Yesterday's matchup was a complete blowout, and I would have expected no less. Unfortunately, Today's matchup is also pretty lopsided. We just have to power through some of these early 2-7, and 1-8 matchups. Overall, I thought that this was a great first week of the tournament. I have had a lot of fun writing these, and even though some matchups are lopsided early, discussing some other Titans like a Verner or Tulloch, thinking back to their careers, and appreciating them, is the main thing that I have enjoyed thus far. Let's keep it going next week!
(1) Bruce Matthews: Matthews was one of Steve McNair's main competitors as the overall favorite in some of the preliminary talks, before the tournament began. His importance cannot be understated. While it is easy to underrate offensive linemen, his incredible versatility, endurance, and overall ability makes him a generational talent. He was also one of the main leaders of some of the early Titans teams, which while we all remember now as an amazing time period, was a very rough transitional period at the beginning due to the location switch. The Titans have not had a dominant offensive lineman like Matthews since. That is not a knock on the Titans, rather than speaking to Matthews' ability. Players like him do not come around too often, and the way offensive systems are developing, I'm not sure if there will ever be another Bruce Matthews. We all know about his ability to play every position along the offensive line at a top level, his veteran leadership, and his endurance playing for 19 NFL seasons at a high level, which is just absolutely incredible. He made 14 Pro Bowls and was a 10 time all-pro, as well as being named the Bart Starr man of the year in 2000. He was the total package and a key staple of the franchise. Matthews has to be a contender to win the entire tournament.
(8) Stephen Tulloch: Tulloch actually had a very underrated Titans career. He was a tackling machine and a key piece of some Titans defenses. While he wasn't as dynamic and shifty in pass coverage as a Keith Bulluck, he was an important, underrated piece in the middle of the defense. Titans fans grew tired of his lack of ability in the passing game, but after the constant battle of trying to replace him for years, his value has gone up. I believe that Tulloch was stuck in the wrong era of football. Had he been born about 10 years earlier, he would have fit the game to a tee. He was a fantastic run defender, and a key cog in the middle of the defense.
My vote: This one is not even remotely close. This is Kentucky vs. UNC-Wilmington in the first round of March Madness. We all know who the vote is here.