Gut Check Time for the Titans

There were a lot of questions about this Titans team coming into the 2007 season. They were coming off an offseason where the lost Drew Bennett, Bobby Wade, Travis Henry and Pacman Jones to a year long suspension. Most of the experts thought that they would be lucky to finish 8-8 as they had in 2006.

Then the Titans got off to a fast 6-2 start. The defense was dominant. They were ranked #1 against the run giving up just 66 yards per game and #2 overall giving up just 270.8 yards of total offense per game. Offensively they were dominating teams on the ground averaging 139 yards per game. The passing game had struggled, but Vince Young had been effective enough to lead the team to 5 victories. Most of the experts were saying the Titans were playoff bound.

Then the Titans faced the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field in week 10 without Albert Haynesworth. They proceeded to give up 166 yards on the ground and 28 points to the Jaguars. In week 11 they faced the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. They gave up another 166 yards on the ground and another 34 points. Last week the faced the Bengals and gave up 35 points. The defense has lost the killer instinct they had earlier in the season, and the offense has not been able to do much of anything.

Now the question is which team is the real Titans? Are they the dominant unit of the first 8 games of the season, or the struggling team of the past 3? Only the Titans' players can decide which team they are going to be. The players have got to decide to take it upon themselves to step up and make plays no matter who is on the field. Injuries are a part of the NFL. They cannot be concerned with who is not playing, but they must concern themselves with making the plays they can make.

This team still has a very real shot at making the playoffs. They currently sit one game behind the Cleveland Browns for the second wild card spot. It is probably going to take a 4-1 stretch to get that spot. These guys proved they have the talent to make that happen early in the season. Now it is gut check time. It starts this Sunday with the Houston Texans. A win in this game could give them the momentum they need to make a playoff run.

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