The NFL Should Give the Tennessee Titans More Respect They Deserve

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 30: Corey Davis #84 of the Tennessee Titans catches a game-winning pass in the end zone while defended by Avonte Maddox #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles in overtime at Nissan Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 30: Corey Davis #84 of the Tennessee Titans catches a game-winning pass in the end zone while defended by Avonte Maddox #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles in overtime at Nissan Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

With five playoff teams coming to Nashville, you would expect the Tennessee Titans to host a prime time game.

There’s no question about it, Nissan Stadium has become a considerable home-field advantage for the Tennessee Titans.

With 17 of 24 home games resulting in Titans victories over the past three seasons, it’s hard to argue that a game in Nashville wouldn’t be exciting to watch.

An example of this would be the Titans thrilling comeback over the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. The Titans were down by two possessions in the third quarter but made an epic comeback to force overtime.

Then Marcus Mariota made three clutch fourth-down conversions to drive down the field and find the endzone to win the game. This game was arguably one of the most exciting games ever witnessed at Nissan Stadium.

Another great example is when the Titans played the New England Patriots and dominated them from start to finish. Tom Brady was always on his back all game long, and the Patriots suffered one of their biggest losses ever under Bill Belichick.

No one was expecting this kind of beatdown against New England, especially from a team like the Tennessee Titans. Despite that, the league continues to sleep on Tennessee.

The Tennessee Titans have showed the NFL that they could produce great games when given the chance. There’s just one problem, both of these games were at noon.

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Now, I don’t expect the NFL schedule makers to know everything that will happen in the course of an NFL season. But the goal for the NFL schedule makers is to put games that will generate high ratings for the NFL. Having quality prime time NFL games on the national stage is what the average fan wants to watch.

Teams like the Eagles or Patriots on prime time national television would have been massive for the NFL. The odd thing is, the NFL had an opportunity to put these two games on national television, but passed despite the Titans and their record setting comeback in Kansas City during the playoffs last year.

A fair argument can be made the Titans don’t play up to expectations when they are on prime time.

We saw this in 2017 when the Titans played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football and got blown out. But the matter of the fact is, every team will have their bad days. Nothing in life will ever go as planned as expected.

With the Titans making the NFL playoffs in 2017, there was a lot of speculation going around. They were hosting the two teams that had made the Super Bowl. 2018 would finally be the year the Titans got a prime time slot in Nissan Stadium.

But again, the NFL had other ideas. But how did those ideas turn out?

The week the Eagles traveled to face the Titans, the NFL schedules saw the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers to play on Sunday Night Football. While the Steelers and Ravens are a great rivalry, the Ravens did not make the Playoffs in 2017. As for the Steelers, they got blown out twice in 2017 by the Jacksonville Jaguars who the Titans swept.

The choice was a bad one and it showed when the Ravens won in a blowout while the Titans had their most significant home victory in franchise history.

Another example I could give is the NFL scheduled the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. This matchup was the same week the Titans played the Patriots. While the outcome of the game was close, both the Giants and 49ers were bad teams to watch at that time.

Had the Titans and Patriots been scheduled on that slot, the NFL would have most likely seen a considerable increase of ratings for that week. Especially since the Titans dominated the Patriots, most of America would have loved to watch the Patriots get beaten down, especially on Monday Night Football.

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Fast forward to Week 17 of the 2018 season; the Titans got their chance again to be on the national stage. This time, it would be against their biggest rival, the Indianapolis Colts. There was just one problem; Marcus Mariota was not playing. Like it or not, that was the difference in making this game more watchable.

While you can make the argument the Titans do not show up on national prime time games, there is one factor missing.

The city of Nashville is on the precipice of becoming a place where teams fear to visit.

We see this with the Titans dominating the Packers in 2016. We’ve seen the defending Super Bowl champions in back-to-back years lose at Nissan Stadium. My point is, the Tennessee Titans are a team that is relevant in the NFL despite what the scheduling would lead you to believe.

Let me bring up one more thing on why the NFL is making a mistake with not giving the Titans a prime time slot.

Nashville has proven that they are a sports town. Don’t believe me? Try arguing against 600,000 fans showing up for the NFL Draft.

Try making the point the fans don’t care about their team when you have seen the Nashville Predators fanbase show up. You can’t!

The NFL has made mistakes time and time again with their scheduling. But to not show the Tennessee Titans the lack of respect they deserve is absurd. With five playoff teams coming to Nissan Stadium, there should be at least two prime time games in those games.

The Titans home opener against the Colts is arguably the most exciting game that comes to mind. The fact that Andrew Luck is coming to town and the importance of this to the Titans fans is enormous! Not to mention Eddie George and Steve McNair’s jerseys will be retired as well.

Where does the NFL have this game scheduled? You guessed it! No prime time.

Instead, fans will have to watch the Eagles and Atlanta Falcons battle it out. Even then, this game could have been on Thursday Night Football or Monday Night Football. But nope! The NFL schedule makers think that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets are better options.

The scheduling by the NFL shows how much respect the Titans get from the NFL.

The Titans are also hosting a team that they have had two nail biting finishes with over the last three years. Who is it? The Kansas City Chiefs. This game has the potential to be one of the most exciting games of the year to attend.

Once again, the NFL has other plans.

Now I can see the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings being a fun game to watch. But the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football over this game? Blasphemous!

The NFL must one day realize that the fans are going to catch on to their scheduling. Examples like the Tennessee Titans, their recent success in Nissan Stadium, and the NFL not giving them respect prove that.

Until the NFL realizes this, they are just leaving money on the table and meat on the bone.