Colgate Around the Hill – What’s more likely to happen, Detroit 0-16 or Tennessee 16-0?

By Mike KetchamMaroon-News Staff

The Titans have been truly impressive so far this year. No team can pretend to be good for 10 straight games, so it is safe to say the Titans are for real. However, 16-0 seems a little ambitious even though the NFL season is 10 games deep. There are many arguments against why winning the next six games will be difficult. First off, there is barely an historical precedent for it. Last year’s New England Patriots are the only team to have won 16 games in the regular season (the ’72 Dolphins went 14-0), and even the Pats did not finish with an undefeated record after the Super Bowl. However, there are other more telling signs of why the Titans are unlikely to reach the 16-0 mark. Although the Titans have always come up with the big play they need at the end of close games, the pressure of an undefeated season will continue to increase, and with the Titans quarterback being Kerry Collins, it is easy to see how they might be due for a close loss over their remaining games this season. Additionally, the Titans close the year home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and at the Indianapolis Colts. If the Titans make it to Week 16 undefeated, beating those two teams would be very daunting for an inexperienced Titans crew.

This is not to say that the Lions will finish 0-16. This seems very unlikely as well given that they have some talent(they were good enough last year to start 6-2) and the fact that they have competed in a few close games. However, the Lions do have a difficult remaining schedule, meaning that 0-16 is not entirely out of the question. Nonetheless, no team has ever gone 0-16 before, and despite the fact that the Lions have six losable games left, it still seems unlikely that the Lions would hit the unprecedented mark. Both most likely won’t happen, but the Titans going 16-0 seems even less likely, so the choice here is that 0-16 has a more realistic chance of occurring.

By Stephen GussMaroon-News Staff

A lot has changed since the Tennessee Titans came within one yard of winning Super Bowl XXXIV. One of the key players on the 1999 Titans, defensive end Jevon Kearse, returned to the Titans this offseason after spending four years in Philadelphia. In hopes of returning to the Super Bowl, Kearse signed a two-year contract worth $6 million. Eight years after the Titans’ Super Bowl berth, his signing may have been the most important offseason acquisition for the Titans, because he has sparked their incredible 2008 season. Jevon Kearse will get his wish this year, as the Tennessee Titans will ride their perfect season straight to a Super Bowl win. Furthermore, they have a better chance of going undefeated in the regular season than the Lions do of going winless. However, it is quite likely the 0-10 Lions could be beaten by a Colgate flag football team.

Even though the Titans’ roster is not filled with prime time players, their core leadership is strong and very experienced. As the football gods always say, the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back. Tennessee is led by their golden oldie, Kerry Collins, who has opened up the Titans offense by throwing the long ball. Last year, according to, Vince Young completed 18% of his long passes, while Collins has completed 24% of his long passes during his career. Collins is also an aspiring country music artist and if it weren’t for his 2008 resurgence, he may have been singing in the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII instead of playing in it.

LenDale White, former USC star and first cousin of Denver Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups has anchored Tennessee’s running game. Despite White’s meager 3.9 yards per carry, he has scored 11 touchdowns every game. Just as critical to the Titans offense, rookie Chris Johnson has 787 yards so far this season and is a perfect compliment to the heftier White.

By Chas KurtzMaroon-News Staff

Without question, the odds of the Lions going 0-16 are far greater than the odds of Tennessee going 16-0.

The Titans are certainly a good team with a formidable defense, but their lack of offensive force will surely catch up with them in their final six games. Chris Johnson has been the workhorse at running back, but he is a rookie who has never played through a grueling NFL season. Expect his numbers to decline over the next six weeks. Kerry Collins appears to have rejuvenated his career, but can the 35-year old continue his brilliance considering this is his first prolonged stint of significant action since 2005 with the Raiders? He’s bound to have an off day, especially given the lack of wide receiver talent on the Titans.

Of Tennessee’s six remaining games, three are serious threats: Sunday at home against the Jets, Week 16 at home against the Steelers and the final game of the season on the road against division-rival Indianapolis. I don’t see any possible way the Titans, with their obvious flaws, can make it through that schedule unscathed. Expect them to lose at least two, if not more. However, the Titans will almost certainly still be the top seed in the AFC. After watching the Pats succumb to the pressure of the undefeated season against the Giants last season, a regular season loss or two could actually help Tennessee by alleviating that pressure.

The Lions, on the other hand, are truly wretched and could easily finish the season winless. You have to feel sorry for Detroit, a team that came close to a number of victories early in the season. The squad has lost four one-possession games, including a 12-10 loss to Minnesota and devastating loss to Chicago thanks to a Rex Grossman fourth-quarter comeback. Unfortunately, those may have been their best opportunities.

Each of Detroit’s final six games is against a team currently .500 or better, the most difficult stretch of their season. The best chance for a victory will be December 7 against the Vikings at Ford Field. Minnesota, however, has been playing good football with Gus Frerotte under center, while Adrian Peterson is the best back in the game.

Sadly, this truly is their best remaining shot at a victory. The Lions host their next three games, but they will be lucky to make the games competitive against Tampa Bay and the undefeated Titans before hosting the Vikings. Their final three games include trips to Indianapolis and Green Bay, two sure losses, and a home game against an inconsistent but far superior Saints squad. Things are looking grim for the men of Motown.

By Mike LeClairMaroon-News Staff

As tempting as it is to pick a team to go 16-0 for a second consecutive year, in hopes of completely shutting up the ’72 Dolphins, I cannot, in good conscience, make that pick. The Tennessee Titans are certainly one of the upper-echelon teams in the NFL, but I expect them to lose either one or both of their final two games – home against Pittsburgh or at Indianapolis. Personally, I can’t justify an undefeated season coming from a team with Kerry Collins at the helm. Maybe I’m a little too familiar with his days as the Giants QB, but I don’t think he’s morphed into a premier quarterback at age 35. LenDale White and Chris Johnson are doing wonders in the Titans backfield, but I don’t think they’re enough to carry the team to a 16-0 season, especially if they go up against a solid run defense.

So that leaves me with the Detroit Lions. I didn’t really think I could laugh at them any harder after the Matt Millen era, but this season, well, it goes without saying. The Lions have a legitimate shot at going 0-16 this year, a year where they were expected to at least be a mildly respectable NFL franchise. The team has just one redeeming characteristic in wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who, despite all the obstacles in his way, has still put up a decent season. Daunte Culpepper at starting quarterback is a huge question mark, especially when you consider that he has to make up for a defense that is allowing a whopping 30.8 points per game. Also take into account that the Lions do not play a single opponent the rest of the season that currently has a losing record. The ingredients are certainly there for a winless season in Detroit, one that will simply add to the misery that Lions fans have had to experience for decades.