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The Quest For The Greatest Titan: Kearse vs. Hope

The final matchup of the first round.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

My apologies for not being able to post a matchup yesterday. Unfortunately, I had to go to traffic court in the morning, which made my schedule for the rest of the day very tight. I know what you're asking, and the answer is no, I did not get any points on my driver's license. Anyway, today, we will look at our final matchup of the second round:

(2) Jevon Kearse: "The Freak" was an absolute game changer for the franchise. Before he was drafted, the Titans were a middling team that was on the edge, with no true identity. However, the athletic freak took the team over the edge as soon as he got to Nashville. In his rookie season, he had 14.5 sacks, and was an absolute nightmare for opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. A truly dynamic player on a defense can single-handedly allow the unit to ascend, but an edge rusher really hammers it home. By adding on Kearse, the Titans' defensive line rushed the passer in amazing fashion week in, and week out. Thanks to the rookie Kearse's 14.5 sacks in 1999, the Titans' defense carried them to the Super Bowl. The next year, Kearse followed up with 11.5 sacks, and the Titans' defense was one of the best that we've seen. The addition of Jevon Kearse took this team from average, to one of the best in the league for years.

(7) Chris Hope: Though it was very much in a different fashion, the addition of Chris Hope was big for the Titans, as well. Added in free agency after some tough years thanks to the salary cap purge, Hope was just what the team needed at the time. On the back end, the defensive backs were just putrid at the time. Hope brought some solidity to the unit, and when he was at his best, he was one of the better safeties in the league, even making the pro bowl in 2008. Coming over from one of the top franchises in the league, Hope helped established a winning attitude again in the Titans' locker room. He was one of the main leaders on the team, at the time. Thanks to hope, the Titans made the playoffs in 2 of the first 3 years that he was on the team, including the 2008 season, when they had the best record in the league during the regular season. In his ow right, Chris Hope was also a very huge addition to the Titans.

My vote: Chris Hope had a couple of very good years as a Titan, but Kearse was a dynamic game changer that put the team over the edge. This one is a slam dunk.

Updated Bracket: