Tennessee Titans: Time to prepare for a wild and wacky race for the AFC South title

The Jacksonville Jaguars thumped the Houston Texans in week 1. The Tennessee Titans steamrolled the Jaguars in week 2, and the Houston Texans hung 57 points in a beat down of the Titans in week 4.

If the first month of the season is any indication then we should prepare ourselves for a wild and wacky race for the AFC South title.

The Titans, Texans, and Jaguars are all tied atop the AFC South with 2-2 records and 1-1 records within the division. And while the Indianapolis Colts are sitting in the cellar, they are still just a game out with a 1-3 record.

So who holds the edge for the remaining 12 games? Let’s take a look team by team.

Houston

Key wins:

Tennessee

Key losses:

Jacksonville

QB Situation: 

Who would have thought a month ago that Houston would have the least amount of concerns at quarterback? Rookie Deshaun Watson has been electrifying since taking the reigns in the second half of the season opener. He’s looking more like the qb that led Clemson to back to back National Championship games than a traditional NFL rookie qb with the deer-in-the-headlights look. One can only assume that Watson will only get better as the season progresses.

Key games remaining: 

Chiefs 10/8, at Seattle 10/29, Indianapolis 11/5, at Tennessee 12/3, at Jacksonville 12/17, Pittsburgh 12/25

Jacksonville

Key wins:

Houston

Key losses:

Tennessee, N.Y. Jets

QB Situation:

Blake Bortles continues to struggle, and with a solid feature back and defense, could be the main reason if the Jaguars miss the playoffs this year.

Key games remaining:

At Pittsburgh 10/8, at Indianapolis 10/22, Indianapolis 12/3, Seattle 12/10, Houston 12/17, at Tennessee 2/31.

Tennessee

Key wins:

Jacksonville, Seattle

Key losses:

Houston

QB situation:

That’s still to be determined as Marcus Mariota’s immediate future is still cloudy. Today, Titans coach Mike Mularkey confirmed that Mariota suffered a strained hamstring in yesterday’s loss to Houston and is officially listed as day-to-day. With backup Matt Cassel playing so poorly Sunday then Tennessee’s qb situation would seem bleak if Mariota misses considerable time.

Key games remaining:

Indianapolis 10/16, Pittsburgh 11/16, at Indianapolis, 11/26, Houston 12/3, Jacksonville, 12/31.

Indianapolis

Key wins:

None

Key losses:

None

QB Situation:

As with the Titans, it all depends on the availability of Andrew Luck, who has yet to play this season. If Luck is shut down for the year then the Colts will be playing for next year’s number one overall pick of the draft. They have no shot without franchise qb under center.

Key games remaining (if Luck returns):

At Tennessee 10/16, Jacksonville 10/22, at Houston 11/5, Pittsburgh 11/12, Tennessee 11/26, at Jacksonville (12/3), Denver (12/14), Houston (12/31)

Of course, all games are important with only sixteen in the regular season, however, I omitted common opponents like Cleveland, San Francisco, and Arizona for the sake of this discussion.

As you can see there are still a host of games within the division left to play for all teams, and the matchups against playoff-caliber teams are spread out evenly for the most part.

Houston’s win over the Titans just lit a fire under the AFC South race, and the division as a whole is looking better than anyone thought heading into the season.

For Titans fans there is a ray of hope. Both Houston and Jacksonville responded from their blowout losses with wins the following week. Time for Tennessee to hold serve.

follow @plcolter

 

 

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s