That one was tough to watch. The Texans are smack in the middle of a season where they have absolutely nothing to play for. The Titans are smack in the middle of a season with everything to play for. A win today would have kept them two games up on the AFC for the number one seed and moved the magic number* to win the AFC South to four. That’s crazy low in week 10 of a season.
Instead, Ryan Tannehill played his worst game as a Titan, throwing three interceptions, and the Titans dropped a game to one of the worst teams in the league. There are plenty of Tannehill takes out there right now. I don’t have the energy to take those on in written form right now. I will be addressing some of them on tonight’s Homerun Throwback podcast. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. The short version is that Tannehill has been very good for this team. To want to replace him or throw away everything he has done because of a bad game is ridiculous. There is some stuff he is going to have to clean up going forward, but let’s not overreact.
It is really easy to sit here and blame the injuries for this loss. It’s a valid point, but the problem is that isn’t changing anytime soon. Derrick Henry isn’t coming back until January. Julio Jones can’t come back until after the bye and counting on him after being in and out of practice/games since August might be wishful thinking. Bud Dupree has to miss at least the next three games. Marcus Johnson will likely be out for a week or two with the hamstring injury he suffered today. The list goes on and on and on....
The point is that the Titans are going to have to learn to win with what they have on the field. They were able to piece it together without Henry against the Rams and Saints. It didn’t happen today. Can they do it next week in New England against the Patriots who are playing as well as anyone in the league right now? That’s the million dollar question.
It’s also dangerous to assume anything right now. If we are being honest with ourselves, most of us assumed a loss in Los Angeles and a win today. We can look at how soft the schedule is going forward and project this and that, but we saw today that those projections don’t mean crap.
The good news is the Titans are 8-3. They still have a three game lead over the Colts and still have the bye week coming up to hopefully get some guys back. They just have to figure out how to win enough games down the stretch to get to January. I’m still confident they will, but not quite as confident as I was seven hours ago.
I know this post rambled on a little bit, but it was kind of a therapeutic exercise to write some of this stuff down. I would guess that many of you are having similar thoughts. What else is rolling around in your minds right now? Let me know in the comments.
*Magic number is typically a baseball term that means any Titans win reduces the number as well as any Colts loss.