As devastating as Tennessee's 51-20 Week 9 loss was, the team's 37-3 victory over the Dolphins last week instilled some hope for the rest of this season.
The Titans head into their bye week with a record of 4-6, but they find themselves smack-dab in the middle of the AFC playoff race.
The Titans are a team with an offense ranked 25th in the league and a defense that now sits 29th overall. Those aren't the type of rankings that inspire confidence, but the win over the Dolphins was a glimpse of the team's potential.
But you never know what's going to happen in the NFL these days. By Week 16, the Packers could be resigned to a second-place finish in the division or have wrapped up division control.
It's crazy to expect the entire season to turnaround after one game. In fact I'd be hard pressed to find anyone who truly believed Tennessee would finish the season at 9-7, but the journey there should be fun to watch.
San Diego, Miami and Cincinnati are the three teams sitting between the Titans and the current Wild Card holders.
The No. 1 tiebreaker is head-to-head matchups, so we know a tie with the Chargers is bad news and a tie with the Dolphins or Steelers is good.
After that, it's about each team's record within the conference. Luckily, that can sway at a whim, as the Colts and Dolphins hold the lead in that category at 4-2—Tennessee is 3-4.
Beyond that is getting too far ahead of ourselves with seven weeks of football yet to be played, but now, we all know what teams to start rooting against for the rest of the year.
The prospect of a back-in-form Chris Johnson and the energy that Jake Locker brings to the offense is something that can be maddening for opponents the rest of the way.
Enjoy witnessing the offensive development, and get ready for an exciting playoff race.
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