How often do you get a team that can enter the NFL playoffs fully healthy and with an underdog mentality? Well, that is exactly what is happening with the Tennessee Titans, and right now despite being heavy favorites to be the AFC’s top seed.
The NFL is filled with talented teams who could go on a run at any point in the playoffs and win the whole thing. For the most part, everyone has seen what those teams look like at their best.
Unlike those teams, the Tennessee Titans have spent the better part of the season patching up holes on their roster. Weekly Titans GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel were calling players to come off of the street and start on a few days notice.
All of those were players that were brought in and thrown into the fire instantly. That isn’t even counting players like Bobby Hart and Adrian Peterson who ended up being released despite starting games for the Titans.
Even Zach Cunningham had no right to play as well as he did from day one given the fact that he was claimed off of waivers and was inserted into the starting lineup as soon as he cleared COVID protocols.
Despite all of that, it would have been alright if the team wasn’t also losing star players. Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones were supposed to be a three-headed monster on offense for the Tennessee Titans, but those three have only played 39% of the offensive snaps this season.
Well that was it for the Tennessee Titans, right?
With depth depleted and no firepower on offense, did the Titans fold up and start setting up travel plans for January? No. All they did was go 11-5 including going 6-3 in games where Derrick Henry had a broken foot or didn’t play.
Not only were they winning games all season, but the Tennessee Titans can stack their best wins up against anyone in the league and come away smiling. This tweet from Jim Wyatt sums it up well:
Even with one hand tied behind their back, teams couldn’t find ways to beat the Tennessee Titans and that led them to where they are sitting right now.
That seat is at the head of the AFC South and as the AFC’s favorite for the top seed. Not only are they sitting on top, but they are getting healthy.
Remember the stat about Henry, Brown, and Jones only playing 39% of the team’s snaps? Well Brown and Jones are practicing fully heading into the final game of the season, and Derrick Henry came back to practice yesterday and by all accounts, he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.
Combine that with a defense that has quickly become one of the elite units in the NFL, and anyone can see that this team has a good chance to be better than they were at any point this season.
Stop and think about that for a second. There was a stretch where the Titans won six straight games including five-straight games against teams that will probably be in the playoffs this season (Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, and the New Orleans Saints).
The Titans are poised to be better than that version of themselves. If that isn’t terrifying to the rest of the NFL, then they just aren’t paying attention.