Alright, so it looks like the Red Sox are out of the Teixeira bidding, leaving the Angels, Nats and (my) O’s as the remaining possibilities. And sensing that absolutely none of you care about that, let’s abruptly change subjects.
Sunday’s game against the Steelers, as noted by just about everyone, means a whole lot more than any of us would have thought-even a week or two ago. After the Jets loss, convincing wins against the Lions and Browns made the realistic probability of the Titans homefield advantage being in any danger less than likely. The loss against the Texans, though, coupled with a string of “barely wins” for Pittsburgh, means that this game (for all intents and purposes) decides home field advantage in the AFC.
That would have been surprise one. Surprise two (if not this week, certainly a surprise a few weeks ago) is the fact that the Steelers are favored, by the majority of pundits, at LP Field this weekend:
Over at ESPN.com (we linked it just in case you didn’t know how to get there), nearly everything unanimously points to the Steelers. The line (not their fault) is Pittsburgh by 4.5. In ESPN’s NFL “Expert Picks,” five of the six reporting “experts” have the Steelers. ESPN’s Sunday Countdown, also likes Pittsburgh, with all four reporting contributors favoring the Steelers.
Over at Sports Illustrated it’s not that much different, the biggest example being previous “linkee” Peter King:
I want you to understand what a feat it is that Pittsburgh has not allowed 300 yards in any game this season. Atlanta is playing good defense this year — only 11 teams have allowed fewer points. The Falcons have allowed 12 of 14 foes to gain more than 300 yards in a game this year.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 19, Tennessee Titans 12
None of this means a thing, necessarily, but it is interesting to note how quickly perceptions of the Titans have changed on national media outlets. The Steelers being favored in Tennessee this weekend wouldn’t have necessarily been that big a deal a few weeks ago. The Steelers being favored in that same game, when Tennessee needs it as much as Pittsburgh does, would have been a scenario we wouldn’t have wanted to think about in the not too distant past. Their sentiments might be correct, who knows…
We’ll have our preview up tomorrow, to try and sort this whole thing out.