Most fans agree that this year's motto should be "playoffs or bust" for head coach Mike Munchak, but is that realistic?
The longtime Titan coach has had so much turnover in the past two years that this team hardly resembles the last team that Fisher coached, and jumping from OL coach all the way to head coach without any coordinator job in between is hard enough without massive changes to the roster every year.
All that said, he did put together a 9-7 team in 2011 and without any significant loses he disappointed in his sophomore year as a head coach leading the team to only six wins.
If Mike Munchak want to stay I think he has three ways to do it and here they are with some semi-arbitrary percentages on how likely it is that he retains his job.
A) Get to the playoffs. Chances he stays 100%
If Mike Munchak gets to the playoffs then he will be looked upon as a genius. Having guided the team to two winning seasons in three years will shine brighter than the 2012 blemish, and he will have to do it his way to get there, with a tough running team and a gritty defense.
B) Win nine games and miss the playoffs again. Chances he stays 80%
There is a strong chance that the Texans will see double-digit wins again this year with Jacksonville being so weak and the soft schedule the AFCS has this year. If the Titans manage to win nine games (beating the Steelers, Chargers, Jets, Chiefs, Rams, Colts once, Jags once, Raiders and Cardinals) then the AFCS playoff spot will likely come down to the Titans/Texans matchups. If the Texans sweep it will be understandable considering they have an established defense and they are a veteran team, but will that push Munch out of a job?
I tend to think that a winning season will have the same effect as getting to the playoffs in they eyes of Bud Adams, but if a coach is available that Adams thinks can take Tennessee to the next level he could talk himself into making the leap.
C) The Titans sweep the Colts and Jaguars, and split with the Texans, but miss the playoffs. Chances he stays 51%
The best way to stick around in this league is to win your division. If the Titans pressure Luck into bad throws (not that hard) then the Colts are a non-factor. If the Titans force the Jaguars to beat them with BG's arm instead of allowing them to pound it down their throats then the Jags are a non-factor. The Texans on the other hand have multiple ways to beat you on offense and they have some devastating factors on defense, and splitting with them isn't ideal but it isn't the worst case scenario either.
No matter what the Titans record is outside of the division, if the Titans manage to win these games Munchak could probably retain his job with a 7-9 record, as long as the team showed significant improvement.
Those are my only parameters where I think that Mike Munchak has a good chance to keep his job. I am rooting for him, and I believe last year was more of an outlier than the norm, but one more bad season and we may have seen the last of the scowler.