'I'd go for it:' An NFL afternoon through the eyes of an 8-year old

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There is a gauge in my house that tells me how things are looking for the future.

He is 8.

When Fox uses a robot graphic or Seattle wears neon uniforms or a team does a silly touchdown celebration, I use Simon as a test.

Was that cool? Did you like it?

Because what sports do isn’t meant for his 48-year old dad nearly as much as it’s meant to get hooks in him.

So on a Sunday when the Titans were off, my son and I made a deal. He’d watch a big chunk of Red Zone with me, granting permission for me to write about it through his eyes.IMG 4129

Home from church, we changed into football watching clothes and sat side-by-side. A tray of snacky lunch items magically appear on the chair arms between us -- thanks, Teresa – as Scott Hanson took us around the league and showed off his remarkable bladder control while not going to the bathroom for over six hours.

“He could be sitting on a toilet while he does it,” Simon said.

Potty humor out of the way, right away.

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Reaction to over-reaction regarding the Jaguars' win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This post was inspired by this Tweet:

PK: That’s a fine idea Steve. Let’s do it.TitansStorm

PK: Were you really expecting the Browns to beat the Jaguars? I mean even as that game played out and Cleveland stuck around, you couldn’t have been relying on that team.

Chill out.

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The mail: Why not more no-huddle?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – I have slept off the Pittsburgh trip and am ready for a weekend with the family. Right after I post this mailbag.

First off, here's yesterday's Periscope for all the people.

Below, you'll find the members-only continuation.

Now to your questions and comments.TitansStadiumWall

PK: Of all the complaints about what Mike Mularkey and Terry Robiskie are, and are not, doing, this one is the most reasonable. Marcus Mariota absolutely thrives in no-huddle and we saw a bit of it, finally, outside of 2-minute or game-desperation situations against Baltimore. I don’t understand their reluctance, and they have not articulated it well. I think on some level, it’s a stubborn reluctance to relinquish control, as Mariota is calling plays when they hurry up.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – My thanks to Pickers for affording me the opportunity to show off what I tell you all the time -- the top appeal of the NFL is it's unpredictability.

Games of the week (1-2-1)

L.A. Rams +2 at Minnesota

I am not a big believer in Minnesota, and I think the Rams are absolutely for real. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will have good showings against a good defense.

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mdi construction barPITTSBURGH – Fresh of a four-interception performance in a terrible 40-17 loss at Heinz Field, Marcus Mariota’s coach and teammates worked to disperse the blame for the turnovers.

“The first one sailed on him, there is no doubt on that,” Mike Mularkey said. “He could have used some help on the other ones, especially from some young guys. Some lessons learned from some young players.”DavisPIT

Sure, Mariota wasn’t exclusively at fault. On his second pick, rookie receiver Corey Davis needed to fight back to the ball and make it harder on Coty Sensabaugh.

But Mariota looked long and hard at where he was going with the ball, and it wasn’t hard for the former Titans cornerback to see where it was going to go.

To his credit, Mariota wasn’t looking for anyone else to take any responsibility for his giveaways. He was McNairian in his responsibility-taking.

On a national stage in a game that could have really staked the Titans a place in the upper-echelon playoff field, the quarterback they’ve spent a great deal of capital to provide quality protection and quality weapons struggled mightily.

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Steelers 40, Titans 17: 'It’s not a second half that we’re very proud of on both sides'

mdi construction barPITTSBURGH – They came flying out of the locker room, ran a play they picked out special, got a 75-yard scoring connection from Marcus Mariota to Rishard Matthews and looked to be on their way to a fight to the end.

But from the moment the Titans pulled to within 2-points of the Steelers at Heinz Field, everything went wrong.

The Titans left the 40-17 loss to the Steelers talking of a potential rematch in the playoffs but knowing they’ve got a ton of work ahead to earn one.Image 11 17 17 at 1.40 AM

“Tough game, tough second half for us,” Brian Orakpo said. “We had to make adjustments and just couldn’t make the right ones at the time. It’s one game, we can’t get too down on this one.

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No shame in losing in Pittsburgh, but plenty in the way the Titans did it

mdi construction barPITTSBURGH – The Titans proved unready for prime time, dropping a 40-17 decision at Heinz Field that was an exciting, back-and-forth battle for a while and a disaster in the end.JacksonPIT

It finished off a four-game winning streak.

The Titans are now 6-4 and if the Jaguars win at winless Cleveland on Sunday, Tennessee will be a game out of first place in the AFC South.

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mdi construction barPITTSBURGH – Officials gave the Steelers 10 yards they shouldn’t have late in the first half of the Titans-Steelers game at Heinz Field.

Adoree Jackson punched the ball out from Antonio Brown after a reception and the ball went forward and was covered by another Steelers receiver, Martavis Bryant.

Game stats credited Brown with a 17-yard catch that counted for 17 yards and got the ball to the Titans 32-yard line and after the fumble was recovered the ball was placed at the 32.

But the Steelers should not have been allowed to advance the fumble at that point.

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