Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been said time and time again that this is a make or break year for Mike Munchak. The same can be said for a number of players such as Jake Locker, Michael Griffin and Kenny Britt as well. While I agree on some of the players decisions, I can’t say the same for the coaching staff.
Just how good do the Titans need to play in order for everyone to keep their jobs? Is it truly playoffs or bust? Do the Titans need to make a huge leap and go from a top 10 draft pick, to dominating their division? Or would a show of good steady growth be okay?
Keep in mind just how poor the Titans 6-10 season really was. The Titans didn’t just get beat in a number of their games, they were throttled. Any team that the Titans played last year that was even half way decent absolutely manhandled the Titans.
New England: 34-13
San Diego: 38-10
Green Bay: 55-7
That’s an average score of 41-12, for those of you with an abacus, in 6 of their 10 losses. The other 4 were closer divisional games.
Titan Sized’s newest contributor, Carlos Beard, put out a glowing piece of optimism the other day reflecting the difficulties of the Titans initial stretch of games in 2013. With the first two games coming on the road against the Steelers and the Texans, a home opener against the Chargers, and back to back weeks of Seattle and San Fransisco, the Titans could very well be in the lurch before they even hit the bye week. The schedule does look a little tough, but it’s way too early to try and predict how those other teams or the Titans will be playing next September.
Riddle me this:
Let’s say the Titans make obvious and substantial progress next year but miss the playoffs. What if they end up 9-7 or 10-6, but still miss a wild card spot by a game? Let’s say they play the Texans tough and only lose by a score in those games. What about the Broncos, Seahawks, and 49ers? If the Titans lose those games by 3 points each, are you still ready to blow up the team?
Quick Count: If the Titans lose to the Broncos, 49ers, and Seahawks. As well as split with the Colts and Texans, that’s already five losses. Not too hard to imagine.
I’m not saying that losing is acceptable, and yes, winning is the ultimate goal. But isn’t there a gray area between how deplorable this team was last year and the playoffs? Like a really, really, really big gray area?
Obviously the Titans need to show more than marginal improvement, but not getting blown out by decent to good teams is a good start. However, I do think it’s a bit rash to say they need to make the playoffs or else. If the team makes drastic improvements on the field and have good momentum on a building product, it may behoove Bud Adams and Titans fans to show a little patience. Something very hard to find in today’s NFL.
If they miss the playoffs by a game or two and played horribly doing so, then by all means, start over. We’ll see how the season plays out, but it would be a shame to see the Titans cut off the nose to spite the face.
So what’s good enough for you? Is there a win/loss benchmark? Playoffs or bust? Or is there any middle ground?
Let me hear it here or on Twitter @gunnelsj