Tennessee Titans have two chances to avoid a dubious statistic

Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel reacts to a Titans penalty against the Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel reacts to a Titans penalty against the Seattle Seahawks / Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

A little bit of a history lesson, the Tennessee Titans were born the Houston Oilers in 1960, one of the eight original teams that formed the American Football League.

They won the AFL’s first two titles and would become a member of the four-team AFC Central in the National Football League with the merger in 1970.

The Oilers would become the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 and eventually the Tennessee Titans in 1999. That season, they were still in the AFC Central and one of six teams in that division. They joined the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, the newly-formed Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Pittsburgh Steelers that season. That campaign would see the wild card Titans reach Super Bowl XXXIV, a 23-16 setback to the St. Louis Rams.

With the addition of the expansion Houston Texans in 2002, the NFL had reached 32 franchises. The league realigned from six to eight divisions. The Titans and Texans joined the Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts to form the AFC South.

Hence, this is the 22nd season of existence for the AFC South. This year, while the Jaguars, Colts, and Texans are all 8-7 and vying for a division title, the Titans are 5-10 and out of the postseason picture.

Unless this team can win either of its final two games, at Houston this Sunday while hosting the Jaguars in Week 18, the team will do something that may be a major shock to some.

Tennessee Titans continue downward spiral with Mike Vrabel

As a member of this division, the Tennessee Titans have never gone 0-6 vs. its AFC South rivals in a season. All told Mike Vrabel has lost seven consecutive games vs. divisional competition dating back to Week 14 of 2022.

Here’s a little perspective. The last time the franchise went winless vs. its division rivals was in 1982 (0-4), which was a strike-shortened nine-game campaign and the Oilers were still in Houston. In 1972, 1973, and 1976, the club was 0-6 vs. its AFC Central foes (Bengals, Browns, and Steelers).

This season, Tennessee was swept by the Colts for the first time since 2018. Will the Texans and Jaguars match that feat? Rookie quarterback Will Levis will be back at the controls of a team that owns a 5-17 record in its last 22 outings.