The Tennessee Titans were seen by many as comically making the AFC Championship and not really having a chance, but they might be the next great dynasty.
If you watched the Tennessee Titans from Week 7 on when Ryan Tannehill took over as starting quarterback, then you know that the Titans were a different team and a dangerous team. A team that could, and did, take down “The Dynasty” New England Patriots and the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens.
Many people throughout the country laughed at the Patriots and Ravens for “choking” and losing to the 9-7 Titans. I mean, the Titans? They haven’t been good since the millennium; there’s no way they could actually beat the Patriots, Ravens, Chiefs, in the same season. But they did.
Ryan Tannehill? He can’t be an elite quarterback. The last time he played a full season in 2015, he threw for 4,208 yards and threw for 24 touchdowns. He’s had health issues, but there was no sign of any lingering injuries this past season when he started the last ten games of the season and threw for 2,742 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Kevin Byard? Ha, he’s just a fan, right, Michael Irvin? A fan who ranked No. 93 on Pro Football Focus’ All-Decade Team and No. 45 on PFF’s top-101. He had a passer rating when targeted of 55.8 and an overall grade of 88.4. The best fan in NFL history.
The Tennessee Titans are no longer the laughing stock of the AFC South or the AFC. The Titans are here to stay with Tannehill running the offense, and Derrick Henry standing behind him, ready to take it to the house at any moment.
Does that mean that they’ll be the next great dynasty in the NFL? I don’t know, but I do know that the Titans could be well on their way to winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history with the team they’ve built, and NFL.com’s Adam Schein thinks that the Titans could be on their way, too.
Schein listed nine NFL franchises that could be the NFL’s next dynasty, and the Titans made the list along with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, and Cleveland Browns.
“General manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel have established a winning environment in Nashville in a relatively short amount of time, with last year’s AFC title game appearance serving notice to the rest of the league that the Titans’ smashmouth approach can indeed work in today’s league,” Schein explained.
“Ryan Tannehill was superb last year, but can he do it again? One thing I’m relatively sure of: Derrick Henry will be pounding people as the Titans’ lead back for a while. Yes, I know he’s currently set to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag, but the brute-force back represents so much of this team’s identity. I can’t imagine Tennessee will just let him walk after the coming campaign. The Titans’ formula — potent run game, stout defense, and solid coaching — never really goes out of style. They should rack up plenty of regular-season wins and be a tough out come playoff time.
“My biggest concern with the Titans is the division they play in. Chris Ballard and Frank Reich are building something special in Indianapolis — though I’m not sure how much Philip Rivers has left in the tank. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson is a transcendent individual talent in Houston. And the Jaguars’ rebuilding plan might just be light years ahead of the curve, as Jacksonville’s roster has some alluring young talent.”
I wouldn’t say that the Titans are the No. 1 team on that list to be the next dynasty. I think the Chiefs have jumped out to a great head start with the Ravens following, but when it comes to the AFC, the Titans could cement themselves as a top-three team in the AFC and compete with the Chiefs and Ravens to get to the Super Bowl.
NFC-led 49ers and Cowboys would bring some nostalgia to many NFL fans if they start trading wins back and forth in the playoffs for the top spot in the NFC.
I do think that the Titans have a better chance at being the NFL’s next dynasty than the Eagles, Bills, Chargers, and Browns, which put the Titans in pretty good company, and I don’t think that’s just me looking with my flaming head lenses on.