The Tennessee Titans have one more chance to make up for an unexpectedly disappointing season and set things right. A win in Week 17 against the Jaguars can secure a playoff bid and an opportunity to make a postseason run.
The 2017 season has been one of the more confusing and conflicting of recent memory. While the team consistently won and was at the top of the AFC playoff picture for a majority of the season, things never felt quite right. Every game, regardless of the opposing team’s talent level, felt like pulling teeth. The offense never got into a sustainable rhythm and the defense, which took steps forward, never looked confident in its ability to repeat the flashes of brilliance.
The Marcus Mariota detractors have grown in numbers and become boisterous. Calls for the termination of Terry Robiskie, Mike Mularkey and the rest of the coaching staff have reached a crescendo. The fans are upset and frustrated, the players have become more vocal about the anger and the media is starting to smell blood in the water as the wheels fall off of what looked to be a promising season.
Even at 8-4, most national pundits and a percentage of the fanbase were skeptical about this team’s ability to compete in a serious fashion and make a run at the Lombardi trophy. The quality of quarterbacks had been low, the schedule had been weak, but the kids were not alright. The Titans dropped the next three games, two of them to clearly inferior teams, setting up a one-game playoff for the chance to put this season back on track.
After all of the ill-advised Mularkey gambles, downright idiotic play calls, questionable Mariota throws, one-yard run plays, blown coverages and missed tackles the Tennessee Titans still have hope.
The offense has perked up recently after the public outcry from the players for changes to the philosophy. The Murray injury hurts, but it forces the coaches to use Derrick Henry more. The defense has shown an ability to bow its neck when needed. Most of the players are relatively healthy and should be fresh due to ending the season on a two-game homestand.
Taking down Jacksonville in Week 17 would set up a first-round playoff matchup between the two teams in what would surely be a heated battle. It all comes down to Week 17 for the Titans.