Tennessee Titans Clinch Playoff Berth with Win vs. Jaguars

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2018

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands off to running back DeMarco Murray (29) during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans have made the postseason for the first time since 2008 after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 15-10 on Sunday.

The Titans tweeted the following about their playoff berth:

While the Jags had already won the AFC South, Tennessee clinched a wild-card berth by virtue of Sunday's win, which helped it improve to 9-7.

Expectations were high for the Titans following a 9-7 record last season, their first winning season in five years.

It appeared this year's race in the AFC South would come down to the final week when the Titans and Jaguars were both 8-4 after Week 13. 

Things took a bad turn for the Titans at that point. They lost their next three games against the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota has struggled since Week 9, throwing eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions in eight games heading into the regular-season finale against the Jaguars. 

Even though Mariota's overall numbers didn't look great, Pro Football Focus noted prior to Week 16 he was having a strong season in some unique ways:

Titans head coach Mike Mularkey remained optimistic about his team achieving their goal of making the postseason after a Week 16 loss against the 49ers. 

"We have a chance to still get in the playoffs," he said, via USA Today's Jason Wolf. "We have to win at home with two games that we have. We have to win the first one first, and that'll be all we talk about is winning that one at home, the next one."

Even with some low moments along the way, the Titans were able to do enough to end their franchise-worst nine-year playoff drought. They gave the Jaguars their worst loss of the season, 37-16 in Week 2, and had a stretch of six wins in seven games from Week 6 through 13.

Teams don't need style points to make the playoffs. The Titans haven't always made things easy on themselves, but all that matters is getting into the postseason. 

Now that they have pulled off that feat, the work begins as the Titans look to make a run to the Super Bowl. 

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