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The Tennessee Titans in One Word: Resilient

The Tennessee Titans are forging an identity and an attitude after an overhaul this off season. There seems to be one word that best describes the new group.

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Merriam-Webster describes the word resilient as follows:


adjective \ri-ˈzil-yənt\

: able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

The Titans season started in the worst possible way. I guess a fumble and TD return on the opening kickoff would have been worse, but a safety on the opening kick is pretty bad. Scoring 2 points on yourself and giving the ball back to the Steelers isn't necessarily a recipe for success and it had to be the quickest score in NFL history.

The defense dug in and held there own while the offense worked to figure out a way to put points on the board. The Titans 2nd and 3rd drive were both 3 and outs and that old feeling began to sink in from last year to fans in living rooms everywhere. That's when Alterraun Verner intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass and gave the Titans a spark. The offense answered with a touchdown drive, the only of the day, and never lost the lead.

The Houston Texans took the opening kick in the Titans second game of the season and promptly drove 80 yards in 5 plays for a touchdown. Surprisingly, the Titans responded with a methodical 14 play drive of their own to answer in kind. It took the rest of the first half for anyone to score as the Titans kicked a last second field goal just before halftime.

Houston was the next to score taking a 14-10 lead that went into the 4th quarter, only to increase it by 2 with a safety on the Titans. The Titans were being dominated in the field position battle and Houston had all the momentum. This was fold time for the Titans of '12.

Instead Jake Locker and the offense engineered a 94 yard drive that took 9 plays, resulting in a touchdown, the lead, and just over 6 minutes of play left on the clock. The defense made a statement of their own with an Alterraun Verner pick 6 to add to that lead.

Yes, the Titans gave away the game and eventually lost in overtime. But I dare say last years team would never have had a lead to give away, nor would they have bounced back after the safety at the top of the 4th quarter the way this team did.

Finally the Titans recently took on the San Diego Chargers, a foe they haven't beaten since the team took its new home and name. They stumbled out of the gate with drops, penalties and miscues going 3 and out twice with a Chargers touchdown drive in between. The team traded field goals before tying the game going into half time 10-10.

The Chargers went up by 7 in the third quarter, while the Titans couldn't catch a break. Again, penalties, drops and even non calls by the referees held the team back as hope began to fade. After settling for a field goal in the fourth the Chargers held on to the ball for almost 4 minutes before giving it back with 2 minutes to play and Jake Locker taking his first snap on the all too familiar 6 yard line.

The rest is history as the Titans drove the ball the length of the field with no timeouts and scored a touchdown with 15 seconds left on the clock.

The Titans have yet to start strong in a game. They may not even know what to do if that happens. But in each of their games so far they have overcome adversity. Whether self inflicted or not, in each game they have had to stand their ground and wrestle the momentum away from the opposition, something this team had yet to do under head coach Mike Munchak's tenure.

If there is a theme in the first three games, it's the Titans resiliency. Anyone paying attention should realize that this Titans team plays hard to the end. In every game they've played they have been behind, with the other team imposing its will. But this team doesn't care. This team doesn't quit, on themselves, or each other. This team has fortitude. This team is resilient.