Titans continue to confound the oddsmakers in win streak

Friday, November 12, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 46
By Terry McCormick

The Titans have thrived in an underdog role all season long.

While players don’t buy into the ‘no respect nationally’ narrative the same way fans seem to, the Titans do seem to play their best football when most don’t seem to give them much hope.

How else do you explain a five-game winning streak with the last four coming against teams that were expected to be in the top echelon of the NFL.

The Titans were underdogs in all four of those games – Buffalo, Kansas City, Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Rams – with two of those being home contests.

Now, the attention factor can no longer be avoided. At 7-2 and holding the top seed in the AFC, the Titans have gone from being under the radar and being the hunter to definitely being one of the hunted and being a team that many will begin to mention as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Winning the AFC South now seems like a foregone conclusion as they sit three games plus a tiebreaker ahead of the second-place Colts.

But the Titans have to keep pushing forward with a goal of holding the top seed in the AFC and earning the first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage for the second round and beyond.

When examining the remainder of the schedule, this week’s opponent, the New Orleans Saints, are one of only three teams remaining that have a winning record. The others, New England (Nov. 28) and Pittsburgh (Dec. 19), can be tough outs late in the year, especially since both games are on the road.

The only other road game remaining is the Jan. 9 regular season finale against the Texans. That leaves home games against the Saints, Texans, Jaguars, 49ers and Dolphins.

The Titans have made it through what looked like the hardest part of their schedule by winning four games that not many believed they could sweep. Now, as the season heads into November and they still must recalibrate the offense for dealing with the loss of Derrick Henry, they have some time and opportunities to set themselves up for a good situation come January.