NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have an opportunity to see if the third time is the attraction.
The Titans (12-5) earned the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the third time in franchise historical past — all since leaving Texas for Tennessee in 1997 and clinched beating the staff that changed them in Houston with a 28-25 win over the Texans.
The problem for this franchise might be proving they will benefit from the first-round bye not understanding their opponent but for the divisional spherical. House-field benefit all through the AFC playoffs didn’t assist in their two earlier tries.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel stated Monday it’s time to deal with themselves and what they should do to attempt to preserve successful.
“Now … it’s single elimination,” Vrabel stated.
Regardless of posting the NFL’s finest data in 2000 and 2008 at 13-3, the Titans misplaced within the divisional spherical to the Baltimore Ravens every time. Now the Titans received’t see the Ravens who didn’t make this postseason.
One other distinction? The Titans are 8-0 underneath Vrabel when coming off a bye or additional relaxation from a Thursday night time recreation. That’s tied with Pittsburgh for the perfect mark in that class over the previous 4 seasons.
These Titans want the first-round bye to relaxation up after utilizing an NFL-high 91 gamers, most ever in a non-strike season. That additionally provides Derrick Henry, the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Participant of the 12 months, extra time to apply for an anticipated return for the divisional spherical.
Monday marked 10 weeks since Henry was positioned on injured reserve with a damaged proper foot, and he began training with the Titans final week. Henry nonetheless completed the season ninth within the NFL in speeding after main the league every of the previous two seasons.
“There’s going to be some seems that he’s going to must get in apply,” Vrabel stated of Henry. “We’re going to must see how he responds to some reducing and a few reactionary stuff. We’ll proceed to look and see how he’s progressing, after which we’ll decide.”
The passing recreation. Ryan Tannehill was sacked solely as soon as, and he accomplished passes to 9 completely different Titans. Tannehill completed with a 138.9 passer ranking and confirmed severe elusiveness escaping a would-be sack to finish a 37-yard move on a game-winning TD drive. The Titans additionally had the perfect performances from receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones in the identical recreation because the center of October in a win over Buffalo.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Each beginning the sport and popping out of halftime higher. The Titans barely outscored opponents 61-56 within the first quarter and have been outscored 84-65 within the third quarter this season. Their struggles have been on full show towards Houston as they opened the sport with a three-and-out and had a trio of three-and-outs within the third quarter.
Jones. The seven-time Professional Bowl vast receiver has been dismissed as a bust for a lackluster season the place he completed with 31 catches for 434 yards. However Jones had a team-high 5 catches for 58 yards, and his first landing catch this season offered the successful margin for the Titans to clinch the No. 1 seed.
Ok Randy Bullock. The Titans strung collectively a 13-play drive late within the first quarter, they usually turned to Bullock after they slowed down on the Houston 24. He missed a 42-yard area objective vast proper. The Titans’ third kicker completed the common season 26 of 32 on area objectives, however was simply 8 of 14 between 40 and 49 yards.
The Titans solely dominated out a pair of defensive linemen towards Houston. Security Amani Hooker left the sport and returned. So did beginning cornerback Kristian Fulton who damage his left arm late and defensive again Elijah Molden.
One — The variety of wins the Titans must host their first AFC championship recreation. The Houston Oilers needed to go to Pittsburgh for the convention video games for the 1978 and 1979 seasons. The Titans received in Jacksonville in January 2000 to achieve the franchise’s lone Tremendous Bowl. They misplaced in Oakland following the 2002 season and in Kansas Metropolis in January 2020.
Relaxation and heal up all of the nagging accidents. Spend the bye week attempting to wash up some points and proceed Henry’s restoration.
Observe Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
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