The Tennessee Titans are only a playoff team because someone in the AFC had to be.
Spare me the cliches. Yes, it’s the NFL. Yes, we buy into “any given Sunday.” Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the New York Giants and New York Jets—two teams worse than the Tennessee Titans—earlier this year. I can hear all the things you’re screaming at your computer.
But I really don’t care.
This week, I’ve done some digging into what exactly the Titans bring to the table, and my concerns are minimal. Thursday, I talked to Jimmy Morris, editor of SB Nation’s Titans blog Music City Miracles, and learned that Titans fans are tired of Mike Mularkey, their boring head coach, and that they still believe in starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, even though he has taken a big step backwards this year (26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 2016 to 13 TDs and 15 INTs this season).
The Titans may have a running back that you’ve heard of, but they hardly run the ball down the throats of a defense like you’d be led to expect. As one of the worst teams in football at running the ball between the tackles, the run-stopping blueprint is there for Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
And what about Mariota? He’s struggled mightily this year when facing four or fewer rushers. Sutton has a soft spot for dropping eight into coverage and letting a quarterback try to find a tight window.
If the Chiefs are half the team we’ve been led to believe they are, then they’ll handle the Titans on Saturday. If they don’t, it will be a very, very dark offseason.
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