Another 9-7 finish for the Tennessee Titans in 2019 would have a different feel to it than the three previous times it happened.
Despite the fact that the Tennessee Titans could finish with a 9-7 record for the fourth straight year, this time around it would have a much different feel to it.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel’s idea of going from “good to great” in 2019 certainly involved the team getting over the hump of the same record of the three years prior.
While the Titans can finish no better than that record once again, an argument can be made that the Titans at least went from good to very good this season.
For starters, a 9-7 record will ensure that Tennessee makes the playoffs. That has only happened once in the past three 9-7 campaigns.
But most importantly, this is just a different Titans team than the three previous versions because of how explosive the offense has been, and based on the fact that the same old question surrounding this team has been answered.
From 2016 to 2018, the Titans finished no better than 14th in points per game, and in 2018 a lowly average of 19.4 points ranked Tennessee 27th.
Since starting 2-4 and replacing Marcus Mariota with Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee’s offense has been putting up ridiculous numbers en route to being one of the best in the league. Entering Week 16, Tennessee is averaging 24.5 points per game, good enough for No. 10 in the NFL.
Had Tannehill started the season under center, Tennessee would likely be even higher than that. And, thanks to Tannehill’s success, the Titans no longer have a question mark at the most important position on the field. That was not the case coming into this season.
The Titans also have serious star power at other important offensive positions.
Derrick Henry has already shown he is one of the best running backs in the league, but rookie wideout A.J. Brown has emerged as a superstar-in-the-making and adds an element to this Titans offense that the franchise has rarely seen in its history.
The emergence of tight end Jonnu Smith also ensures that Tennessee will be able to successfully pass the torch from tight end Delanie Walker should the team choose to part ways with him next offseason.
While a once stout defense has taken a hit in recent weeks, Tennessee still ranks in the top half of the league in points allowed per contest, which is more than enough when you consider what the offense has been able to accomplish.
You can also draw a direct correlation to the Titans’ struggles on defense to a plethora of injuries that have caused several key players to miss games in the second half of the season. The loss of Malcolm Butler and a recent injury to Adoree’ Jackson have hit the defense particularly hard.
Once the Titans get their top free agents signed during the offseason, make some additions through the draft and free agency to address some key weaknesses, and get injured players like Butler back, the 2020 campaign could be a special one.
There’s no question that Titans fans have been duped into having hope before only to be let down, but this time around hope for the future is actually something tangible because we’ve seen this team be consistently special since Week 7, and it has been to a level this franchise hasn’t seen in a long time.