Jan. 20, 2017
Titans taking advantage of opportunities, luck
Sure, it wasn't necessarily pretty on Sunday, and there was a a moment we wondered what Mike Mularkey was thinking, but this is part of the Titans' growth this season.
The Titans walked out of one of the toughest places to play on Sunday with a 19-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Had they lost, the focus would have been on a failed two point conversion when all this team needed was an extra point to tie. Instead, the defense held and then after missing the initial field goal, Andy Reid gave us the gift of a second chance.
There were plenty of woulda, coulda, shoulda moments during the game and bottom line, things went right for the Titans. But that's part of the NFL. You need luck on your side sometimes and sometimes it's luck that wins you games. The key here though, is the Titans put themselves in a position to take advantage of luck when it came their way. It's been the same all season. Instead of games being too far out of reach, the Titans have been in nearly every game this year during the fourth quarter and Sunday was no different. When you are within striking distance, those lucky breaks can pay dividends. But you have to be in position to get that break. That takes effort, it takes the will and execution to keep games close.
It's been part of what Mike Mularkey has been preaching this season. He shows respect for his players but he's also tough on them. He's preached a grind-it-out mentality and that has become this team's identity. While the Titans are not quite elite, they are in that second tier of teams that could potentially beat anyone in a one game playoff. After beating two of the four AFC West teams -a division considered among the best- that's where this team finds themselves. With Jacksonville and Houston left on the schedule, the Titans are in-line for a playoff birth if they can win the remaining two games. It's a place we have rarely found ourselves in recent history and what's great is this is only the beginning. We would have been happy with seeing progress this season. Instead, we are knocking on the door of the postseason.
There are plenty of kudos to go around. Mularkey, Jon Robinson, Russ Grimm, and the rest of the front office made the moves to give this team an opportunity to be a contender before the season. They've made the right draft selections and made the right free agency aquisitions. They gave themselves a shot. That's what we are also seeing on the field this year.
So take Sunday for what it was; a team in the right place at the right time and in the right position when opportunity knocked. We've been on the opposite side of things for too long and Sunday is just another indication we've made the transition we've been waiting for.