What exactly are the Tennessee Titans?
Are they a football team that can contend with the best like they did last night against the Buffalo Bills? Are they a team that needs adversity to truly wake up and start executing properly like their week two comeback win against the Seattle Seahawks? Are they a team that tends to struggle too often with inferior teams like their matchups against the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars.
I don’t think we have a clue, but even if that’s the case, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The word around the Titans so far this season has been their inability to stay consistent. Most of the time when one side of the ball is playing well, the other side is struggling to keep up and hold their end of the bargain. When one facet of a unit is playing well, another one collapses and leads to breakdowns for the unit as a whole.
You get the picture right?
But despite that inconsistent nature the Titans hold so dear, they’ve still found ways to win ball games and float along through their season full of turbulence and sometimes utter chaos.
That’s a really positive attribute for a team that’s been beaten and battered by the curse known as the injury bug, while also combatting their own issues as a team. You’d much rather see a team respond to adversity that’s out of their control — not self made adversity that settled itself on the Titans’ shoulder in week two against Seattle — and find ways to grind out tough games.
Now although finding ways to do the things I just explained is noteworthy and respectable, the risk of not finding a groove can come back to haunt you, especially when you’re going through a gauntlet of a schedule stretch the Titans started last night with Buffalo.
You risk running into the wrong team while trying to sort out your problems, which usually doesn’t lead to anything positive. That’s why last night’s game felt so frightening for the Titans on paper, since they’re still trying to work their way through injuries and self made problems of their own.
Not only that, Buffalo came into the game red hot and recently crowned the new class of the AFC after their impressive win on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense was on fire, slicing and dicing through any defense that dared to stand in their way. Their defense was playing at a high level as well, possessing one of football’s best run defenses and a secondary that’s found a way to cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks.
But in typical fashion, the Titans seemingly found a way to win that football game without making *too* many backbreaking mistakes, while also coming out and putting together some decent decent drives of their own on the offensive side of the ball. It wasn’t pretty, especially that first half which was really really rough for the team overall, but the second half showed us a different team, one that looked ready to take on any challenge that was presented before them.
Mike Vrabel’s team is still trying to figure out their plan moving forward when it comes to managing their injury crisis, their inconsistent identity on both sides of the ball, and their tendency to punish themselves by making mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided.
But they have character, they’re a tough bunch that seemingly fail to back down from anyone, and they just might have a newfound amount of confidence that’ll be vital for this team’s success moving forward.
There’s zero way to predict the curve of this team for the future, whether it’ll ascend as the injury and self abuse situations subside, or if it’ll remain the same, maybe even decrease because there doesn’t seem to be a lick of consistent efficiency and proven consistent ways of the game within this team.
However, if the Titans can continue to show the effort and efficiency that they showed last night over a longer period of time, they’ll start to be mentioned among the top tier of teams in the AFC. That useless potential fake crowning won’t appeal to the team, since their minds is on a Vince Lombardi trophy anyway.
But it’ll a fair achievement to address how far they had come after their stressful start to the season.
The ball’s in their court. How will they take advantage of this golden opportunity their win against Buffalo gave them? It remains to be seen.