Yesterday's matchup between Steve McNair and Blaine Bishop was a little bit closer than expected. While he still won by a substantial amount, I think that these results were indicative of two things: The second round will be much closer across the board, and upsets are brewing. Today, I am expecting an even closer matchup between two former teammates that played on two opposite sides of the ball:
(2) Keith Bulluck: Bulluck had a very easy matchup in round 1. However, today's should be much closer for him. He has a lot of things on his side--emotion, personality, and the stats to back his case up. Also, Bulluck stuck around with the franchise for practically his entire career, unlike Derrick Mason, who went to Baltimore, had several statistically great seasons there, had open bitterness towards the Titans' franchise, and retired as a Raven. Just as Derrick Mason was a playmaker on offense, Bulluck was one of the key playmakers on the other side of the ball. While the Titans have had some great defenders, Bulluck is one of the only ones that was a truly dynamic playmaker, and he did it for many years. In some ways, he is very similar to Derrick Mason on the field. Just as the Titans don't have much luck historically when it comes to playmaking wide receivers, one can say the same for playmaking linebackers. However, Bulluck and Mason are the anomalies.
(3) Derrick Mason: One thing that I said about Derrick Mason last round in his matchup with Nate Washington was that sentimentality may knock him. While it may have taken away a little portion of the votes, his production was just too much for fans to look past. He was the first, and possibly only to date, truly prolific wide receiver in the history of the franchise. In his prime as a Titan, he was one of the top players in the league at his position. That being said, when it comes to this round, matching up with a player that was also one of the best in the league at his position may make the sentimentality a little more of a factor this time. It is certainly something to look out for.
My vote: I have a feeling that Keith Bulluck will resonate with the fanbase a little more than Derrick Mason. He stuck with the franchise during some tough times, and came out on the other side as a key piece, key leader, key presence in the locker room, and key presence on the field. Mason will certainly get his fair share of votes today, but I am voting for Mr. Monday Night here.