We’re almost halfway through the season. With the Titans standing as the sole undefeated team in the NFL, at 6-0, many observers across the the league are starting/continuing to take the Titans as seriously as their play has merited. The question is: will the Titans win the AFC?
The folks at Most Valuable Network were nice enough to ask for Titan Sized’s opinion on this topic and we were more than happy to reply:
Seven weeks into the season the Tennessee Titans stand at 6-0, the only undefeated team left in the league. We’re far enough along into the 2008 campaign to ask the magic question: will the Titans win the AFC?
This season, the AFC specifically, has seen a surprising amount of parity and unexpected starts. From Tom Brady’s broken leg in week one to Peyton Manning’s reversion to his rookie season against the Packers this Sunday (I can almost hear Jim Mora screaming “playoffs?“), the landscape of the AFC doesn’t look quite like any of us thought it would.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, and to a lesser extent the New England Patriots, still hold their traditional spots near the top of the AFC, but the Colts and the Bolts have been replaced so far by the Buffalo Bills and our Tennessee Titans. The only team in this group that has consistently won, and won convincingly is the Titans.
New England beat the hell out of the Broncos this past Monday night, but have been torched by the Chargers and Ronnie Brown, while barely beating the Chiefs, Jets and 49ers in the process. Matt Cassel has had as many mediocre/bad games as good ones, and that defense is showing some definite signs of slippage.
The Steelers are 5-1, which looks pretty good, but they’ve failed to dominate; beating the Browns, Ravens and Jaguars by a combined 12 points. They also have the misfortune of still having the Giants, Redskins, Colts, Chargers, Patriots, Cowboys and Titans on their schedule. That isn’t very friendly.
The Bills probably have the best chance to keep up with the Titans as the season continues. They have a favorable schedule, and Trent Edwards has emerged as a very good young quarterback in this league. The real issue is that they really haven’t beat anyone too impressive, and the best team that they’ve played beat them by 24 points.
The Titans have won every game they’ve played, minus the Ravens game, by an incredibly comfortable margin. They are beating teams by an average of two touchdowns per game, vs. the 11 points per contest they’re giving up. That’s right, Tennessee is winning on average by more points than they are allowing. Their defense is as good as any in the league at pressuring the quarterback, shutting down the run and picking off opponent passes. The formula is simple. Run the ball well, keep defenses honest with an efficient passing game and play bruising defense. There are no weaknesses on this team, the depth has already served them well (re: Kerry Collins) and coach Jeff Fisher and his staff bring a consistency and effectiveness that nearly every team in the league should be wildly envious of.
With the lead that the Titans have in the conference, coupled with a continued favorable schedule, there is a very good chance that Tennessee gets homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. There’s not a team in the conference that would be favored on the road against Tennessee right now, and that won’t change come January. Tennessee has the formula and personnel to win the AFC, which you should expect them to do.
There are some other very good opinions on the subject, so check out MVN’s Great Debate on the issue, and see what other folks have to say.
Also, check out former Tennessean writer Paul Kuharsky’s look at the Indianaoplis Colt’s losses being the Titans’ gain.
p.s.: Code Blue, Code Titansized, Code beat the hell out of the Colts. However you want to look at it, let’s GET LOUDER THAN YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN LP FIELD. If you read this and go to Titans home games, get as loud as you did when McNair, George, Wycheck and Matthews roamed the field. This used to be the hardest place in the league for visiting teams, and we can all make that the case again. Monday Night is on the national stage, against our biggest rival, so if there’s ever time to Titan-Up, the time is now.