Titans look to use lack of success, ability, as weapons against Pittsburgh

Bob Levey - Getty Images

There are no paper-based reasons why the Titans should win when the Steelers travel to Tennessee for Thursday Night Football. Logic is thrown out the door, and the Steelers should fear the animal close to death.

After watching Tennessee's last two games - most recently, a 30-7 beatdown by the Vikings that was probably worse than the score indicated.

The Titans defensive line looked like it was on ice. Its offensive line was on ice pointed uphill. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck looked as excited to be playing as a guy who slammed 14 beers 12 hours earlier.

It's hard to determine which side of the ball looked worse (although their punter wasn't half bad), but it's really more like comparing Creed and Nickelback - even having the conversation lessens the quality of the air and those hearing the words that come out of it.

I can't come up with a valid reason why the Titans could defeat the Steelers Thursday night.

And that's exactly why I'm terrified.

The most dangerous animals are the ones in the corner, minutes from death. The Titans are that dying animal. You probably have that buddy you play in Madden who will spout off Tuesday Morning Quarterback stats on going for it on every fourth down, running throwback passes and trying to scramble his quarterback on every play.

The Titans ran a wildcat package with safety - SAFETY - Jordan Babineaux in their loss to the Vikings. And this wasn't at the end of the game, either. The NFL hasn't seen a safety run like that since Ryan Mundy took a fake punt 33 yards, incidentally, against the Titans, in 2011.

They've invested tens of millions of dollars into Johnson to run the ball, and they call a direct snap draw to a defensive player.

Teams like that should worry us. When you remove logic, chaos is introduced. No control exists where there is chaos.

In fact, the only seemingly predictable aspect of this game is the fact home prime time teams have been dominant through the first five weeks of the season. Sporting a 12-4 record through Houston's road victory on Monday Night in Week 5, the road teams have competed in most of them.

Who gave Cleveland a chance at Baltimore? Be honest, you didn't. They lost 23-16 and had the ball at the end of the game with the chance to tie. Logic indicated Houston would put the most savage beating Tim Tebow had seen since the Christians took on the lions, but the dysfunctional Jets managed to ugly their way to a 23-17 loss.

Hasselbeck looked rustier than than the fry pans at Eat 'N Park, but even those can be cleaned off (with a week and some serious scouring powder). The comfort of playing at home in front of a crowd half full of fans actually cheering for the home team has to be easier than taking savage road beatings by the Texans and Minnesota.

And it would have taken more bizarre plans than safety direct snaps to look worse than they did in those games. It's very possible Titans head coach Mike Munchak threatened the lives of every player on the team after last week. Maybe that got their attention. Or maybe the idea of each Titans player heading into free agency getting a chance to play in front of potential suitors with the ability to get them the hell out of Tennessee will compel them to perform.

Maybe Hasselbeck finally gets that chance to beat the Steelers, the same team that's pistol-whipped his clubs in the last two times he faced them since Super Bowl XL.

Whatever it is, the Steelers have the lack of logic working against them in this game, and should prepare themselves for the unpreparable.


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