I know what you’re thinking, and no…I’m not going there.
While we all realize that the Tennessee Titans have not been officially eliminated from the playoffs yet, rest assured that I will not insult your intelligence with a diatribe on how a 2-9 team without a division win can somehow reverse course and miraculously steal a playoff birth with five games left to play.
With that being said, a win this Sunday against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars can still do wonders for this franchise in other ways.
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When you have the second overall pick in the draft, and use that pick to select a quarterback to play right away, then you are officially in rebuilding mode. Even the most optimistic NFL prognosticators had this team winning four or five games this season. Six maybe, if they were a local media enthusiast.
The theme for this season was progress.
A win this Sunday would give the Titans their third of the season, and ensure themselves a better record than last year. Hey, progress is a process. You have to get to three wins before you can get to four, five, or six.
Tennessee took a beating from the national media for firing head coach Ken Whisenhunt after just five games with rookie qb Marcus Mariota. A win this Sunday would give the Titans the last laugh on that topic. They would have more victories this season with interim head coach Mike Mularkey (2) than with coach Whiz (1).
A win this Sunday would also hit the reset button on a laundry list of embarrassing streaks:
3 straight regular season losses
7 straight losses to division opponents
11 straight losses at home
14 straight losses to AFC opponents
Last but not least, a win this Sunday would do wonders for team morale. The Titans, for all of their losing, have been far more competitive on the field than last year’s 2-14 team. It just hasn’t translated to wins, and that can become demoralizing over time.
Looking at the big picture, this is still an important game for the Tennessee Titans.