Eight years ago, the Titans intercepted Peyton Manning to take sole possession of the AFC South. They rode a 31-21 lead over Indianapolis at then-LP Field, and extended their unblemished record to seven games.
The Titans aren’t far from experiencing that again, whether non-Titans fans want to believe it or not. General Manager Jon Robinson is just a few big moves away from building a dynasty in Nashville.
But, let’s go back to the division thing. Before we get to dynasty levels, we have to win our division. So here are five reasons why the Titans will soon be ruling the AFC South.
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1. There are multiple picks to build the roster.
Robinson wanted a “king’s ransom” in order to trade out of the top ten in the draft. Boy, did he get it! Two weeks ago, he received a load of picks from the Rams, and even walked away with a first round pick for 2017. There’s virtually no excuse for Robinson not to build the roster up. They have four picks to work with in the first two rounds. If all four end up as draft busts, that’s just terrible luck for the Titans.
2. Football’s two most key positions are set for them.
Last season, the Titans drafted Marcus Mariota and named him their official face of the franchise right off the bat. This season, Robinson completed a huge trade for RB DeMarco Murray. It’s said that you can’t win if you don’t have a quarterback and/or running back. Well, the Titans have both, they just need to build around them.
3. They were a few mistakes short last season.
Yeah, I know. 3-13 doesn’t seem like a few mistakes. But get this, there were some games the Titans would’ve lost no matter what, however there were a handful of games they should have won, but late game mistakes cost them the win. Six games was the difference between competing for the division or not. Six.
4. Jon Robinson is bringing in young players.
For nearly a decade, we have witnessed the Titans G.Ms use free agency to bring in old, washed up has-beens and hoping they have some years left. It obviously didn’t work. However, Robinson has a completely new approach. He used that period to bring in young, unproven guys, and will ultimately add onto the youth in the draft. A young roster means more mistakes will be made, but on the bright side, it means they will learn and grow together and possibly last for years.
5. The defense is finally set.
For two seasons, the defense was a dumpster fire. But, in 2015 that changed. The defense was ranked top 10 for most of the season, and they had games where they absolutely tortured quarterbacks. They even had Cam Newton shooken up for the first half. Since the defense is kind of set, I’m sure the Titans may go heavy on the offense to build around Mariota. If that plan works, you’re looking at a complete team in Tennessee.
There are few people expecting the Titans to win the division this year. A young team with a new coaching staff and general manager rarely equals immediate success. Still, I expect the Titans to be consistent competitors for the AFC South crown for years.
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Special thanks to @justinjuranek on Instagram for providing this headline as part of #FiveReasonsFriday.