The Tennessee Titans (9-4) are coming off a big win at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With only four games left in the regular season, the Tennessee Titans are being highly underrated. If a couple things can fall their way, the Titans can be legitimate playoff contenders as we approach the 2021 postseason.
The Tennessee Titans Are Legitimate Playoff Contenders
First and foremost, the Titans have been without their star running back Derrick Henry since the end of October. Reports have said that Henry may be back before the playoffs, which would be a huge win for the Titans. Since Henry has been injured, the Titans run game has not had much to offer, outside of one explosive game against the Houston Texans. If Henry can come back for the playoffs, well-rested and fully recovered, he will be unstoppable. Henry would have fresh legs against defenders who haven’t had a break since as early as Week 6.
If Henry comes back, his presence would cause defenses to have to crowd the box to stop the run. In turn, this would open up a lot of the passing game, and star wide receiver A.J. Brown should be back before the playoffs as well. Having both of these elite players back for the playoffs well-rested will be a big deal for the Titans in the playoffs. Ryan Tannehill would have an excellent supporting cast and would be set up very well for a deep playoff run.
Looking at the rest of the Titans’ regular season schedule, they have the fourth easiest remaining strength of schedule (.413). This sets the Titans up extremely well, with the easiest remaining schedule among AFC playoff teams. The Titans will play the Steelers, who have had a down year this year to say the least. They will then host the San Francisco 49ers, which is easily their toughest remaining game and will be a crucial game both for them and for San Francisco. They then finish the season by hosting the Miami Dolphins, and traveling to Houston.
This remaining schedule puts the Titans in a very good scenario in which they legitimately have the potential to finish as the top seed in the AFC. If they are able to earn the top seed, this would put them in an even better position, as they would have an extra week to prepare for a home playoff game. It’s worth emphasizing even more – it will be a scary thought for any defensive coordinator to realize that their defense, who are sore and exhausted from a 17-game season, will have to try to bring down a well-rested Derrick Henry with fresh legs about thirty times in a given game.
Proven Against Good Competition
Even though the Titans have had their ups and downs throughout the last few weeks, the Titans had a stretch during this season in which they beat multiple very good teams handily. However, this seems to be ignored lately as the Titans were upset in a fluke game against the Houston Texans. Earlier in the season, the Titans defeated the Los Angeles Rams on primetime television, in a game where their defense showed up and earned them turnovers. They also comfortably beat the Kansas City Chiefs, swept the Indianapolis Colts, and edged out a win against the Buffalo Bills.
In all honesty, no one wants to try to tackle a well-rested Derrick Henry. No one wants to give Mike Vrabel an extra week to put in different offensive packages and to come up with a mastermind defensive game plan. Put simply – this Titans team is the scariest team in the AFC. They are the team no one wants to play in the playoffs, by far.
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