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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Titans have look of AFC Championship contender now

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Two weeks in the past the Tennessee Titans had been mired in one thing of a so-so season and even had a loss to the beforehand winless New York Jets as glowing, ugly stain on their report. However within the span of the final seven days they’ve overwhelmed the 2 groups who performed in final season’s AFC Championship recreation in consecutive video games.

So who’s doubting the Titans are AFC championship contenders now?

Yeah, silence.

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The Titans not solely beat the Chiefs however type of beat them down on Sunday, authoring a 27-3 victory that was gorgeous in its thoroughness.

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Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) celebrates after intercepting a cross in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the first half of an NFL soccer recreation Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Picture/Wade Payne)

“Once we win video games, you already know, folks attempt to discover all varieties of the reason why we’re not going to win the following recreation and that kind of stuff,” security Kevin Byard stated. “However they don’t ever discuss how bodily we’re as a workforce.

“It is probably not fairly, I believe I’ve seen a stat like final week that stated we now have essentially the most come-from-behind wins within the fourth quarter. That’s due to the physicality and the best way we play video games. We’d not be fairly at first however towards the top of the sport that stuff wears on groups. So, like I say, nice to have a win at this time.”

And that has the Titans, leaders within the AFC South race, feeling fairly good about themselves proper now.

“Actually, our confidence is at all times excessive,” Byard stated.

(Yeah, sticking with Byard as a result of he received on a roll — type of like his workforce).

“There’s not a workforce on this league we don’t assume we will’t beat [on] any given Sunday,” he added. “Energy rankings, all that stuff, it actually doesn’t matter on this league. You don’t come out right here and don’t carry out on Sunday, you’re going to get your behinds whupped. We find out about explosive groups and the way nice Kansas Metropolis is however on the finish of the day we felt like we will exit right here and get a win.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill passes against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill passes in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the first half of an NFL soccer recreation Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Picture/Wade Payne)

“That’s the underside line. We don’t actually have a look at who’s the very best workforce right here and there. They’re not handing out Lombardi trophies in the course of the season.”

The Titans had a built-in excuse for not performing this recreation as a result of they’d a brief week to arrange after taking part in and beating Buffalo on Monday night time. However the schedule really may need labored of their favor.

“We positively used the momentum,” stated receiver A.J. Brown. “It’s simply the strategy, a mentality we introduced into this recreation. We began out fairly good and stored going and protection backed us up.”

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, a traditional week-to-week man, wasn’t having any of this large image contender speak.

“We’re seven video games in, 5-2. So lengthy strategy to go,” he instructed reporters. “Thanks, guys.”

The Titans had three takeaways, together with an interception by linebacker Rashaan Evans. These turnovers helped flip the beating into one thing extra.

It made the beating appear straightforward, frankly.

“You’re embarrassed,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes stated afterward. “You bought spanked fairly good. You had been coming in right here attempting to construct off the momentum of the week earlier than and we didn’t try this, so I imply, it’s simply looking for a strategy to get higher for subsequent week as a result of it pays so that you can get higher and higher on this league if you wish to get the place you need to be at.”

The Titans are the primary protection to maintain the Chiefs from scoring a landing in a recreation Mahomes has began. The Titans additionally restricted Mahomes to a 62.3 QB score, the bottom of his profession.

“It’s positively an superior accomplishment,” Titans exterior linebacker Harold Landry stated. “With guys like Jeffery Simmons within the center and (Denico Autry), it positively makes issues simpler on the sting.

“It’s a big accomplishment. Mahomes is a good quarterback and they’re an amazing workforce. We’re positively going to rejoice this one tonight after which transfer on.

Shocking, proper?

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) takes a picture for a fan as he leaves the field after the Titans beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-3 in an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee Titans extensive receiver A.J. Brown (11) takes an image for a fan as he leaves the sphere after the Titans beat the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 27-3 in an NFL soccer recreation Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Picture/Wade Payne)

“No, we weren’t stunned in any respect to be sincere,” Evans stated, “simply due to the work we put in all through the week. Coach continuously harps on us to not be stunned about how comfy it’s — particularly whenever you do what you’re presupposed to do.

“All of the numerous hours of conferences, all of the numerous hours in follow, that’s when it reveals up within the recreation and that’s what you noticed at this time.”

The Titans, maybe the NFL’s third-best speeding offense, did a lot of their good work by passing the soccer. They scored two of their three touchdowns by the air, together with one by operating again Derrick Henry.

Dealing with off in opposition to Mahomes, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill had the higher exhibiting. He was principally correct, finishing 21 of 27 passes for 270 yards with 1 landing and 1 interception.

Mahomes, in the meantime, had a tough day. He got here into the sport affected by extra interceptions than anybody has come to anticipate — he’d thrown 13 interceptions in his final 14 video games — and that continued.

Mahomes threw the one interception and likewise fumbled twice, shedding one, so he had two of his workforce’s three turnovers.

The Titans additionally sacked Mahomes 4 occasions and finally knocked him foolish and out of the sport. Mahomes was positioned within the NFL concussion protocol.

Mahomes cleared the concussion protocol however coach Andy Reid determined it was greatest to carry him out the rest of the sport.

“We received to remove the turnovers and the penalties,” Reid stated of his sagging offense. “Once more, these are issues that we haven’t — haven’t been widespread to us. I’m seeing issues that I haven’t seen earlier than. And we simply received to repair it.

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“And the gamers, they know that. And I received a very good locker room. And, once more, they’ll proceed on with it and the coaches will proceed to do it. It begins with me. Fully my accountability and fault for the way we performed at this time. And, you already know, the coaches really feel the identical method about it. So all of us received to piece it collectively.”



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