AFC

Are the Titans a playoff contender?

Life can sometimes hand you unexpected things and last Thursday did not disappoint. Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans pummeled the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9.

Let’s not forget the great Cody Kessler getting the nod as the starting quarterback for the Jags.  Jacksonville decided earlier in the week that Kessler was getting the start over the struggling Blake Bortles. Bortles will be a free agent after this year and Jacksonville has no plans to re-sign the UCF star. So keep that in mind as Jacksonville only scored nine points. However, Jacksonville’s defense now has a new owner and it’s Derrick Henry.

Derrick Henry and the Titans were able to roll for their seventh win of the season. Before Thursday’s contest, Henry had 474 yards on the season and five touchdowns. Henry finished the game with 238 yards on 17 carries with four touchdowns. Had it not been for Henry taking himself out of a late-game touchdown drive, he would’ve had five touchdowns. Henry broke the Titans franchise records for running yards in a game as well as tying with Tony Dorsett on the longest run in a game for 99 yards.

After the dominated performance by Henry, many wonder will he continue to roll. Tennessee heads up North to take on the New York Giants this Sunday in which is a favorable matchup for Henry. It came as a shock to see Henry spiral out of control last week but many wouldn’t be surprised if he produces like normal this week.

In order for the Titans to continue a late playoff push, they have to rely on the offense. The defense currently stands a number nine allowing 334.3 yards a game. The offense as you can guess is ranked 28 only producing 319.1 yards per game. If the success of Henry continues that will be huge opening the passing game. Corey Davis is supposed to be the man on the offense and he’s not the caliber of player they thought they were getting at the number one pick just a year ago.

The Titans just found out this week, they lost another tight end in Jonnu Smith so it’s going to be up to eight-year veteran Luke Stocker to take over the role as the main guy. Stocker is more of a run blocking TE so that will help Henry and Lewis to break on from the backfield.

Titans have to push out wins against the Giants and Redskins and pray for some miracles. As of now, the Titans are right outside looking in. If you’re a Titans fans, you’ll be looking very closely at the Ravens, Colts, and Dolphins. All four teams currently have a 7-6 record with the Ravens being the team currently locked in with a playoff birth.

If I’m a Titans fan, would you really want to make a playoff push? Any game is capable of a comeback or upset just ask Patriots fans from last week. So this isn’t saying the Titans can’t do it but let’s look on paper. If the Titans were able to get a wild card birth, would it be worth losing a few draft pick spots just losing in the first round of the playoffs? However, I can see it the other way. The Titans made it to the playoffs with a struggling offense with an inconsistent backfield, Delanie Walker hurt and an average Mariota.

Either way, the Titans should be able to get victories in the last two weeks. Looks like fate will be the one to decide the Titans future in the 2018 season.

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Preston Bostain
Preston covers the Tennessee Titans and the AFC South for NGSC Sports. He also covers Nashville Predators hockey.
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