The top two teams in the AFC South met on Sunday at LP Field in Nashville to fight for first place within the division. Going into Sunday’s game the Tennessee Titans held a half game lead over the Houston Texans with a chance to solidify the top spot in the division. With the Titans coming off of a bye, everyone in the stadium was anticipating a great game, envisioning the Titans coming out on top.
The game started and both teams traded punts and in a way traded jabs. It had the feeling of a close game in the making. The Texans held just a 3-point lead after one quarter. But in the second period, former UT Volunteer Arian Foster began to take over the game. Foster completely went off playing like it was a homecoming game. On his way to helping the Texans beat the Titans, Foster became the first player in Texans franchise history to earn more than a 100 yards, both on the ground and through the air. This was a one-sided game all the way to the end and the stadium was empty by the beginning of the fourth.
However, there was a slight sliver of hope for Titans fans after Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook with a little over five minutes to go in the third. After the Titans forced a punt on the next possession there was still a little life left in the Titans, if only they could get a quick touchdown. Instead, the Titans went three and out, ending with a 41-7 humiliating defeat courtesy of the Houston Texans.
As bad as the Titans looked on Sunday they still have a great shot to make the playoffs and here are five good reasons why:
1. Parity in the AFC — This season doesn’t seem to have a standout dominant team like we have seen in the past with the Colts and the Patriots. The Colts are obviously struggling and even though the Pats have only 1 loss, there seems to be a lot of questions about their defense. Many of the so called experts have labeled the Ravens as the best team in the AFC, but after a bad loss to the Jags on Monday night the door opens up for the middle of the pack teams to gain ground in the AFC playoff hunt.
2. Matt Hasselbeck — Matt Hasselbeck is the best QB to lead the Titans since Steve McNair. After years of babysitting VY, Titan fans are now loving what they are getting out of the quarterback position so far this season. Hasselbeck brings a new leadership and fire to this team that has been missing in Tennessee for quite some time now.
3. CJ Bound To Go Off — Chris Johnson will soon bust out with a long touchdown run that will jump start the Titan’s dangerous run game… Right? It has to happen at some point for the Titans to even think about the playoffs.
4. No Peyton — No Peyton equals no Colts which equals new Division Champion, and two seemingly easy wins.
5. Long Season — The season is seven weeks in and the Titans are 3-3 with 10 games to go. There is plenty more football to be played and anything can happen throughout the course of a long season. After all, not many people thought the Titans would even have a .500 record after six games into the season, so who is to say they can’t make a run for the playoffs?
Photo by Joel West