Remember the Titans. This is what fans of one the youngest teams playing in one of the smallest NFL markets are telling themselves this season.
In their last game against the Green Bay Packers, the Titans came out awkwardly aggressive with an unexpected onside kick at the opening. One would think that such a play is designed to shake up the opponents by asserting possession by means of recovery, but the Titans were not able to recover the ball. Nonetheless, the strange call by coach Mike Mularkey would eventually develop into a masterful performance by quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was able hit every weak spot in the Packers’ defense.
Mariota has passed for 2,187 yards thus far this season. to put that yardage into perspective, it helps to consider that star quarterback Drew Brees has 2,689 yards, and that Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins is inching towards 2,000 yards.
Aside from Mariota, the Titans also count on a defensive line made of veterans who are becoming excited of being part of a team that is becoming an NFL sensation. The Titans may not have the strongest defense in their division; however, their offense has gotten so good at scoring over the last few games that the Titans defensive line can focus on not allowing opponents to get within field goal range of catching up.
In a post-game press conference coach Mularkey explained that he sees veteran players such as Brian Orakpo feeling very comfortable with their teammates. Orakpo seems to have free reign when it comes to identifying pass rushing and sacking opportunities, which he is not afraid to take. This is the type of players that the Titans need to make it to the playoffs: seasoned specialists and journeymen who can get fired up at the thought of being part of a team making history.
While their last 3 games were against some of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Titans are now in a good position to win the AFC South division and make the playoffs. Should this be the case, Tennessee fans can look forward to a new era for their team, similar to what the formerly hapless Dolphins are currently enjoying. Things are certainly looking better for the Titans with their next game against the Indianapolis Colts, which is a team know mostly for a defense that cannot get it together.