Titans heading into bye week
After a much-needed bye week and a “take care of business” win against the Jaguars (see ya Urban), week 15 will prove to be very important for the Titans in the AFC race. The Titans will take on a Steelers team that, while ugly at times, has taught many teams they won’t go away easily. Last week the Steelers trailed 29-0 to the Minnesota Vikings before almost completing what would have been the largest comeback in NFL regular season history. Chase Claypool decided to go full bonehead on the final drive if you missed it, but I digress.
While I believe the Titans have the defense and key players back, i.e. Julio Jones and possibly Bud Dupree, it is never easy to walk into Heinz Field and come out with a win.
This part of the schedule is labeled as the “easy” half, and it definitely looked like that on paper at the beginning of the season. However, none of these games are guaranteed, especially the way the offense has been playing recently. Having Julio Jones back will help but the pass protection must be better for Ryan Tannehill. The Steelers, 49ers, and Dolphins are all teams that are capable of beating just about anyone. The Texans, well Titans fans already know what the Texans are capable of.
Another AFC south team has a big game this weekend as well that could shake things up a bit for Tennessee. The Colts take on the Patriots in Indianapolis. If the Colts win that would give the Patriots 5 losses and put the Titans back in 1st place if they can defeat Pittsburgh. It seems odd that the Titans still have a legitimate shot at the 1 seed and a first round bye, but it is obviously still a very real possibility, and this weekend carries a lot of weight.
The Titans are still in good position to win the AFC South division and that is another reason week 15 is critical for them. Say the Colts do in fact beat the Patriots, if Tennessee wins, they still hold a 2-game advantage and the tiebreaker in the South but if they lose things start to get especially interesting in the divisional race with the Colts breathing down their neck.
2021 has proven to be one of the most competitive years across both the AFC and NFC in recent memory. Let’s see how it all plays out!