff hunt with one of the worst performances of the season. Fitzpatrick completed just 12 passes for 81 yards and an interception, and ended up with 2 points on the day. For those wondering, Colin Kaepernick also would have finished with 2 -- but he ended up taking the penalty, as he only attempted five passes.

Running Back: A couple backs tied at 1 point a piece this week. Both Wendell Smallwood and Christine Michael ended up rushing for 19 yards, just falling short of the two-point threshold. That's not surprising in Smallwood's case, as the Eagles fell behind very quickly. Michael is in an odd timeshare in Green Bay's backfield, and it's a little surprising he missed the penalty this week.

Wide Receiver: Only one zero this week! Justin Hardy was targeted three times, and caught one pass for 5 yards. That's about the minimum you can do while still showing up for game day -- Hardy has fallen down behind Taylor Gabriel on Atlanta's depth chart.

Kicker: The league's kicking struggles continue, with three players scoring in the negatives this week. Andrew Franks and Cairo Santos ended up with minus-2 points apiece, but they were topped by Nick Novak and his minus-4-point day. Novak missed an extra point, and the snowy conditions kept him from doing much more than that all day.


Keep Choppin' Wood: Usually, this award is given to a player who makes a grave error on one or two memorable plays, dooming his otherwise forgettable day with a singular moment of idiocy. For Colin Kaepernick, however, this past Sunday's grave error may have been simply getting out of bed. The 49ers quarterback dropped back a total of ten times against a poor Chicago Bears team, and actually managed to throw the ball on exactly half of those dropbacks. He was sacked on the other five. Of the five passes he did manage to throw, exactly one was completed. For 4 yards. On third-and-8. While it could be fairly asserted that his head coach did not put him in the best situation in which to succeed, it could also be fairly asserted that Kaepernick made the absolute least of the few opportunities afforded him.

John Fox Award for Conservatism: I understand the desire to preserve time when your team is behind near the end of the game, and I understand that a few seconds can be the difference between success and failure in a comeback attempt. That said, Jay Gruden, using a timeout to stop the game clock only three seconds before the two-minute warning seems like it would almost always be a bad idea, for one simple reason: it takes more than three seconds to run a pass play, even an incomplete one, so you allow your opponent to pass the ball without any fear of stopping the clock. Never one to pass up an opportunity to, er, pass, Bruce Arians sent J.J. Nelson deep, and after a play-action fake Carson Palmer found the speedy receiver for a 42-yard touchdown. Game over.

Herm Edwards Award for Playing to Win the Game: Though his Kansas City Chiefs were heavily dependent on two great plays from safety Eric Berry to fuel the team's win in Atlanta, it's easy to forget that the aggressiveness of Andy Reid made a huge contribution to Kansas City even being in the game against the Falcons. Firstly, on fourth-and-1 at the Falcons 3-yard line in the second quarter, Reid had his team go for it and score on a 3-yard pass to Spencer Ware to tie the score at 13 apiece. Then on the first drive of the third quarter, with the Chiefs set to punt from their own 45-yard line, Reid dialed up a fake punt that receiver Albert Wilson ran in for a 55-yard touchdown and a 27-13 lead. Finally, with the Chiefs leading by one point inside the two-minute warning after Berry's two-point interception return, Reid called a pass play for Alex Smith on third-and-6, and Smith converted with a throw to the aforementioned Wilson. That enabled the team to kneel three times and run out the clock on an excellent road victory.

Mike Martz Award for Confusing Coaching: Some weeks, this is easy. I understand that no player is above team rules, and that if a violation applies to the 53rd man on the roster, it should apply to the first man, as well. I understand that Ron Rivera wanted to make a statement that Cam Newton wasn't above the law, and so on and so forth. But it's not like Newton was out partying the night before. It's not like he was insubordinate. He didn't punch a guy or post a screed on social media. He forgot his tie, partially because the team didn't travel back to Carolina over the week. For that, Rivera decided Newton should miss the first series -- where Derek Anderson promptly threw an interception. He also did it without telling anyone, meaning there was all sorts of speculation about just what Newton had done to justify getting sat down -- leading to rumors of much more serious issues than simply forgetting a tie. The situation was handled exceptionally poorly.

"Trickeration" Fantasy Player of the Week: Albert Wilson is not a player you're likely to have rostered. His four receptions for 48 yards represent his high-water mark since October, and he's usually good for a couple receptions and maybe 20 yards through the air -- a role player by any definition of the word. He has another job, though! On Sunday, he lined up as the upback in a punt formation, and this happened:

That doesn't help your fantasy team!

Jon Snow (We Know Nothing) Lock of the Week

Once again this year, all picks are made without reference to FO's Premium picks, while all lines are courtesy of Bovada and were accurate as of time of writing.

Andrew: Now that my losing record for the season is confirmed, I am freed from the burden of expectation! This week, I'll upset Ravens fans everywhere by picking Baltimore (plus-7) at New England. The Patriots have lost their best offensive weapon (no, not Danny Amendola, the other one!) and have a number of nicked-up players as they face off against a Ravens team that always plays New England tough. Joe Flacco and company found their groove against another AFC East foe in Week 13, and they have a chance to make things very awkward indeed for Tom Brady yet again in Foxborough.

Bryan: Plenty of underdogs I think I have a chance to win outright this week, but I'll stick with the DVOA Darlings and Philadelphia (plus-1) this week, hosting Washington. Washington won back in Week 6, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 263 yards and a pair of scores. It has been nearly a month since Philadelphia won. Carson Wentz has had some serious struggles recently. You can see why they're underdogs! That being said, I expect them to come out strong in a rivalry game and finally break this losing streak they're on.

Records so far:
Bryan: 7-4-1
Andrew: 3-8-1


The New Orleans Saints, once again, attempted to make the playoffs this season on the theory that being great on one side of the ball and terrible on the other means that, on the whole, you have a balanced team.

That's not entirely fair. While the Saints rank near the bottom in defensive DVOA, they've significantly improved this season. First off, they're not dead last -- they really had nowhere to go but up. Their run defense is positively NFL-like, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry. Now, they've still allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL this season, but baby steps…

They had a fairly must-win game against Detroit on Sunday, trying to keep pace with the Falcons and surging Buccaneers in the division, and instead, they came out flat. It's inconsistency that has doomed them this year, and in recent years -- they have had exactly one three-game winning streak the past three years. Every time it looks like they've put their issues behind them, they fall right back down -- blow out the Rams one week, flop in Detroit the next. That puts the finishing touches on their season.

The Jaguars and Jets were officially eliminated from the playoffs this past week, while the Bears stayed alive with their win over the 49ers. Five more teams can join them this week:

  • Chicago is eliminated with a loss to Detroit, or a Washington win over Philadelphia, or a combination of wins by Atlanta, Arizona, Minnesota, Green Bay, and Carolina. Quite a few complicated combinations in there, none of them favoring Chicago.
  • Los Angeles is eliminated with a loss to Atlanta.
  • Carolina is eliminated with a loss to San Diego and a win by Washington, Atlanta, or both Minnesota and Green Bay.
  • San Diego is eliminated with a loss to Carolina and a Denver win over Tennessee.
  • Cincinnati is eliminated with either a loss to Cleveland, or wins by Pittsburgh, Denver and Baltimore.

Football Outsiders doesn't answer fantasy questions on Twitter, so if you don't have a Premium subscription and access to the 24-hour Fantasy Answering Service, the Scramble mailbag is one way to get a Football Outsiders answer to your fantasy questions! Email us with fantasy questions, award suggestions, crazy videos, outlandish conspiracy theories, people who should definitely get contract extensions despite all evidence to the contrary, and other assorted flotsam and jetsam at scramble@footballoutsiders.com.

Posted by: Bryan Knowles and Andrew Potter on 06 Dec 2016

14 comments, Last at 09 Dec 2016, 12:05pm by DGL


by RickD :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 3:23pm

Andrew gets to get the Ravens + 7, which feels far more likely than Ravens -7 at New England.

If you'd gotten to the bookie a couple days ago, you might have seen Ravens + 9.

As a Pats fan, the 9-point line seemed ridiculous.

by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 3:27pm

You're right. It was a long night. That's fixed.

I still have trouble remembering what's what with American sports gambling lines.

by jtr :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 3:27pm

>Baltimore (minus-7) at New England

Uhhh, that's Baltimore PLUS 7, right? I don't think you want to give 7 points to the DVOA leader at home, Gronk or no Gronk.
Or maybe that's just why Andrew's so far under .500 this season.

by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 3:29pm

I dunno, you mess up one teensy operator...


by Bryan Knowles :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 4:38pm

Maybe Andrew just likes taking the ~really difficult lines~, while here I am, like a putz, taking lines as given. He's got panache!

by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 7:23pm

You mock, but you haven't seen the payouts. One day...

by Theo :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 4:05pm

2007 happened in a parallel universe.

by mcheshier :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 6:14pm

The Browns have to win at least one game this year, right? This could be the week!

by Bryan Knowles :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 8:59pm

If it's not this week, it might be Week 16 (at home against San Diego); I don't fancy them on the road anywhere at all.

Might be a legit 50/50 coin flip as to whether they win a game at all this year--and I might take the under.

by Bryan Knowles :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 8:59pm

If it's not this week, it might be Week 16 (at home against San Diego); I don't fancy them on the road anywhere at all.

Might be a legit 50/50 coin flip as to whether they win a game at all this year--and I might take the under.

by BearDown103 :: Wed, 12/07/2016 - 10:08pm

It was nine seasons ago, not ten, that the AFC South had three playoff teams.

by Jeremy Billones :: Thu, 12/08/2016 - 9:41am

In the interest of accuracy... Washington ranks 31 out of 32 in "PCT", which I believe is Stadium Capacity used, at 85.5%. In terms of total attendance average, they have 78,378 which ranks 2 out of 32 behind Dallas.

Assuming that page on ESPN can be trusted... they list the Rams with only 1 home game.

by Shylo :: Thu, 12/08/2016 - 11:47am

"Bryan: And I've had a long-running argument with the third about why this year isn't the Titans year -- doesn't matter which year we're talking about, but always "this" year.

Andrew: I had no idea you and Tom argued so much.

Bryan: I'm still not 100 percent sure Tom exists, and isn't just a persona created by Aaron to counter the accusations that we're biased towards more popular teams."

As one of the "three" Titans fans, my experience would be that Tom would be the one telling you why it isn't the Titans' year. I'd be closer to that unbridled optimist, but no Titans fan is an unbridled optimist, we've seen way too much shit from the team to be presumptive.

If Mariota keeps playing the way he does, the bandwagon's gonna runneth over, and the Titans fanbase a;ready seems to get a Manning-esque bump from Oregon fans.

by DGL :: Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:05pm

I got your Editors joke. So two more people have to come out of the woodwork to acknowledge it.