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Tennessee Titans: Contenders or Pretenders?


November 13, 2016

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On this chilly October day here in Pennsylvania I was watching the games being aired in my coverage zone, either New Orleans vs Denver or Philadelphia vs Atlanta, both of which were close hard-fought games that came down to the final few minutes. However, while those games were being aired my attention was on the Green Bay Packers vs Tennessee Titans game. That’s right of all games Tennessee and Green Bay. Something that in recent years would basically be meaningless with how bad the Titans have been, but this Titans team is different from those teams from recent years.

The offense looks deadly even without a stud wide receiver and defense, while not being spectacular has got the job done. Adding Demarco Murray has truly been a blessing for Marcus Mariota and I believe that this team wouldn’t be where they are without Murray. Murray is ranked second in the league in rushing through 10 weeks only behind rookie phenom Ezekiel Elliott and truly is a dark-horse candidate for MVP. Marcus Mariota, now in his sophomore season appears to be yet another great young QB that will be in the league for a long time barring any injury. But the main point I want to touch on is this Titans team a contender or pretender in that AFC South?

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Let me start by saying there is no doubt in my mind that this team has the ability to compete for at least a wild card spot especially after seeing how they handled Aaron Rodgers and company today. However, if they want to make the playoffs they will have to win the division with three teams more than likely making it out of the AFC West. Winning the division would be no joke, and I believe this team is up to the task. Tennessee who sits at 5-4 on the season sits in second place behind the currently 6-3 Texans. This division could come down to the week 17 match-up between the Titans and Texans. However, from here on out Tennessee has a very tough schedule facing Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Jacksonville, Chicago and Indianapolis. Even though the Colts aren’t having a good season they have owned the Titans in recent years.

This Dick Lebeau defense of the Titans looks to eat up opposing offenses such as it did Pittsburgh before he left a couple of seasons ago. While again, not being a stellar defense they are up to any challenge thrown their way. In my opinion, the toughest offense they have left on the schedule is that of either Kansas City or Jacksonville. The Chiefs and Alex Smith have the ability to pick apart opposing defenses, and Jacksonville just has too many weapons offensively to be this bad. Houston has yet to get hot on offense, Denver is iffy at best with Semien at the helm, and Indy has been in some turmoil as far as offense goes.

On offense, the Titans look unstoppable at times and they must remain hot in order to win the division. We know Houston, and Kansas City both have good defenses but as far as the remaining teams on the schedule they aren’t exactly good, that leaves the door wide open for Mariota, and Murray. Rishard Matthews has had a good season as the top target for Mariota, and Delanie Walker has been sneaky good not that we should expect anything less. Today in the Green Bay and Tennessee game we saw Mariota have an absolutely huge day throwing for four touchdowns against the Packers, plus we saw Murray throw one as well.

I know I said it in my first paragraph but Murray really could win this MVP race and he’s not getting nearly enough credit or media coverage. All of that being said this is a very different Titans team compared to what we’ve seen in recent years and very well could compete for a division title this season, and seasons to come.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com