3. Marcus Mariota will not finish this season, as he did not finish last season with injuries. Are you concerned about his long term ability to stay healthy?
In a sport like football, injuries are going to happen. Labeling players as “injury prone” is a tricky subject, and I’m not sure if it has much merit. But I can’t sit here and act unconcerned that our franchise guy hasn’t been able to play a full season yet. In both instances, an offensive lineman got badly beat and it led to Mariota getting injured. Some of it is also bad luck, as you saw with Derek Carr and Tyler Lockett in the same week. Obviously I’m worried about how he’ll continue to protect himself and how the offensive line will protect him, but I’ll chalk two season ending injuries to chance for now.
4. There are some people who have been saying Mike Mularkey should be fired. Do you agree with that or not—if so who would you want to replace him?
If you would’ve asked me up until the Bears game, when the Titans nearly blew a huge lead to Matt Barkley and an underwhelming supporting cast, I would’ve said yes. I was never on board with the hire. He was an unsuccessful coach in the past and an old school line of thinking type of hire. But he really has changed the identity of this team. Witnessed by the wins against the Broncos and Chiefs, this team hasn’t given up and laid down like they used to in the past. Now, do I think he could do things better? Of course, but that’s going to be the case with every coach. The one main thing a head coach has to is show faith in his players and keep his team in position to win. He’s done that, and I’m happy to say that I was wrong about him. Offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie has to go, though!
5. Back to this game specifically, with nothing to play for at Matt Cassel at quarterback; how will the Titans approach this game?
They’re still going to come out and try to win this game. 9-7 in the NFL is no small feat, especially after a combined FIVE wins in the last two years. It won’t be easy with Matt Cassel (and possibly some snaps with Alex Tanney) at quarterback. But I think the Titans are going to try to finish this season at above .500. I’m expecting a good amount of young players to get playtime, but that may actually be for the betterment of the team. Some of these young guys are probably better than some of the older players. As for a game plan with Cassel at quarterback, I expect Murray and Derrick Henry to combine for around 40 carries. They’ll just try to run all game to mask Cassel’s deficiencies.
6. What is your predicted score for Sunday’s game?
I think the Titans win 20-17, mainly because the Texans will likely rest a lot of their starters.