The Tennessee Titans’ playoff hopes were dealt a severe blow last Sunday after losing to the Indianapolis Colts for a gut wrenching 11th straight time.
Indy’s victory dropped the Titans to 5-6, and they are now two games in the loss column behind the division leading Houston Texans (6-4), and a game behind the now-second place Colts (5-5).
Indianapolis owns the tie-breaker over Tennessee with another season sweep of the annual two game series.
Titans fans were predictably disappointed following the loss, as the AFC title was the team’s one realistic shot at the post season.
But in the voice of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, I would like to caution Titans fans to R-E-L-A-X…
Relax fans, and look at the big picture.
For starters, the mere fact that you’re disappointed means that your Titans were in the thick of the division race heading into Thanksgiving, something you would have signed up for twice if given that option at the beginning of the season.
Remember, this is a team that won a mere five games over the last two seasons, and were picked by most local and national pundits to remain in the cellar of the AFC this offseason.
And speaking of the offseason, when Tennessee hired Jon Robinson to be their new general manager in January, there were more holes in the roster than a two ton block of Swiss cheese.
With so many upgrades needed at so many positions, Robinson and head coach Mike Mularkey made the conscious decision to fix one side of the ball this season. The offense was in far worse shape than the defense last year, so the makeover started there.
And the roster moves have paid off big time.
In just 11 games the Titans’ offense has gone from ugly duckling to beauty pageant contestant.
In 2014 Tennessee had the third worst scoring offense in the league with 15.9 points per game. In 2015 they had the fifth worst scoring offense with 18.7 points per game.
This season the Titans are the eighth best scoring offense in the league. They are averaging 25.5 points per game, notched double-digit points in every game this season, and scored 35 points or more in three consecutive games…something that hasn’t been done since the team relocated to Nashville.
The upgrades made to the offensive line have paid huge dividends this year. After finishing 27th in rushing and leading the league in sacks allowed in 2015, the offensive line now boasts the league’s third best rushing attack while allowing the ninth fewest sacks in the league after 11 games.
Remember Tennessee’s skill players on offense last year? I’ll throw out some names…
Bishop Sankey (rb), Antonio Andrews (rb), Dorial Green-Beckham (wr), Justin Hunter (wr).
Those names have been replaced this offseason with the likes of DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Rishard Matthews, and Tajae Sharpe.
Terry Robiskie was hired as the offensive coordinator this offseason, and as a result, the Titans are actually fun to watch on offense now…even with their run-first smash mouth identity.
Yes, the loss to the Colts was disappointing, and the road to the playoffs is now a steep uphill climb, but remember the big picture.
Tennessee was in full-fledge rebuilding mode heading into this season, and the team is progressing way ahead of schedule.
Not only are the Titans no longer a laughing-stock, but they are now receiving national praise as a team on the rise.
Tennessee may not be a playoff team this year, but they are definitely a better team…especially offensively. So relax and enjoy the remaining five games of the season Titans fans.
With a coupe of upset wins and some breaks within the division…who knows? Stranger things have happened.
Just keep watching and enjoying a much better product on the field this year. No need to hang your head, your team is finally heading in the right direction…and the future looks bright.