A week ago after a 51-20 annihilation by the Chicago Bears, most people were wondering just what the Tennessee Titans would do with a top-10 draft pick.
But after Sunday's 37-3 rout of the Miami Dolphins, the Tennessee Titans enter their bye week feeling much better about themselves.
At 4-6, the Titans aren't ready to start printing playoff tickets, but in the jumbled AFC, where plenty of four-win teams are still within sniffing distance of a wild-card berth, Tennessee is amazingly still on the fringe of contention.
“I think they see that on their own. They’ll watch games next week. They’re aware of what’s going on and the good thing is there are a lot of teams with four and five and six losses,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “We’re still, a lot has to happen our way, but all we can control is to keep winning, and we haven’t won more than two in a row this year, so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We get that, but it’s never over. I think that’s what gives you encouragement, and we’re working hard and heading in the right direction, and we’ve just got to see how this thing goes.”
It is probably more than the Titans could ask for, given that five of their six losses have been by at last three touchdowns this season, and before Sunday their three previous wins had come by a total of seven points.
The Titans did manage to get quarterback Jake Locker back from a shoulder injury and his energy gave Tennessee a much-needed shot in the arm. And credit the coaching staff for reeling in a team that had lost by 31 points the week before and getting them back on track.
“It’s 3-6 and coming off the two weeks we did, one game we thought we should have won and one game we turned the ball over and gave it away. I thought the way they handled the whole week was good,” Munchak said. “I thought practice was solid all week. I thought they realized if anything was going to change what happened, it was going to be us, it was going to be them. They came out Sunday, I thought, ready to play, which I think they do every week.
“They played hard, and things went our way early. We took advantage of all of our situations. You saw the confidence growing throughout the game. They had fun. You have fun when you’re winning and making plays on offense and defense. It was fun to watch that.”
The Titans now enter their bye week with the squad not having to report back until next Monday to ready for the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans players are hoping somehow to build on Sunday's win to restore some much-needed respectability.
“I feel like we can have some momentum. We just need to keep it going. We just need to remember what it feels like to have a victory like that and keep it moving,” tight end Jared Cook said.
The postseason, of course, would be a long shot, but the Titans are trying to maintain their optimism.
“That's what we're shooting for. That's what Munch said to us today, we've just got to come out the last six weeks of the season with a bang and that's what we're looking to do,” Cook said. “I'm confident in my teammates. I know the talent we have on this team and I know we can do it It was good in a sense just to kind of help the team. That was definitely a confidence booster.”