By Ron Wynn
Despite their awful second half performance against Pittsburgh last Thursday, the Titans’ chances for their first playoff berth since 2008 look good. With six games remaining they stand at 6-4. Even though a game behind Jacksonville’s 7-3 (assuming that the Jaguars dispatched the winless Cleveland Browns), the Titans have already easily handled the Jaguars in Jacksonvillle.
The key to the playoffs will be how the Titans navigate the remaining AFC South games. They still have a road game left against the Colts Sunday, and upcoming home games with the Texans and Jaguars. Win all three and they would have a 5-1 AFC record and be in great shape for any tiebreakers.
They also have games left against three NFC opponents, two of them inferior opponents in the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Only the division leading Rams pose a legitimate threat. But the Titans have been known to blow games to weaker competition, something they cannot afford this time.
The Pittsburgh game also spotlighted some recurring weaknesses that need to be remedied. For whatever reason the offensive line has not played as well this season as last. DeMarco Murray hasn’t resembled last years’ AFC rushing champion. Derrick Henry has had his moments, but the overall rushing game needs to improve. Marcus Marietta has more interceptions after 10 games than he had all last season. The secondary has also had some awful games.
But despite all these problems, the Titans still have a great shot at ending their postseason drought. It will all come down to what happens over the next six weeks, starting in Indianapolis Sunday.