The Tennessee Titans’ 2022 season is now over.
After an unexpected 7-3 start, loads of injuries, poor staff decisions, and a quarterback dilemma unlike any other, the Titans can finally put this season from hell to rest, and look ahead to the upcoming anxiety inducing off-season period.
And although the season has felt “over” for a month and some change now — because of the poor injury situation, lethargic offensive play and play calling — the official wrapping of the bow was needed to seal the Titans’ fate for good.
That official wrapping of the bow was made possible due to the Jacksonville Jaguars riding their home crowd, as well as a late defensive touchdown, en route to a 20-16 win.
Discussing how the game went down is usually a textbook way to go here. But with how much the game resembled the Titans’ last month of football, the feeling here is that breaking this game down isn’t really necessary.
There was the usual sprinkling of bad offensive football, a dash of the defense playing exceptional football despite their own personal obstacles, a pinch of the normal second half no show offensively, and one final drizzle of a pain courtesy of an agonizing ending.
If you were to discuss any other developments from the game, they’d be the consistent play of quarterback Josh Dobbs, who put together another good week of football despite a few turnovers.
Other than that though, there wasn’t anything new to to ponder about whatsoever.
That might be harsh, given the exhausting circumstances that this team has had to deal with over the last month and some change. To be fair though, when you consider just how crucial those circumstances were for the season to turn out the way it has, that “might” turns into a definite
But the truly up and down nature of this season has mellowed out any significant thoughts regarding the on field product the team put out there. It all started with the lack of threatening moves by now former general manager Jon Robinson, then it transitioned into a scene far too familiar to the Titans.
A scene somewhat made out of a movie, which in the Titans case, they would’ve taken instead of the cruel happenings that went down within their own personal house of horrors in 2022.
The injuries were a disaster for the second straight season, as tens of key players found their way onto the injured reserve list, leaving the team scrambling when it came to appropriate replacements. It started before the season began, with Harold Landry tearing his ACL just before the Titans’ season opener, and months after inking a big money extension to remain in Tennessee.
After that, the hits kept coming.
Elijah Molden, Ryan Tannehill, Taylor Lewan, Ben Jones, Nate Davis, Caleb Farley, Zach Cunningham, Bud Dupree, Kyle Phillips, David Long Jr., Dontrell Hilliard, I mean the hits just kept coming. That list only includes notable names who are on IR right now too, which means it doesn’t include names who had IR stints during the season but managed to return.
Combine this unprecedented situation, with a lack of suitable personnel on the offensive side of the ball, and you begin to understand why this season has ended the way it has.
Some steps could’ve been taken to avoid this tough situation, like not trading A.J. Brown, but it’s too late for that discussion to be had at this point.
If you were to find a bright spot throughout this season, and especially the mostly down month that saw the Titans lose 5 straight games, then you’d have to take a look at the defense. A unit that somehow found a way to play consistently scrappy football, despite their own personal mishaps they had to deal with.
But even they weren’t enough to give the Titans’ dead season, another unnecessary shot at redemption courtesy of a potential playoff appearance.
Which for the Titans, is probably a good thing.
Now with an important off-season ahead of them, the Titans are now set to undergo a massive period of reflection. And after that? Some much needed action, at least the fanbase hopes so.
They need to reflect on what went down this year, as well as their future moving forward. Does that future include a certain veteran quarterback that has a massive cap hit in 2023? How about a middling play caller that has certainly made life harder over the last two seasons?
Heck, you can’t forget about the front office situation either, which if you forgot, if without a general manager still.
We simply don’t know the answers to these reflection questions yet, but we’ll begin to get some once the season ends and the usual ramp up to the thick of the NFL off-season begins.
Until then though, questions remain, and action is ready to be made.
The only question now is, what will the Titans do with all this uncertainty in front of them?
It’ll be fascinating to watch it all unfold.
Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports