Will We Witness a Miracle Run for the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl LIV
When the season began, not much was expected from the Tennessee Titans. They were considered a team with a decent chance of making the playoffs, but that was assuming that Marcus Mariota could continue to develop and improve his game.
He didn’t, of course, and so heading into Week Seven, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel decided to roll the dice and give former first-round pick, Ryan Tannehill, a chance. With how inconsistent Mariota had been, the team would be hard-pressed to do any worse than they had already done.
Fast forward to the divisional round of the playoffs, and the narrative around the Titans has certainly changed. They are coming off an unexpected upset win over the Patriots in Foxborough, Tannehill has been looking like a guy that deserves a hefty raise in the offseason, and Derrick Henry is the rushing champ.
At this point, it is safe to say that these are guys are pretty good with Ryan Tannehill at the helm. Mike Vrabel has done a good job as head coach, and they have a respectable defense. But are they good enough to win it all?
The Titans Road to the Super Bowl
The road is not going to be an easy one. As if beating the New England Patriots on their own field wasn’t a big enough challenge, this week, they get to go to Baltimore to face Lamar Jackson and
the Ravens—a game in which the Titans are massive underdogs.
Should they record the upset and get by the Ravens, they will have to face either the Chiefs or the Texans in the AFC Championship. They have beaten both teams already this season, and there is no reason to think they would not have a chance to do so again.
More than likely, they would be the underdog no matter who they play, but the spread will not be a big one.
As for winning the Super Bowl, no one outside of Tennessee is giving them a shot. But not because they can’t compete with any of the NFC teams. The Titans have one of the better offenses in the NFL. With Tannehill under center, they are capable of passing the ball, and Derek Henry gives them one of the better run games in the league.
If there is a downside to their game, it would be their defense. The Titans defense relies on the ‘bend, but don’t break’ philosophy. They tend to give up some yards but not nearly as many points.
So, yeah—they are a good football team but not a great one. However, good teams can have great days. At this point in the season, teams have to worry about winning the next one—and that is why no one is picking the Titans to win the Super Bowl.
No one thinks they can win their next game.
Super Bowl 2020
The Titans Opponent in the Divisional Round: the Baltimore Ravens
Why not? Because no one seems to be able to catch Lamar Jackson.
Yes, his passing game is much better than it was last season, and he was a good passer in college. But the reason why Jackson and the Ravens have had a decent passing game this season is because of the running game.
Last season teams didn’t believe in the Ravens passing game, so they dared Jackson to throw while stacking the box to stop the run. Most teams couldn’t stop the run, so it didn’t matter. But when they faced the Chargers in the playoffs, running the ball was tough and passing it even tougher—and they lost.
What was different this year? How come Jackson appears to be one of the better passers in the league? It’s a combination of things. For one, teams do not know how to defend the Ravens. If they try to worry about the passing game, Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson will run for days.
Should defenses focus on the run, with the growth Jackson has made and a much better group of receivers, the Ravens are capable of dissecting secondaries. The Ravens are still a running team, but they run it so well they can cherry-pick the best moments for Jackson to throw the ball.
Since he is a much better quarterback than he was in 2018, he is connecting on more of those throws. Since his skill position guys are much better, they are doing more after the catch and making Jackson look even better.
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How Do You Beat The Unbeatable Ravens?
So– if the Titans are going to win it all, they have to do what no one else has done—decipher Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense. While it would help if they had a stronger defense, they can do it. They just have to do one thing.
Run the ball—a lot. They have to maintain possession of the ball as much as possible. The less time Jackson has on the field, the less likely he and the Ravens are to score. When they get the chance to score, they have to score touchdowns and not field goals.
If they can get Derek Henry on track early on, as they did against New England, they can do it. It will not be easy, and it is more likely that they fail than succeed—but they can beat the Ravens. If they do, there is no reason to think they can’t win it all.