According to Peter King, one of the big rumors flying around at this week’s annual NFL meetings is the possibility of a titanic opening night clash between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers:
“It’s beginning to look like a Tennessee-Pittsburgh season-opener…The NFL doesn’t have great options for the Steelers for opening night, Sept. 10. San Diego, Green Bay and Tennessee are the best ones… and I’m hearing the Titans are favorite sons here.”
Here are a few reasons why we should all be rooting for a Titans-Steelers Week 1 showdown.
A “Rematch” of the AFC Championship Game that never was
As we all know, last year’s painful 13-10 playoff defeat at the hands of the Ravens prevented the Titans from hosting the Steelers the following week in the AFC Title game.
Instead of having the privilege of fighting for AFC supremacy within the friendly surroundings of LP Field against a Steeler team they had beaten so thoroughly in December, the Titans were faced with the grim reality of their magnificent season coming to an unexpected screeching halt.
Unlike last year’s matchup that never materialized, a trip to the Super Bowl wouldn’t be on the line in a potential Titans/Steelers first week showdown. However, the outcome of the game could serve as a meaningful first step in the long march towards next year’s Lombardi Trophy.
The Terrible Towel controversy
I’m not going to rehash the entire ordeal, but to make a long story short, the Steelers and their fanbase weren’t too enthused about LenDale White and Keith Bulluck stomping on their sacred towel after the Titans’ 31-14 win.
Without question, this will be one of the main storylines when the Titans and Steelers meet at Heinz Field next year, whether it’s in Week 1 or Week 14. If the contest takes place in the former, the NFL will definitely wear out the towel-stomping theme in its efforts to secure a ratings bonanza with the primetime season-opener.
Memo to LenDale White and Keith Bulluck: Be prepared, because the thunderous boos at Heinz Field await you.
The Revenge of Nate the Great
I’m sure that Nate Washington would be licking his chops at the prospect of facing his former team in Week 1.
After years of performing in the shadows of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, Washington should get his opportunity to shine as a deep threat in the Titans’ offense. Instead of playing third fiddle to Ward and Holmes, opportunities to make plays await in abundance for Nate in Nashville.
Making a game-winning catch against his former squad on opening night would be a storybook ending for Washington’s Heinz Field homecoming.
Your turn, audience: Would you like to see an epic Titans/Steelers Week 1 showdown?