Look, I don’t want to be an alarmist, but the Tennessee Titans game yesterday in Miami was the worst season opener in twenty years.
Which NFL fan base should be the most panicked by Sunday’s results?
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 10, 2018
Three of the Titans best players were knocked out of the game — Taylor Lewan, Marcus Mariota, and Delanie Walker — and Delanie Walker’s season, and potentially career, might be over after a gruesome ankle and leg injury. Meanwhile Marcus Mariota was injured on what appeared to a dirty hit and it feels like one of those awful baseball pitching injuries where it doesn’t look that bad on the outside but you find out that some ligament or nerve is severely damaged on the inside. Which would mean Blaine Gabbert is the guy and I just shudder to think of what an entire season of Blaine Gabbert would be like.
Finally, Taylor Lewan got wrecked on a dirty hit and is in concussion protocol after a Mariota interception. (Mariota threw two interceptions after his elbow/arm injury).
Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever watched an opening game and seen my excitement for a new season evaporate this quickly.
If Mariota is hurt badly I may not watch the Titans play with Blaine Gabbert this year.
I feel like it will be healthier to just pretend this season never happened.
All of this awfulness came on top of the fact that the game lasted over seven hours with double lightning delays and it appeared Mike Vrabel was in way over his head as a head coach on the sideline.
The best play by any Titan?
Probably the social media account taking an Old Takes Exposed Tweet from five years ago and deciding to rip me for it for no reason.
Glad you aren’t the GM. pic.twitter.com/3IrmohM9bq
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 9, 2018
But was this really that bad of an idea in 2013? Judge opinions based on the current situation in which they were shared, not five years later. Was the combo of Sumlin and Manziel really a bad idea in early November of 2013 when I wrote about that idea on the mailbag? Sumlin and the Aggies were coming off an 11-2 season when they might have won a national championship if there had been a college football playoff. Meanwhile, Manziel was on fire, the most electric and exhilarating player in college football, and Sumlin had started off his coaching career with the Aggies with a 19-4 record.
Could Sumlin really have done any worse than Ken Whisenhunt’s 2-14 mark in 2014 or Wiz’s subsequent 1-6 start to the 2015 season that left him 3-20 before he was fired and replaced by Mike Mularkey?
By all accounts Mike Reinfeldt was an AWFUL general manager. That’s why he got fired.
I might have been bad, but I couldn’t have been that worse than him.
Five years later this opinion, in the wake of Sumlin and Manziel’s subsequent struggles, looks bad, but in November of 2013 it was actually a reasonable opinion. That, to be honest, couldn’t actually have gone any worse than the choices the Titans actually made.
Anyway, hat tip to the Tennessee Titans social media team because it may be a very long season for them if Mariota is significantly hurt and Blaine Gabbert is the starter for the rest of the year.
Going through my old Tweets and ripping me for them will probably be more popular than anything the Titans can Tweet about the actual team if Mariota is out for a significant length of time.
(Note: I still believe in Mariota, but if he’s not the guy, I’m not believing in another first round quarterback, it’s too exhausting. From Vince Young to Jake Locker to Mariota, the Titans need Mariota to be right. I don’t even know how Browns and Dolphin fans do this year after year.)
My power rankings for worst opening Sundays:
2. Titans (the injury factor here looms large)