The Tennesse Titans are winning playoff games with the same kind of blueprint the Jacksonville Jaguars used in 2017 on the way to the playoffs.
Not to pour salt into the wounds that Jacksonville Jaguars are still trying to heal from a misguiding 2019 campaign, but here is something that may become a reality.
Football fans are about 12 hours from seeing an AFC Title game that travels through Houston and features the Texans hosting the Tennessee Titans.
It’s a hard pill to swallow for myself and many who have shown their displeasure for this potential matchup on social media. Say what you want about the Jaguars bitter rivals, but should that happen, it would greatly affect the Jaguars and the front office approach to building this team’s ability to win football games in 2020.
The Tennessee Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens 28-12 on Saturday night by doing exactly what Tom Coughlin said he wanted this team to do prior to the 2017 season – rely heavily on the running game and use a suffocating defense to keep the opponent on the ground. For one season, it worked here in Jacksonville, getting to the AFC Championship where the team faltered against the might New England Patriots.
Then, it all fell apart. There have been a total of 11 wins since then.
Tennessee’s dominance the past two weeks, with the win last night and the one the week before against Bill Belichick and the Patriots shows they are winning with the Jaguars blueprint. It also shows this is a team that can finish games – something Marrone’s troops could not do just two seasons ago.
Ryan Tannehill has played the role of Blake Bortles in these past two weeks. Derrick Henry has proven to be a better running back than Leonard Fournette. Given the situation and all that has transpired the past few weeks in Jacksonville, with a mandate (again) from team owner Shad Khan, I’m sure many fans in Duuuval would love to have the Titans main two weapons on offense standing in their locker room right now.
It’s about winning. Regardless of how you feel about the opponent, the NFL is a copycat league. What we all would not give for an offense that worked as it should and a defense that never took the foot off the pedal. That’s how the Jaguars were supposed to be, with all the proper parts in place to win a division crown on a yearly basis, not just some aberration of a season.
The Jaguars mismanagement has led many mistakes in the Draft process. How Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson could have all been in a black and teal uniform if the right chess piece was moved or how Tannehill could have been an adequate replacement of the Bortles era here in Jacksonville. Now, those are distant memories. Dwelling on them only makes the fans here in town angrier.
Jaguars fans are going to be upset no matter what the outcome of today’s game between the Chiefs and Texans is because it’s football. At least one team in the AFC South is playing for a chance to walk into Miami and Super Bowl LIV.
While everyone here in town may be made it’s not Jacksonville on the cusp of something great, we should question why these teams and not us. We should ask how soon can these things be fixed to play that kind of football and more important than that, which players will lead this team back to being a playoff contender.