Dreams Do Come True: The Tennessee Titans are in the AFC Championship Game

This run is very real and it is very, very awesome.

It is January 17, 2020 and your Tennessee Titans are playing the Kansas City Chiefs for a chance to advance to the Super Bowl. That is a real thing. It’s not some drug-induced dream. It’s not a pleasant fiction, crafted to inspire and cheer. This is very real and it is very, very awesome.

If you are new to the Tennessee Titans’ bandwagon, welcome. We are happy to have you. It has been a long road for those of us who have been around since the beginning. We have suffered so many bitter losses while supporting this team. We’ve had some good times as well, but those have been rare until the past few seasons.

This team has done the impossible. At least what most experts and prognosticators thought to be impossible. They have knocked off the defending Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots, on their home turf. After that, they visited the number one offense and best record in the league, the Baltimore Ravens, and punched them in the mouth and walked away with a trip to the AFC Championship game in Kansas City. The Titans have done the impossible and that makes them mighty.

It’s okay to be excited. It’s even okay to be a little overwhelmed. This team wasn’t supposed to do this. You don’t go 2-4, bench your long-time starting QB, sneak into the playoffs, and then beat the best the NFL has to offer. That is not a thing that happens. Yet, it has happened. The Tennessee Titans, with their mythological beast of destruction, Derrick Henry, and their dangerous and violent defense, are crushing souls and breaking wills. They are leaving complete devastation in their wake. For Titans fans, it is unfathomably beautiful stuff.

All along the way, there have been doubters. Even now, most people are not giving this team a chance to advance. Personally, I think that is fantastic. Bring on the doubters! This team relishes the dissenting voices. They bathe in the doubts, slights, and lack of respect. It nourishes them. It feeds their drive and bolsters their will to win.

This unexpected run feels right. Enjoy it, Titans’ fans. Savor it. The Tennessee Titans are the best story in the NFL this season. If you cannot appreciate what the team is doing, you are missing something incredibly special. On Sunday afternoon, the Titans walk onto the field at Arrowhead Stadium and I see no reason why this run should end.

Why not us?

Why not now?

Give them nothing.

Take everything!

Thank you, Delanie Walker

A letter to Delanie Walker.

Mr. Walker, I see the Titans just placed you on IR for the remainder of the season. That is very disappointing. It is disappointing because it means your season is over. But, it’s more disappointing because it means your time with the Tennessee Titans is probably over as well. I hope not, but that’s typically how these things work.

You don’t deserve to go out like this. You have been a consummate professional in your time in Tennessee. You are one of the main reasons the Titans were able to leave the dregs of the NFL behind and become a winning franchise again. You are the best Tight End in the history of the team, no offense to Frank Wycheck. I’m convinced that if you had played for a Dallas or a New York and put up the numbers you did in Tennessee, you would be a household name. Instead, you produced at an All-Pro level for 6+ seasons in virtual anonymity. Again, you don’t deserve that.

So, if this move to IR is the end of your time with the Titans, I just want to say “thank you.” You have exemplified what it means to be a professional, a leader, a teammate, and a role model. You have excelled at your craft and worked harder than everyone around you. The results speak for themselves: 381 catches. 4,423 yards. 28 touchdown in your time with Tennessee. Those kind of numbers don’t happen by accident. They happen because of all the hard work and time you put into perfecting your skills. They happened because of your unstoppable work ethic and drive.

I hope this isn’t the end of your time in two-toned blue. We loved cheering for you. You did more for this franchise than most players who have walked through the doors at St. Thomas Sports Park. If this is goodbye, you did everything you could to make this team great and the fans won’t forget it.

Thank you, Delanie Walker. Thank you for being a Titan fans could be proud of. The number 82 is yours to keep. The team won’t need it for anyone else after you are gone.

Monday Morning Reaction: “This is my happy face.”

That was fun.

Show of hands: How many of you saw THAT coming? Be honest. I’ll wait…

It is really nice to get a game like that after about a month of really close nail biters. I enjoy those as well, but sometimes, I just want to be able to relax at the end of a Titans’ game. Yesterday’s game was just what the doctor ordered.

Here are my main reactions to the game:

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Monday Morning Reaction: Action Steps

Well, that was not optimal.

There are many good articles out there about all the things that went wrong for the Titans yesterday. I don’t want to rehash it all because it’s too frustrating to write about. Instead, I’m going to focus on what can be done to fix it. These Action Steps might not work, but anything is better than what we are seeing so far in 2019.

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Mid-Season Reaction: What Do We Know?

Do we actually know anything about this team?

The Tennessee Titans are 4-4 at the midway point in the season. They currently are on the outside of the playoff race, though it is much too early to be seriously looking at the standings. They have a hard road ahead of them if they want to qualify for the playoffs, but winning two games in a row has helped their case considerably.

I would like to break down the team into two categories: The things we know for sure – good and bad – and the things we think we know. Let’s start with the stuff we know.

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Monday Morning Reaction: A Win is a Win

This will be brief. Lots of work to do at my real job. Here are a few of my thoughts about Sunday’s big win over the L.A. Chargers.

Ryan Tannehill’s Big Day

Right now, Tannehill is the man for the job. He was decisive. He trusted his receivers to make plays for him and the offense. His pocket presence was good enough to get the win, though he lacked some ball security on a few hits that really could have cost the team. Tannehill played with a lot of confidence and that was fun to watch. I hope he can keep playing at that level, or even better, for the rest of the season. With this defense, that might be enough to make a run.

Speaking of defense…

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Marcus Mariota: When the Answers and the Truth Take Different Sides

Trying to figure out what went wrong.

Welcome to my nightmare. Of all the potential scenarios for the 2019 season, the one that is playing out before our eyes is of the worst-case variety. Even if you were out on Marcus Mariota prior to this season, as a Tennessee Titans’ fan, this is not what you wanted. At least, I hope it’s not. But, for those of us who believed Mariota was the answer at quarterback, this season has been hard to deal with.

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Monday Morning Reaction: The Pit of Despair

This one stings.

I’m not sure I have ever felt this low as a Titans fan. Even during the Ken Whisenhunt era, things did not seem this bad. That is not to say this team is as bad as those teams were, because it’s not. But with high expectations and plenty of off-season optimism, the way this season has unfolded has proven to be massively disappointing. Even that feels like an understatement.

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