NASHVILLE, Tenn. The cries of disrespect are flowing from Titans’ fans as they typically do at scheduling time.

They want a bigger presence on primetime TV. They want to head to Nissan Stadium for a big game under the lights.TitansGoldLogo

And in 2019, barring a flex into Sunday Night Football, they’ll get Week 3 Thursday Night Football in Jacksonville and that’s it.

The Titans should have a home Monday or Thursday night game.

But beyond that, I don’t think there is a giant complaint and I don’t think it’s some giant sign of NFL disrespect. On four Sundays they will play in the late afternoon slot, though two of those are dictated by geography – games in Denver and Oakland are always later. [Unlocked]

Schedule19

We'll get back to the primetime argument in a minute.

First some schedule thoughts.

  • I think a Cleveland trip early is good. Expectations are sky high for the Browns. They may live up to them. Get them before it's cold and before they do a lot of jelling.
  • I do not understand why the league is satisfied scheduling the same game on two out of three weeks. I've said for years division rematches should have to be at least a month apart, by rule. Titans vs. Texans in Week 15 and Titans at Texans Week 17 is incredibly lame. There are 10 weeks between Colts' games. There are eight weeks between Jaguars' games. How does it make any sense to go two months between two sets of AFC South games and one week between the third set?
  • We knew home and away opponents before the dates were put on the games, but the road schedule sure looks easier than the home slate.
  • It can rain badly at any time for any outdoor game. But Jacksonville in September and Denver in October are the closest things the Titans have to weather concerns and neither strikes me as major. 

Returning to prime-time qualifications in the eyes of the schedule-makers and the networks...

TicketsBoxFor starters, the 2018 Titans played an 8:30 am game (in London) against the Chargers, a Monday night game in Dallas, a Monday night game in Houston, a Thursday night home game against the Jaguars, a Saturday evening home holiday weekend home game against Washington and a flexed Sunday night season finale against the Colts last year. They also played two late Sunday afternoon games which are televised by a larger share of the country.

Half of their 16 games were outside of their typical noon Sunday start time. That was overexposure for an average team, so this can be seen as evening things back out.

They went 4-4. How many times did they produce memorable games? The London game was a good one, with the failed 2-point conversion attempt at the end costing them a win but producing high drama. The 28-14 win in Dallas was a notable game for Tennessee for sure. And Derrick Henry’s team-record 238 rushing yards, complete with a 99-yard TD romp and four TDs in all was something to behold.

But absolute duds at the Texans and in the finale against the Colts didn’t do much for the Titans' appeal. They come into the season regarded as the AFC South’s third-best team based on being its third-best team last season.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

And as this site’s Starting 22 member David Jackson points out: “All they care about now is fantasy players. If your team isn’t stocked with high-value fantasy guys, you don’t get featured time slots. Just the way it is.”

There is a lot of truth in that.

Henry isn’t a guarantee after producing in only a quarter of the season last season, Delanie Walker is no guarantee after missing all but a game. Marcus Mariota is a major uncertainty as is his receiving corps and while Adams Humphries is an interesting add, he’s not Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown or any receiver fans will be running to draft high.

Mike Vrabel will like the rhythm and regularity of more frequent noon starts.

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