Last chance for Gase/Tannehill:
Disclaimer: In full disclosure, I’ve had wwwaaayyy too much caffeine and I am beyond optimistic about the upcoming season:
This season is the definition of a “make or break year” for us. Come January we’ll either be looking back on this season as the start of something special or be looking forward to next season with a new QB and Head Coach. It’s time to “put up” and show great progress or “shut up” and find replacements for the two most important people on this football team, Adam Gase and Ryan Tannehill.
No more excuses! Although some experts believe Gase to be untouchable, I believe he won’t survive another lackluster season, especially if it’s riddled with penalties and team chemistry issues again. I’m all for his cocky/standoffish attitude, but he must now back it up with results, not just talk. Coach Gase finally has the team he wants and an offense, which he directly oversees, that has numerous weapons. If we once again struggle to put points on the board, where else can the blame lie if not with the leader of our team who also calls the plays? Combine this with Owner Stephen Ross’ apparent disappointment in the selection of first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick (although I’m happy with it) as well as his love for all-things Michigan (hello, Harbaugh), and Gase should not be mistaking that warmth under his seat for anything other than job instability.
As far as Tannehill goes, don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and think he’s poised for a great year, but if that turns out to not be the case it’s time to move on. At 30 years old, there is no more waiting for him to “develop,” this is his last chance to show he’s the franchise QB we’ve been waiting for since Marino.
In summary, this could be the start of a great run or the start of a revamping of those that matter most. Don’t you agree?
Bold”ish” Predictions about Sunday’s Game:
1) We’re going to struggle in the first half
I know I know, real shocker here, but hear me out on my reasons. Our coaching staff is at a real disadvantage this weekend. Due to the Titans having an entirely new coaching staff, our coaches really don’t know what to expect in terms of a scheme for this Sunday. Yes they can watch film on these coaches past schemes on other teams, and yes they can watch the preseason (in reality coaches show very little in the preseason), but it reality it’s just an educated guess at this point. I know we stole Luke Falk, the QB the Titans cut, but how much are we really pressing him for info? Can the Titans staff be trusted when they say they didn’t install everything before losing Falk?
The Titans coaching staff, on the other hand, have a plethora of film on us and what we’ve done the last few years. They know, for the most part, what to expect and will plan accordingly. I see them using defensive fronts and offensive formations we cannot entirely expect, and it will be at least into the 2nd quarter until we can adjust effectively.
2) Dion Lewis vs Kiko Alonso won’t last long, if at all
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Titans are going to try and abuse us with Dion Lewis, especially after watching the preseason film of what Christian McCaffrey did to Kiko Alonso. I can’t fathom our coaches expecting Alonso to cover Lewis one-on-one, especially on passing downs. Don’t be surprised to see us go into some sort of Dime package in passing situations and using a DB to stay with Lewis. Minkah, perhaps?
3) TJ McDonald will practically be playing LB
The Titans know we’re vulnerable against the run and will undoubtedly plan to pound the rock on the ground. Guess what? Our coaches know the same thing. How do we address it? We “stack” the box! And who’s best to “stack” our box with? TJ McDonald, that’s who! He’s playing well, fills run lanes nicely (usually), and is big enough to get physical with those blockers. Expect to see TJ closer than usual to the line of scrimmage, especially on neutral or running downs.
4) Tannehill will put the R in RPO (Run Pass Option)
We know the RPO is part of our offense. In the preseason Tannehill never kept the ball as there was no point in risking injury. Check the tape and you’ll see he was wide open on multiple occasions. I think you’ll see him hang on to the rock this weekend for several sizable gains.
5) Gesicki will be more effective out wide than at TE
Gesicki is a mismatch nightmare. Gase purposely underutilized him in the preseason and you can expect that to change this weekend. We’ll split him out wide and read the safety. If the safety shades way over to his side, it’ll open the middle of the field for our wide receivers. If the safety stays “honest,” Mike will abuse those poor defenders trying to guard him. This rookie has huge potential!
Teaser of the Week
For those who don’t know, I’m an avid sports better. I’ve made a decent amount of money on teasers over the years and offer this winner to you for week 1:
6-point teaser (-120)
Ravens -2 over the Bills
Saints -4 over the Bucs
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