With November winding down, sitting at 7-3 and miles ahead of their competition in the AFC South, the Tennessee Titans were sitting pretty and appeared to have the most collective amount of confidence in the world.
For good reason too, given the obstacles they’ve had to overcome this season — and trust me, they’ve had to overcome a lot of them — it’s obvious why this flawed, yet tough group of players exuded a massive amount of confidence and moxie.
The offense had come close to sinking many times up to that point and injuries were still taking a massive toll on both sides of the ball.
But somehow, the Titans found ways to win football games and fend off any outside doubters.
Everyone knew this brand of luck based football wouldn’t last and definitely wouldn’t give the Titans a legit shot at keeping up with the best of the best in the AFC. But there was confidence that despite their run of play likely meeting the norm soon, the Titans would still find a way to keep a hold on their division lead, and ride into the playoffs with a home game to boot.
Or in other words, take on the identity that Mike Vrabel has supplanted, and get the job done.
However, just one day before we all celebrate the joyous time known as Christmas, the Titans aren’t in a position to quickly run to their proverbial Christmas tree and wildly open their hard earned gifts.
They’re more so set to stomp to their stocking, reach their hands in, and reel out the massive lumps of coal they’ve deservedly been handed by the all seeing NFL Santa Claus.
Coming into today’s game against the Houston Texans, the Titans sat at 7-7. Not a gritty 7-7 that playoff hopefuls want in a way, but the depressing 7-7 that a once dominant AFC South force obviously wanted to avoid.
They had too many problems to count — with quick fix solutions running low or completely gone — and not a lot of time to fix them. Luckily, or lucky in theory, the Titans had a chance to scrape together one last set of quick fix solutions for their issues, courtesy of a possible win against the division cellar dwelling Texans.
But things didn’t go according to plan, as the Titans’ offense struggled once again, their defense failed in too many critical situations, and self inflicted turnovers reigned supreme.
The mistakes led to a 19-14 loss, the Titans’ fifth straight defeat. One that not only gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a temporary division lead, but one that also seemingly gave the Titans a message that no one expected to hear once December had started.
That their season, has come dangerously close to meeting its anti-climatic end.
Where we’re at right now, the margin for error is pretty thin,” Mike Vrabel said.
It’s a rather premature conclusion to make — at least it is logically — but if we’re taking trends into account, there’s virtually no way the Titans find a way to reverse their fate.
A harsh reality no doubt, but it’s one that the team has to accept, despite the fight they’ve put up all season long.
If you look at the Titans, their roster, their worrying offensive numbers that have reached into the final month of the season, their injuries on both sides of the ball, and a rather uncomfortable situation potentially meeting its end on the coaching staff, then anyone with common sense can identify the inevitable ending this crappy, low budget movie is going to have.
“The losses certainly hurt,” Vrabel said.
Is anyone with a brain somehow entertaining the possibility that the Titans could recover their bearings and get back to their winning ways against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night? Or somehow finding any season changing miracles that can help this team exorcise their demons?
Or better yet, finding a way to knock off the Jaguars in Week 18 to swoop in and recapture their AFC South superiority? With their injuries? With their poor play offensively? With their concerning situation at quarterback?
No, no, no, no, no, and absolutely not.
You can sit and ponder the fantasy like scenario where the Titans magically find their footing, just in time for the biggest game of the year. But in the end, you’ll come crashing down from your dream, and realize that this reality is set in stone.
Whether you like it or not.
They say that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings.
And for good reason too. Sports have a way of making the impossible become possible, making our wildest dreams come true, and saving us from the clutches of despair.
But on the other side of the coin, cruelty stands at the door, waiting to embrace those that foolishly keep their hopes up to witness things that can give them happiness until their time on earth comes to a graceful end.
The Titans are on the latter portion of the coin and there’s nothing set to save them from their own fall from grace.
In this case, the fat lady might not be singing now, but it’s gearing up to roar its most beautiful tone. And in part, end a season that was once full of positive ambitions and aspirations.