The Titans looked like a different team in New Orleans on Sunday. They played with an energy that they were lacking under Ken Whisenhunt. That was good to see. Now the question is whether or not they can sustain it.
The Dolphins fired Joe Philbin the week before they played the Titans. They came to Nashville and put it on the Titans. The next week they played the Texans and destroyed them as well. Dan Campbell had given them a new energy. That energy was very powerful until they faced the Patriots. Then they looked like the same over-matched team they did under Philbin.
All of that to say an interim head coach usually provides a shot in the arm to his team. You saw it with Campbell and you saw it with Mike Mularkey on Sunday. The real test for the Titans comes this Sunday when the undefeated Panthers come to town. If the Titans are able to get a win on Sunday, then we can start to talk about Mularkey as a legitimate candidate for this job.
I know that makes a lot of people cringe. He was a head coach twice and was terrible twice. There is no denying that, but people that have been around him here and in Jacksonville say that he has changed. Whisenhunt failed again because he didn't really change from his first head coaching stint to his second. That doesn't seem to be the case for Mularkey.
Here is the Titans remaining schedule:
11/15: vs. Carolina
11/19 (Thurs): @ Jacksonville
11/29: vs. Oakland
12/6: vs. Jacksonville
12/13: @ New York Jets
12/20: @ New England
12/27: vs. Houston
1/3: @ Indianapolis
They aren't going to beat the Patriots #breakingnews #hottake, but they shouldn't be an overwhelming underdog in any of the rest of those games. Carolina is good, but the Titans seem to match-up pretty well against them. Jacksonville stinks. Oakland is better, but they have to travel east for a noon game. The Jets are good, and that is the game outside of the Patriots game where they will probably be the biggest underdog, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is bound to throw one or two to the Titans. Houston isn't very good. Who knows what the Colts will look like in week 17.
How many of those games does Mularkey need to win to get the job permanently? And I am talking about they just hire him without interviewing anyone else. 6 is the number there for me. They have to sweep Jacksonville, beat Houston at home and then win 3 of 4 against Carolina, Oakland, NYJ and Indy.
If they win 4 or 5 and are competitive in the others, Mularkey should be in consideration but the search should go far and wide at that point.
Does that logic make sense? Do you agree with it? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.