Tennessee Titans: A Tale of Two Seasons

Dave StanleyCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 29:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans watches on against the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Don't look now, but the Tennessee Titans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

And the darndest thing is, their current winning streak isn't merely about pride and moral victory.  

They actually have a shot at the postseason.  

Not to get presumptuous or cocky, but if the Titans could pull off such a feat, it would be the stuff movies are made of (apologies, of course, to the Baltimore Ravens' Michael Oher, the inspiration for The Blind Side).

Then again, there's a lot of football left to be played. But Sunday's dramatic victory over the Arizona Cardinals officially cemented the Titans' status as "The Team That No One Wants to Play."

No, their record isn't as flashy as that of the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, or Indianapolis Colts.  

But one would be hard pressed to find a team that's playing better football right now—or one that's more confident.

A few short months ago, no one would have predicted that the Titans' rematch with the Colts this week would be, well, "marquee."  

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Throw in the fact that Indy has less and less to play for—they clinched the AFC South crown Sunday—and Tennessee just might be well on their way to second place in the division.  

Then again, much has to happen to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans for that to happen. 

Yet the fact that this article is even being written is a testament to one of the most wacky, topsy-turvy seasons ever to be turned in by a franchise.  

We've all heard about teams' parity-induced reversals of fortune that happen from one year to the next. But to have such a complete turnaround in the middle of a season, in a sport that plays 16 games, was thus far unheard of.  

It's one thing to fight one's way out of a mere slump.  

But Tennessee wasn't in a slump; their season was flat out over. The only questions to be answered were who the new quarterback and coach were going to be in 2010.

And now, here they sit, with their name in the annual playoff prediction lists that inevitably pop up every December. Granted, they're on the fringe of said lists, but to even be mentioned after the way they started things off is remarkable in and of itself.

It's a virtual case study in instantly realized potential. In the span of a few games, they all but eliminated the "they're better than their record" clichés.  

It's been said innumerable times before, but in the NFL, it's not about who starts the fastest, but who gets hot at the right time (see: last year's 9-7 Cardinals Super Bowl team).

However, six straight losses, regardless of whether they win out, will be hard to overcome. They will need some help from other teams.  

But, the months of November and December usually expose fast-starting pretenders. As long as they keep up their winning ways, the Titans might, just might, still be around come mid-January.  

In light of Sunday's gutsy, mature victory against Arizona, it's becoming harder and harder to remember the 0-6 Titans.   


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