The One Thing Tennessee Has Over the AFC Competition

    Tennessee Titans logo (Image courtesy of espn.com)
    Tennessee Titans logo (Image courtesy of espn.com)

    The Tennessee Titans headed to Houston with one mission in mind this past Sunday: get a win. Tennessee was up 21-0 at halftime and were able to withstand a fight to the finish for a 28-26 win, their twelfth win of the season.  With that win, the Titans took over the top spot in the AFC playoff picture at 12-5, and that allowed them to obtain a first-round bye.

    With the road coming through Nashville to go to the Super Bowl, Tennessee has put themselves in the greatest position they could to represent the AFC in the big game this year and with Derrick Henry on the way back, their chances may get even better. But one thing that has developed over this season is their ability to handle adversity.

    The Titans haven’t been without an MVP candidate in Henry since Week 9 of the season, have had games where wide receivers Julio Jones and AJ Brown either didn’t finish the games or didn’t play along with having their depth tested at the inside linebacker and cornerback spots all year. Most teams tend to fold or take a dip in their win total when losing that type of offensive firepower along with depth. Instead of folding, the Titans continued to find ways to win and still maintain the top spot in the AFC by limiting mistakes, knowing their assignments, and limiting the big plays to the opponents.

    If you look at the majority of the teams in the AFC like the Bills, Patriots, Raiders, Bengals, Chiefs, and Steelers, none of them faced the type of adversity the Titans have when it comes to losing key pieces to their team. The closest team that comes to that is the Steelers when they played without star outside linebacker TJ Watt and we all saw the drop in their defense without him.

    In the playoffs, injuries can happen as well as inexplicable things. That’s when the teams that have been tested usually show their ability to face and handle adversity. That might be new to some of the teams in the playoffs, but the Titans are tried and prepared for it. In fact, they relish in it and that should help them with a needed advantage in the playoffs outside of the home field advantage and the return of key players.

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