The Round Up – Special Edition: Peyton Passes on the Titans
LeBron James left Cleveland and took his talents to South Beach. Cavalier fans burned his jersey and effigy. Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie. Women scorned the Hollywood hunk for dumping a sweetheart. Hulk Hogan left the Hulkamaniacs and joined the NWO. Thousands of fans threw five dollar sodas and seven dollar beers into the ring. I left Wrestlenewz to avoid the haters. Nobody noticed… All of these incidents pale in comparison as to how Titan fans feel after their prodigal son chose the Denver Broncos over the Tennessee Titans.
Peyton Manning informed Titans owner, Bud Adams, that he was passing over the franchise to join the Broncos. The State of Tennessee rolled out the red carpet to entice the greatest quarterback in NFL history to join a team that has struggled in recent years to break the .500 mark. The team reportedly offered part ownership after he retires. Nissan offered a special edition Titan truck, while Shoney’s offered pancakes! Who could possibly refuse free pancakes? Peyton can.
The sad fact is Manning has a better chance to win a Super Bowl with one of the teams swooning for his talents. However, that team was not the Denver Broncos. The offenses aren’t comparable as the Broncos will look completely different this season. In fact, the numbers are likely to be similar as Denver returns to a pro style and both teams have similar weapons. The defenses were similar as well. Denver had 41 sacks while Tennessee had 28. The Titans recorded 11 interceptions compared to the Broncos 9. The Titans also held the edge in fumble recoveries (12 to 9), field goal percentage (91% to 78.5%) and kickoff return average (26 yards to 24.5). Tennessee was 18th in total defense, which was slightly better than Denver’s 20th. This makes Peyton’s decision to join the Broncos even more befuddling to hardcore Titan fans.
In this writer’s opinion, it would not have been such a shock if he had joined the San Fransisco 49ers. They’ve made all the right moves to build around a dominant quarterback. Recent signings include adding Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to an already loaded receiving core that includes Michael Crabtree. Not to mention one of the best running backs in the NFL, Frank Gore, and a top-notch tight end, Vernon Davis. Their defense is no joke either. They only allowed 14 points a game last season and are led by arguably the best inside linebacker in football, Patrick Willis. If he truly was looking for his best opportunity to win another Super Bowl, this should’ve been his destination.
Instead he has left the Titan faithful with questions as to why he would scorn the state that has worshipped the icon since the mid 90′s. The best hope for Titan fans is to ruin his run at the Super Bowl by sending the forgotten son of Tennessee home with a loss in the playoffs. The NFL Season kicks off on September 5th. Let the wishful thinking begin!