“If you do not learn from the past you are doomed to repeat it” ~ Unknown
That should be plastered on every wall inside the Tennessee Titans locker room for the rest of the season.
Or better yet…
“New goal…make rematch with the Jaguars irrelevant” ~ P.L. Colter
Now that the Titans have avoided a potentially crippling 0-2 start they can take a deep breath….and resume their quest for a division title.
Their first in nearly a decade.
And while Tennessee may have exorcised the ghost of Christmas Eve with their 37-16 beat down of the Jaguars last Sunday, they should keep the memory fresh in their minds…
Because the Titans shouldn’t want their division title hopes hinging on the outcome of a rematch with the Jags in this year’s regular season finale.
The loss in Jacksonville last Christmas Eve was the final nail in the coffin, but there were several missed opportunities that caused Tennessee to lose the division by one game last season.
Blowing a 10 point second half lead to Minnesota in the season opener with two turnovers that were returned for touchdowns.
Allowing a punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a tied game in Houston.
Falling into early and insurmountable deficits against the Colts, Chargers, and Raiders, only to stage a furious comeback in each game and fall short by a hair.
If the Titans close out just one of those games then there is no Christmas Eve to forget. There would have been a holiday celebration to remember in Nashville as the city awaited Wild Card Weekend in a couple of weeks.
And let’s not forget the elephant in the room…the fact that the teams have split their season series in each of the last eight years.
Last season the Titans destroyed the Jaguars in their first meeting, similar to what we witnessed Sunday.
No one would have predicted that the team we saw lay an egg on Thursday Night Football would look like the 92 Cowboys a few weeks later.
Knowing this, the Titans should…and I predict will…proceed through this season with more of a sense of urgency…to not take any opponent or opportunity for granted.
That mindset is especially critical when looking at Tennessee’s last six opponents…the Colts, Texans, Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, and Jaguars.
There is plenty of season left to play but five of these teams appear to be going nowhere fast.
And the other is Jacksonville.
There’s no need to test fate again. The Titans should still look at the Jaguars as one game ahead of them all season, and play with that kind of desperation all year long.
Just like they did Sunday.