OP-ED: If You Punish the Titans, Don’t Reward the Bills or Other Teams in the Process

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Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. (Photo by: Walker Kinsler | Wikimedia)

By Mike Patton

The Tennessee Titans are under the microscope of the NFL right now after revelations came out that some members of the team had a group workout after their team facility was closed and even after they were told not to have any workouts. The fallout has not been announced, but you can expect the Titans will be receiving either a fine or loss of draft picks. The other option mentioned, however, is one that could have drastic consequences. The NFL has thrown out there that punishments for not following the protocols could lead to potential forfeiture of games and most notably, the forfeiture of the Buffalo Bills game, which is next on the Titans schedule and has been moved to Tuesday of next week (with the Bills Thursday night game next week versus the Kansas City Chiefs moved to Sunday) provided there are no more positive tests from the Titans. With that last punishment, there are some fans calling for a forfeit to happen because of the actions of some of the Titans. While that punishment may be earned and more than likely the Titans may see some form of punishment, the forfeiture may be something that may hurt them but help the Buffalo Bills or any other potential team that could benefit from a forfeit at the hands of the Titans.

Let’s use the Bills for example should the Titans get more positive before the game Tuesday and forfeiting the game become an option. The Buffalo Bills have shown they are one of the best teams in the NFL right now. They are playing great defense and quarterback Josh Allen and their offense has shown to be dynamic and more explosive than last season. They currently are 4-0 and lead the AFC East over the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. The season is a sprint not a marathon, but by giving them an additional win in a game they did not actually have to compete in, it would be punishing the teams in their division along with the teams in the AFC trying to catch them for playoff positioning.

As things currently stand heading into Week 5 of the NFL, the Titans are undefeated along with the Bills, Chiefs and Steelers in the AFC and the Cleveland Browns are 3-1. More than likely all these teams will lose multiple games this season. By giving the Bills a win on the rest of them, you may as well say you are giving them a game lead in the race for the home-field crown. Last season, the Chiefs rode home-field advantage all the way to the Super Bowl and with Buffalo being a cold environment towards the end of the season, that would give them an advantage over any opponent that came into there.

The Titans are going to get punishment and they earned it, but in doing so, rewarding the Bills or any other potential contender would also punish other teams that are trying to achieve their goal: winning a Super Bowl. As the NFL makes their decision, they should also remember the affect it will have on other teams during the decision-making process.

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