It was a long time coming and a much needed win for the Tennessee Titans football team and its fans.
Sunday's waxing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside Raymond James Stadium threw gasoline on the Marcus Mariota fire that began immediately upon the announcement of his name with the second overall pick last April. It has grown steadily ever since and reached wildfire proportions following his record setting rookie debut.
Fans in Nashville love their Titans in spite of some of the off field issues surrounding the stadium and the management of the team from the absentee ownership group that appears at times to be clueless as to what needs to be done to make this team a viable competitor in the National Football League.
Those management issues remain, but one thing is sure, they got it right with Mariota.
General manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt and staff did their homework and got their man and he is the first step in rebuilding this team into a competitive unit.
Sunday's win gives the Titans exactly half as many wins as they produced last season, and even if just for one week, the Tennessee Titans sit alone atop the AFC South in first place. It has been a long time since anyone could say that with a straight face.
Will it last? Only time will tell, but from what we learned on Sunday is that the rest of their AFC South brethren have issues of their own to deal with.
Indianapolis has Luck, and are still the prohibitive favorites. Houston has quarterback issues, though Ryan Mallett gave them a spark while Jacksonville is still working on all their issues.
Make no mistake, this is in no way intended to imply that the Titans are somehow the best team in the division and fans should start buying playoff tickets.
Infact this is just the opposite.
While the other teams are flawed, so are the Titans. This team, despite their lopsided win on Sunday have areas that are question marks and may not be answered this season.
Mariota will also likely suffer some growing pains at times and play like the rookie- yeas a very talented rookie- he is, and when that happens will the fans be ready to jump off his bandwagon.
The old saying that "patience is a virtue" should be the catch phrase for Titans fans at this moment.
Yes you have waited patiently during the last few trying and downright miserable seasons, but now that it appears the team is closer to turning the corner it is still too early for anyone to become overly excited.
To borrow a standard player comment, "we're taking it one game at a time and not looking ahead." That's exactly what fans should do too.
Enjoy Sunday's win, but do not allow that win over a struggling Buccaneers team to inflate the expectation level to a point this team can't meet this season.
Remember how long, and bad last season was? This one might not be much better in terms of wins and losses in the end, and building yourself up now will only make the disappointment that much worse if it goes bad.