Finally, a new-age Titan won, and by a large margin. As much as the debate was rolling yesterday about whether or not Marcus Mariota should have qualified for the bracket, the numbers did not lie. It will be interesting to see how he fares going forward. After looking at two offensive players yesterday, we will look at the defensive side of the ball today:
(4) Samari Rolle: Somehow, Samari Rolle had fairly underrated career as a Titan. He was a prefect cornerback for Gregg Williams' defense. His aggressive nature perfectly matched the entire essence of Williams' scheme. He was a sure tackler, aggressive blitzer when asked to do so, and always made plays on the ball, racking up a lot of interceptions in his Titans career. When you think of some of the classic Titans teams, Rolle is not the first player that comes to mind. There were some stronger, and bigger presences in the locker room. However, he was just as vital to all of these defenses on the back end. Rolle's style of play perfectly matched the old identity of Titans football, especially on defense.
(5) Kyle Vanden Bosch: Speaking of strong presences in the locker room, that brings us to our other player in this matchup. Kyle Vanden Bosch was a fantastic addition to the Titans in the mid 2000's. An aggressive pass rusher, he perfectly fit Jim Washburn's Wide-9 scheme, which let edge rushers loose. He completely revitalized his career in Nashville, and became a key part of some great defensive units. While Albert Haynesworth was a huge factor on the inside, Vanden Bosch made it difficult to zone in on 1 guy, because of his ability to rush the passer on the outside. He also emerged as a team leader in the locker room during a key transitional period for the franchise, following some down years. "KVB" was always a fan favorite, and a key player to have on the field, and in the locker room.
My vote: These 4-5 matchups are always tough. I can very easily see both sides to this one. Rolle really did have a great and underrated career as a Titan. However, Vanden Bosch put up some fantastic numbers in his own right. While it could really go either way, I think I am going to side with Vanden Bosch here, due to his leadership in the locker room. Also, he was always a fan favorite, which should help his numbers.
Side Note: It has come to my attention that the 3-6 and 4-5 matchups should be swapped, so that the #1 seed is not forced to play the #3 seed in the second round. That is a big mistake on my part. It is not a big deal if we flip the matchups, since no one has faced off in the second round yet,and I have already made the potential, "fixed" bracket. So, below I will post the updated bracket as it is now, and then the potential bracket under that. Then, since I couldn't do two polls in the same post, everyone can post in the comments which bracket they'd like to move forward with, and I will see what the majority opinion is. I apologize for the mistake, and thank you to those who caught it before we got to the second round.