The Tennessee Titans know that as poorly as they have played this season, there is still hope.
At 2-4, there isn't a lot of margin for error, but with seven teams – including Sunday's opponent, the Buffalo Bills – standing at 3-3 in the AFC, the Titans find themselves not that far off the pace of contention.
Still, in order for the Titans to get back into the picture, they will have to do some things they haven't done all season. They will have to win back-to-back games for the first time all year, and they will have to find a way to win away from LP Field, as they are 0-2 in road games.
“It would be great to get back-to-back wins,” said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who will start for the third straight game in place of an injured Jake Locker. “We didn't start out the season as well as we wanted to. We put ourselves in a hole a little bit for sure. But there is a big thing with momentum in the NFL. And right now we've got a little bit of momentum, and hopefully, we can keep that going.”
The Titans know the four-game stretch between now and their Nov. 18 bye week is crucial to their staying in contention in the AFC. Three of the four games are against conference foes, against teams not considered nearly as strong as those they faced in the first six games of the year. Following a game against the 3-3 Bills, the Titans will face the 2-3 Indianapolis Colts at home, go out of conference to host the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4 and travel to face the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 11.
Not winning key games inside the conference last year cost Tennessee a playoff spot, and the Titans remember it well.
“We found out last year that you don't really want to end up in that tiebreaker situation, because sometimes it can go your way and other times it won't,” cornerback Jason McCourty pointed out. “There are a lot of games left on the schedule, no matter what your standing is. So at this point, you've just got to play football.”
Coach Mike Munchak is hopeful the Titans will begin to take care of business after their rough start.
“We knew there was going to be a challenge, but we just thought we’d play better than we did during that (first) stretch,” Munchak said. The good news is you’ve got to play 16 games, and everyone plays pretty much the same teams in our division, for the most part, except for two games, you’re playing the same teams. I... We’ve got to take care of our own business and see what happens on the road. We’re 2-4, and we thought we’d be better than that but we haven’t played good enough to be better than that. This is our chance now to get something going. We have to try to win two in a row.”