3. Week 7 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Entertainment Factor: 7/10
Season Importance: 8/10
This was the game that changed it all for the Titans. Faced with a talented opponent, putting trust in an unproven Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Tennessee faced a fork in the road when it came to their Week 7 matchup against the Chargers.
Either they lose and let the tank kick into high gear. Leaving that game against Los Angeles with a loss would have put the team at 2-5 on the season with their toughest games in the Texans and Saints still on the schedule and virtually no shot at the postseason. Or, the Titans could defy the odds and pull out a win, moving them up to 3-4 to leaving them with a puncher’s chance at making the postseason. Everyone, from the coaches to the fans to the players, knew what was at stake with this game.
And what did the Titans do? They managed to pull out a win and find their offense along the way. That unproven Tannehill looked pretty damn good in his first start of the season, helping to elevate Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, and the rest of the Tennessee offense to their first multi-touchdown performance since Week 4 (yikes).
This wasn’t just another meaningful win, however. This was a meaningful win with enough fourth-quarter drama to take a couple of years off my life expectancy. Given four plays within the five-yard line, it looked like the Titans were certain to give up their three-point lead in the closing seconds of the game. But penalties, a couple of goal-line stops, and a forced fumble on the one-yard line gave the Titans the ball back and sent them home with their third win of the season.
It’s a sequence of events that my words can’t quite do justice to. If you haven’t in a while, go rewatch this game or at least the highlights. It was one of the best of the season.