Ah, a break from the Pacman talk. Today, the NFL released the 2007 full-season schedule. I thought I’d chime in some some thoughts on the Titans’ slate.
The highlights, speaking from a national perspective, come in Week 3, Sept. 24 at New Orleans, and Week 11, Nov. 19 at Denver, when the Titans make their first exclusive national broadcast appearances since the Christmas 2005 blowout loss to the Broncos. Both these games are Monday Night Football games, and will be the Titans’ first MNF appearance since the 2004 loss to Kansas City.
The bye week is a little early, coming the weekend of Sept. 30, after MNF against the Saints. I liked last year’s bye week timing, breaking up the season nicely, but you can’t get that lucky every year.
In terms of travel, the roughest stretch is Nov. 19’s MNF game in Denver, followed by Nov. 25 at Cincinnati. The other back-to-back road games are Tampa Bay and Houston Oct. 14 and 21, a much less intimidating pair of teams. Further, in between those two road trips, the Titans have a trio of home contests, against Oakland, Carolina, and Jacksonville. The Titans also luck out with the AFC West tour, playing at Denver and Jacksonville, and playing both San Diego and Oakland at home. The game that presents the best possibility for cold weather is December 16 @ Kansas City, but the other 4 December cames are 3 home and a dome game.
From a more personal perspective, that dome road game in December is the annual visit to Indianapolis in Week 17, Dec. 30. I guess I’ll be returning from my Christmas destination earlier than I might otherwise have. Also a possibility for my presence is Nov. 25 in Cincinnati. I’ll make it to Nashville one of these years, though I don’t know if it’ll be this one.
The biggest fear I have about the schedule is that with road trips to Jacksonville and New Orleans sandwiching a home date with the Colts, the Titans will go into the bye week 0-3, and face another uphill climb to make the postseason. Since I’ve already predicted 6-10 this fall, I guess it’s not too big a concern. But, it’s April 11, everybody’s undefeated and everything from 16(19)-0 to 0-16 is a possibility. The preseason opener, at home against the Redskins, is only four months away, and I’m not sure it’ll get here fast enough.
Before the preseason opener, we have the NFL draft, OTAs, and the beginning of training camp. Not much to say about OTAs and training camp, but I will say this about the draft: I don’t have a ghost of a clue who the Titans should or will select with the 19th pick in the first round, and I doubt I’ll have anything intelligent to say about that decision until about 4 PM CT on April 28th.