Tennessee Titans, Mike Munchak Must Maintain Focus Despite Schedule


November 25, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars fan holds up a sign during the second half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field. The Jaguars defeated the Titans 24-19. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans Remaining 2013-14 NFL schedule (Week 8-17)
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: at St. Louis Rams (3-4)
Week 10: vs Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7)
Week 11: vs Indianapolis Colts (5-2) (Thursday Night Football)
Week 12:  at Oakland Raiders (2-4)
Week 13:  at Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
Week 14: at Denver Broncos (6-1)
Week 15:  vs Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
Week 16: at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7)
Week 17: vs Houston Texans (2-5)

Look at that schedule. Six of the last nine opponents enter Week 8 with a sub-.500 record. All of those teams shouldn’t finish the season any better than .500 (8-8). The Titans should be favored in all of those games. Winning those games would give them nine wins (9-7). Stealing another win against the Colts or Broncos would give them 10 (10-6).

It’s easy for fans and optimists to assume these games as automatic victories; that’s fine. What isn’t fine is when the team plays like they’re automatic victories.

One of the most frustrating parts about Mike Munchak‘s first two seasons as Titans head coach: bad losses. While all losses are bad, there’s no excuse for losing to an 0-13 Colts team or back-to-back road losses to a hapless Jaguars team.

Why did the 2011 Titans miss the playoffs? Look back at their losses to a Luke McCown-led Jaguars team and a Dan Orlovsky-led Colts team. Just win one of those games and they’re the AFC’s second wild card, the No. 6 overall seed.

Good teams don’t lose those games. With a 3-4 record and road games against the Broncos and Colts, the Titans can’t afford another “bad loss.” While this team has far too much talent to lose to Jacksonville or a Kellen Clemens-led Rams team, don’t mistake each team’s motivation. Jeff Fisher wants to rub it into his former employer. The Jaguars’ annual Super Bowl game is Titans at Jaguars.

Take it one game at a time. Don’t overlook anybody. This team needs complete and consistent focus if they’re gonna make a second half run for a playoff berth. The Titans may need to finish with at least a 7-2 record in their last nine games (10-6) to make a playoff berth. One only has to look back to 2011 to understand that 6-3 (9-7) would leave them in a crapshoot situation.