The Tennessee Titans were sitting in great position to make the playoffs four weeks ago. They had just defeated the Houston Texans and were heading to the West Coast to take on two of the NFC West’s weaker teams. The table was set for them to make the playoffs. Just when you thought the Titans were going to make it happen, the bottom dropped out for Tennessee. The Titans have now lost three straight games and are in danger of losing the playoffs. The offense has been ugly and that is being kind. The defense has been so-so. Overall, the Titans are not looking good when it matters the most. Even with how bad the Titans have looked, there is still a chance for them to make the playoffs and that is a good thing. The bad thing about trying to make the playoffs is the most dominant team in the division is coming to town in the Jacksonville Jaguars. The headliner of the AFC South this year will be coming to Nashville smarting after a loss to suddenly hot San Francisco 49ers. With that loss still in the back of their minds, the Jaguars will more than likely come into town with bad intentions. Well, the Titans know what time it is and what they have to do. So what happens if they lose Sunday?
The result of another loss Sunday means the Titans could miss the playoffs. That result would undoubtedly be disappointing to the fanbase. Before the season, Titans fans were excited about the possibilities of their team. With this loss, their playoff future that was expected could be gone right before their eyes. The only saving grace for the Titans to make the playoffs would be the losses of teams around them. The Los Angeles Chargers have not exactly been the picture of consistency in the NFL this season. While that may be the case, they still have a chance to make the playoffs if they win. For the Titans though, they have to hope their opponent this Sunday, the Raiders, show up like they did this past Sunday. Oakland went toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday and although they did not win, they did play tough. If they bring that type of toughness, then the Chargers could be looking at the playoffs while on vacation. As far as the other team in contention, the Buffalo Bills have left the door open for their chance to make the playoffs. They took a big loss to the Patriots last week and no one can forget the Nathan Peterman start that cost them a game, but even with that, they are still there and still vying for a playoff berth. That sounds good for Buffalo, but we know they have a propensity for not showing up at bigtime moments. That could surely happen this Sunday when they take on the Miami Dolphins, who have been known to spoil a few things.
Let’s just say the Titans lose and the other playoff contestants win, then things get a little murky for the Titans team as we currently know it. One question with this team if they end on a four-game losing streak is who will be the head coach. Undoubtedly there will be questions around if Mike Mularkey will still be around next season should they lose to Jacksonville Sunday. His Exotic Smashmouth offense hit a snag this season and the defense is staring to show a little bit of the same issues as last season. With that happening, the front office has to examine if he is the coach to take them forward. Plenty will definitely wonder if he can do it. If he is to stay, then you can bet an offensive coordinator change will be in the works. Plenty have questioned Terry Robiskie’s role in not only developing Mariota but in making key playcalls. With his exit, the Titans will more than likely look for a seasoned coordinator to take over (potentially Dirk Koetter should he get fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Coaches will not be the only people in question though. Mariota has had a terrible season in terms of interceptions and many have questioned if he is the future at the position. While he more than likely will get one more season to prove his worth, the patience is wearing thin for him among fans. Another guy that has a question mark around him is Brian Orapko. The veteran pass rusher has not been as visible as the Titans would want him to be this season and that has to have them thinking on if he is worth bringing back next season. Time will tell on that one.
For all the Titans fans, hopefully they will not have to think about these things after Sunday. As it stands right now though, the Titans do have some pressure on them going into the last game. Can they respond to the pressure or will they wilt under it like they have the previous three games? And if they wilt again, there will more than likely be changes. Should be an interesting Sunday indeed in the Music City.
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