Just one more Thursday night game until we can take the ugly poopfest label off this thing for a week and just consider them Thanksgiving Day games — sounds delicious.
This week, we’ve got the Titans taking a trip up to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. On the visiting side, we have the Titans trying to race the Jaguars for the AFC South crown. On the other, we have the Steelers — who have been a good football team with better drama, and even better celebrations.
These two teams have proven to be hot and cold during the season, but we’re going to hope for the best in this week’s rendition of a poopfest. Here’s why you should watch.
Le’Veon Bell will be carrying the ball
If Le’Veon Bell is playing in a football game, it’s really the only reason you need to watch it.
When he’s on his game, there’s not a better running back in the NFL. He got off to a slow start this season, but caught fire in Week 4 after a 144-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Ravens. He’s posted two other games of at least 134 yards or more.
Until this man stops playing football, I am going to beat to death the fact that I love how patient of a runner he is. Most running backs are told to press the line of scrimmage, hit the hole, and go.
When Bell gets up to the line of scrimmage, it’s like it’s a dining table where he sets up his plate, tucks his napkin in his shirt, and then feasts.
I’d be a bad person if I didn’t mention he will also stiff arm you into a black hole of embarrassment:
Le’Veon Bell = must-watch football.
Mike Tomlin is the only good NFL coach
Mike Tomlin might be the coolest person on planet Earth. After the Steelers came back from a 17-3 deficit against the Colts last week and were setting themselves up for a game-winning field goal, he called this timeout:
The emphasis, with the “BAM” is such a badass move. Tomlin knew his team had that W, and was going out in style.
But let us not forget the smoothest timeout in NFL history:
That game was still in the first half, but it should have ended right there. How can you be that cool at doing something that isn’t cool at all like calling a timeout?
Love you, Mike Tomlin.
Marcus Mariota is a quarterback you need to watch
Because the Titans are actually good for the first time in a while, this game is going to be fun for once. It hasn’t been since the Titans’ Music City Miracle season that this was a compelling matchup. Marcus Mariota is a big reason for that.
He’s also done well in primetime games. Mariota is 2-1, completing 63 of 89 passes for 807 yards with three touchdowns in those games.
Here’s a beautiful Mariota dime from his last primetime game — a Monday night matchup against the Colts in Week 6:
When we get Mariota on his game, there’s not many more fun quarterbacks in the NFL to watch.
Watch Kevin Byard before he becomes a household name
Byard leads the NFL in interceptions with six, and has quietly become one of the best safeties in the league.
He’s had two games this season with multiple interceptions — the most recent came against the Elite Joe Flacco.
“Those are career-changing games. Three picks is a good season,” Titans cornerback Logan Ryan told ESPN’s Cam Wolfe earlier this month. “I’ve played with some all-pro and Pro Bowl safeties, and you talk about being able to do it all -- cover, play the middle, make plays on the ball and tackle -- KB does it just as good as everybody, as a package.”
If you’re an old-timey NFL fan who enjoys good defense and defensive players, peep Byard.
The Steelers wide receivers are the most fun in the NFL
You know, the Steelers were fine with just Antonio Brown. He’s been the best receiver in the NFL the past few seasons, and he’s also not afraid to be himself by celebrating, or getting unique haircuts.
But then you add young JuJu Smith-Schuster to the mix, relaxed celebration penalties, and then THIS is born:
That’s a heavy-ass lift. You know why? Because the Steelers are shouldering the weight of fun in the NFL, and they’re doing so well with it. Smith-Schuster’s been a big part of that, and the guy is only 20 years old!
I’m not sure about you, but I wasn’t carving up NFL defenses while also being one of the most creative players in the league when I was 20. I was a Georgia State student hitting up Zaxby’s on Ponce between classes, eating lunch in a parking garage.
Oh yeah, and besides their celebrations and other things, they’re damn good players. Watch them.
The Titans have soul
After a Kevin Byard interception, the Titans danced like The Temptations. This is incredible.
We all know and love their signature song “My Girl” but “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is a personal favorite of mine.
Enjoy the poopfest!