Sunday, October 11, 2009

Role Reversal: Broncos 5-0, Titans 0-5?

It has been a peculiar start to the NFL season to say the least. Somethings have stayed constant, others have changed dramatically. The story of the early NFL season may very well be how two teams have completely defied their preseason expectations - namely the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.

If you would have told any NFL analyst that the Broncos would be undefeated five games into the season and the Titans would be winless in that same time span, they would have been greatly concerned with your mental health. It seemed completely illogical, before the season started that is.

Now with the cards dealt on the table, the reality is the Denver is a way better team than predicted and Tennessee is merely a one season wonder. In essence, both teams have taken each other's expected roles in the league and stunned the entire NFL in the process.

The Broncos are boasting the NFL's second best defense in yards allowed per game, along with an exceptional +6 turnover ratio. Not to mention, they are the stingiest defense in regards to points allowed. It seems that the veteran presence of players like Brian Dawkins have greatly influenced this team and led them down a path of Cinderella success thus far.

As for the Titans, they have truly disappointed. If there is any bright spot in their season, it has been with the rush defense (allowing under 80 yards per game). Other than that, their defense, which was the stamp for last year's success, is ranked 23rd overall among NFL teams and is giving up 27 points a night. It's as if a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has overcome the Titans in a 180 degree turn from their 2008 10-0 start.

If this says anything about the NFL it is that a single season turnaround is absolutely possible, for better or for worse. If that wasn't clear with the Miami Dolphins' 2008 historical rebound (from 1-15 to 11-5), then now it is.

With every week comes a new story in the National Football League, and the underlying plot for each story is that the NFL can bring you to greater glory and drop you to your knees at the turn of a season.

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