Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel has finally turned a corner

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory credit: The Tennessean)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory credit: The Tennessean) /

The Tennessee Titans started off the month of October in embarrassing fashion: losing to the lowly New York Jets. I gave my takeaway after that performance, and it wasn’t too positive.

But the lesson here is that it is not how you start, it is how you finish!

Since the debacle at The Meadowlands, the Tennessee Titans are on a four-game winning streak. That streak includes notching wins over the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, the presumed top teams in the AFC in the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, and ending the month with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

Step back for a second and look at just how impressive that is.

Anyone familiar with the Titans was probably expecting a loss to the Chiefs after a big win against Buffalo. Instead, the Titans won again.

After wins over Buffalo and Kansas City, the Titans seemed destined to lose to a desperate Colts team at home. Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans bucked the trend of disappointing losses again by winning and sweeping the Colts to take a commanding lead in the division.

Have the Tennessee Titans finally gotten over the hump?

Look, I’ve been pretty critical of Mike Vrabel at times. It seems as if the Titans always played to the level of the competition in the Vrabel era. Beat the Bills, lose to the Jaguars. We’re all familiar with that routine.

But something seems different this year- actually, something is different this year, the Titans are stringing together important wins without the gut-wrenching losses.

The Week 1 loss against the Arizona Cardinals looks more tolerable after it became obvious that they were going to be the hottest team in the NFL over the first half of the season. The New York Jets game can probably be chalked up to a random, “any given Sunday” type thing, just look at what they did to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

It seems obvious at this point that Vrabel has this team believing. It would have been easy to get down after losing to a bad Jets team, but this team’s confidence never wavered. It would have been easy to get down after falling in a 14-0 hole to start the Colts game. Nevertheless, Vrabel stuck to the game plan and the team fought back to get a crucial win.

Any other year, I feel confident the Titans would have followed up that Buffalo win with at least one loss. Instead, this team keeps battling, and I believe the coaching staff deserves a ton of credit.

My theory will be tested even more so now with the Derrick Henry news. How will the team respond to losing easily their most important player? Any other year, I think it’s fair to say this team would’ve folded like a cheap lawn chair. This year? Vrabel actually has me confident that the team will keep winning.

An additional testament to the job Vrabel has done is the fact that this has been one of the most injured teams in the NFL. I’m not sure how many other teams would stay afloat with the number of unknown names playing significant snaps.

Luckily that won’t be the case at running back since future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson is joining the Titans to help offset the loss of Derrick Henry.

I believe AP is a perfect fit for this team, and his signing should tell Titans fans that this coaching staff was not content trying to replace Henry’s production internally.

The Tennessee Titans have proven that they truly believe in the direction that Mike Vrabel is taking them and they think they can win every game that they play regardless of who is on the field. It is unfortunate that they have to face another difficult test, but if the past eight weeks are telling us the truth then fans should be ready to see winning football even in the face of this adversity.