I guess this is a bit of a recap for NFL Network's Total Access coverage of the Titans from Friday night.
First off, they had a video recap of 2011 for our beloved Titans. It showed many highlights: Ravens, Bills, Saints and other great plays. But to finish the video they showed the lowest point of the season- the long touchdown by Donald Brown in the first win for the Colts before his team departed to the locker room after their first win. Thanks, NFL Network. I really wanted that reminder.
Next, the second most obvious story for the Titans was up for the viewers: will CJ2K return? Andrew Siciliano showed his horrific stats: 262 carries opposed to the average 308.3 between 2008 and 2010; 1,047 yards opposed to the 1,532.7 in those three years; 26 10+ yard rushes opposed to the average 40.7; and 4 touchdowns opposed to the 11.3 average. First of all, I was a little startled by the comparisons. I knew he had a very down year, but the number differential is astounding.
45% of viewers who voted in their poll of how he would rush in 2012 said 1,000-1,200; 25% said 1,200-1,400; 23% said less than 1,000; and 7% said 1,600 or more. Honestly, I think his lack of carries will put him between 1,000 and 1,200 yards; however, I believe his total yardage will be huge due to his increased involvement in the passing game (I'm calling it).
Then NFL Network went to Kurt Warner and Fran Charles (two of the most level-headed analysts in sports) about the obvious story line: "Hasselbeck Or Locker". Kurt simply said that it will be the one "who is best for the job" because he believes "this team is a playoff-caliber team." He claimed this is not about building towards the future. He claimed it is about winning now because he thinks we have that opportunity. Thank you, Kurt! Just another reason to stop hating Kurt for those bitter about the Super Bowl (although the number is now very slim). He believes that Hasselbeck is the better man for the job because of how bright of a spot he was. We won "not with him but because of him". Kurt believes that if our offensive weapons can be healthy and if Hasselbeck plays as he did in 2011, he will project us into the postseason.
Then Fran Charles takes over. The former Volunteer agrees with Warner. He claims that the veteran has the better chance of winning games for us. He shares a short anecdote of how his son believes it's time for Locker to take over, but Charles believes other wise because we open against New England, then at San Diego, Detroit at home, at Houston, at Minnesota, and at home against the Steelers in a home game. He said that after that game, if the season is horrendous, turn the ball to the future. If we are in title contention and Matt is playing as he did in 2011, keep riding with him. He believes that we can't hand it over to Jake yet despite his flashes of strong play, which he acknowledges. He points out that Jake had a 51% throw rate in the small sample, and Jake needs to be more accurate. He thinks Jake has a possibility to be a star. But he thinks that Matt should go out there and lead the team right now to have the best chance to win. He points out that we had a Top 10 defense in scoring, and we don't believe that we are going to concede to Houston. Andrew Siciliano then points out that Jake had a 99.0 QB rating with 4 TDs without an interception.
In my opinion, I do believe that Hasselbeck has the best chance to bring the wins right now. I would love to watch Jake play, but I don't think he is ready yet. His chances of making the huge plays are better for Jake, but his chances of messing up are better too. Is that a result of "inaccuracy" as some would say, or is it a result of lack of experience? I am thoroughly convinced it is a result of inexperience. I will trust Matt more in every situation, except for deep, deep passes and calling the coin toss.
(By the way, I'm watching NFL Follies and Hasselbeck was trolling hard on his Seahawks' sideline. He was asking his teammates where Beijing is. Needless to say, some didn't know, as one responded with "Asia". Thank you Matt for the comic relief that is needed in the NFL).