Like Titans football...weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee'rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! PFTC IN THE HOUSE!!!!! (the proverbial internet hou....well you get the point.)
So here it is...Predictions, 2012 style! Our first guest this year is our favorite fan from across the pond:
Welsh Titan (0-0)
I just don't have a good feeling about this one. Locker will play well, but I just don't have enough confidence that the defense will be able to stop Tom Brady. This defense is going to be better this season, but that is going to be a process. Drawing the Pats in week 1 is a tough break.
Patriots 31 - Titans 24
Can't win em all, but the good part about week one is that there's plenty of time to recovery. I don't see many matchups that favor the Titans in this one. As much as we pride our young secondary, losing Cortland Finnegan was a big hit and I think that is going to be felt in this one. Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty are a stellar duo at corner, but even they can't be in more than one place at a time. Gronk, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Brandon Lloyd is a dangerous set of weapons anywhere, but consider also who is throwing them the ball. The ageless Tom Brady is in the house. Conventional wisdom would suggest we blitz the hell out of him and try to create pressure, but as our guests from Pats Pulpit pointed out, Brady was actually better against the blitz last year than standard 4 man rushes. Be patient and pray for tipped balls.
I really couldn't tell you what to expect from Jake Locker, I won't even pretend to know how he's going to be in this game. I'm very interested in Kendall Wright against what was a weak secondary last year.
For what it's worth, I haven't felt this certain of a loss since week two last year.
Patriots 31 - Titans 17
I haven't been able to shake the feeling all offseason that Old Man Palmer has some tricks up his sleeve. Offensively, the looks we saw this pre-season (5 Wide with 21 personnel, 5 Wide with 11 personnel, and just WR positioning in general) seemed out of place. It seemed like he wanted to get those groupings on the field to see a) how the defense responded and b) that our offense could execute the basics like positioning and execution. My hope is there's a method to that madness. I worry about the disguised looks Belichick could bring against our young QB (specifically, zone blitzes designed to bait him into throwing hot against a rolling defender), but I take comfort in the fact that our OC will be able to manage playcalls in such a way that reads remain simple, regardless of coverage. Brady's going to do what he does, which will amount to big totals. The defense just needs to force force one or two bad decisions and capitalize on those plays. Much of that will depend on our ability to get good pressure with only a 4 man rush. I think this game's close. I believe Chris Palmer and our D-line can give us the edge. It's a homer pick. #LWSS
Titans 35 - Patriots 31
A new season brings new optimism. The New York Giants again laid the blueprint to take down Brady and co. Relentless pressure and an aggressive offensive attack. The key will be for Morgan and Wimbley to disrupt Brady and collapse the pocket allowing Griff and our secondary the opportunity to play coverage. I expect Gray to surprise Bellichick with some unexpected defensive looks and look for Locker to start strong. I predict a 30yd touchdown run from CJ2K followed by 3 touchdowns from Locker. Two to Jared Cook who will have a big day for both the Titans and my fantasy team and one to rookie receiver Kendall Wright who has quickly replaced Hawk as my new favorite receiver. I expect a solid victory and this team to scare the league as Britt returns to sorrund Locker with some serious weapons.
Titans 28 - Michigan Backup 14
Golden Grams (0-0)
I am wishy washy about this one for sure. But I think I am gonna try something new and turn over a new leaf and yada yada yada. I am gonna be optimistic for once and call a win. I think we are going to see a Titan defense that we have never seen before and I think Jerry Gray has got something for that Michigan quarterback. Jake Locker becomes the first quarterback making his first start to beat Belichick. Oh, and Colin McCarthy. LWSS starts now.
Titans 28 - Patriots 20
Okay. The realist in me tells me it's a loss. But this is MCM. We run on MCM logic, an it's the first game of the season. I expect a shoot out with a Tennessee win by none other than My Bironas.
Titans 24 - Patriots 21
The Titans will be able to keep it close the whole game, but in the end, Tom Brady and company will wear down the Titans defense and pull away in the fourth quarter. Kenny Britt's absence will limit the Locker's playbook, as the Titans lose it by 10.
Patriots 30 - Titans 20
Daniel R (0-0)
I just can't do it. I want to pick the Titans so bad. I just can't. I want the Titans to shock everyone this Sunday, but I'm going with the favourite on this occasion. We're going to see quickly if our defensive line has improved. The only way to stop Tom Brady is to pressure him consistently and hit him as much as possible. If our defensive line fails to do that, this could get ugly. The Patriots have so many weapons that eventually one is bound to get open. Rob Gronkowski will have a good game. He's just an outstanding tight end and a matchup nightmare. Wes Welker will be his usual productive self. Just in case having one of the top tight ends and receivers wasn't enough, the Hooded One went and added an outside receiving threat in Brandon Lloyd. Unfortunately for us, Lloyd looks like he'll follow in the footsteps of typical Belichick reclamation projects. All that leads me to believe Brady and the Patriots offense will have a strong day against our defense. When we have the ball, all eyes will be on Jake Locker. New England's defense was brutal last year and he has the potential to get off to early success. Chris Palmer will let Locker air it out and that will play to his strengths perfectly. SkyLocker's not ready to take down the Empire just yet, but we'll have lots to be optimistic about after this game.
Patriots 34 - Titans 24
Titans win a close one on a field goal off of the right foot of Rob Bironas!
Titans 30 - Patriots 27