What Are Reasonable Expectations for the Titans in 2020?
It seems like every week, there’s a shift in the AFC South betting odds. One week, it’s the Texans. The next, it’s the Titans. Now, it seems to be the Colts. Yeah, we’re all over the place when talking about this division. I tuned in to 3HL on 104.5 the Zone a week or so ago, and heard them discussing their Twitter poll on what Tennessee Titans fans were expecting out of their team. That seemed all over the place as well. So, I started thinking about it in terms of what’s reasonable to expect from a fan’s perspective. Obviously the goal in the building is to win a Super Bowl, and I’d imagine everyone affiliated with the Titans organization is approaching things like it’s Lombardi or bust.
Now, from the way some of y’all have been talking, you might be thinking the same way as the organization. It’s a Super Bowl or fire Mike Vrabel! But, I have some bad news for you. It’s hard to go on a run like the Titans did – it’s even harder to keep going on runs like the Titans did in 2019. As much as I loved watching that team end the Patriots dynasty and upset the Super Bowl-favorite Ravens, 2019 felt like things had progressed a little ahead of schedule. Personally, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect this team to get to -and- win Super Bowl LV down in Tampa.
Based on what they did in 2019, I can see the reasoning for expecting such improvement. Getting to a Super Bowl does seem like the logical next step for this team. But, you have to account for adjustment – they won’t be catching anyone off guard in 2020. Just look at the Jags after the 2017 season…they were supposed to go to the Super Bowl in 2018, and they completely fell off. There’s a small pool of teams that can realistically expect to be playing in the Super Bowl year in and year out, and the Titans just aren’t there…yet (yes, I believe they can be).
That said, another 9-7 season, even if it means a wild card playoff berth, feels like it would be treading water at this point. We’ve seen four consecutive seasons of 9-7 with two trips to the playoffs. Doesn’t it seem like we’ve had an adequate sample size to determine that 9-7 isn’t going to get the Titans a championship?
And, of course, anything less than that would be a huge step backwards (unless it’s due to some insane injury bug). The Titans have been building for a season like 2020 for years now – the offense is largely intact and there have been a couple of upgrades on the defensive side of the ball. There was some turnover on the defensive coaching staff, but by and large, it feels like 2020 is the season.
So, all of that said, I say the goal is the AFC South title. Despite posting winning seasons and playing some memorable playoff games, the Titans still haven’t been able to win the division and host a home playoff game. Think of the effect that could’ve had on last year’s team – having to go on the road to play the Pats, Ravens, and Chiefs in consecutive weeks was about as brutal as it was going to get. It would’ve been nice to catch at least that first one in Nashville.
That seems like the logical next step for this franchise that arrived at the AFC Championship a little ahead of schedule a season ago. Don’t get your hopes up to the point that you’re ready to fire anyone if the Titans aren’t hoisting the Lombardi in February. But, it’s fair to expect some good things out of this team that has a wealth of talent, solid depth, and a coaching staff and front office that is really hitting its stride.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley