The Tennessee Titans, first seed of the American Conference (AFC), are in a group in the NFL in which nobody wants to be: in the team that has not yet won a Super Bowl, to which they also belong Buffalo Bills Y Cincinnati Bengals, which are also still alive in the playoffs, so the championship race of the 2021-22 season has a greater meaning for these teams that want to end the drought.
The Titans They are not a popular team, they do not have a star-studded roster or a quarterback who hogs the spotlight, however, since Mike Vrabel took the reins four years ago and knew how to exploit the talent of elements that have remained with a low profile, has led them to three playoff appearances, two straight Division Championships and to being the top seed in the AFC this season, securing home-court advantage. It should be noted that the Titans they had a playoff drought from 2009 to 2016.
“From my point of view, the most important things a head coach has to do are three: adjustments during the game, knowing how to make the right decisions at key moments and the ability to prepare your team to contain the opponent’s strengths. It seems to me that Vrabel complies with these three things”, analyzed Ulises Harada, director of the specialized site Primero y Diez.
Harada adds that Vrabel’s mentality, coupled with a defense that pressures the quarterback well, an offense that dominates the ball on the run, and getting the first bye week of the playoffs for the likes of Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones arriving healthy to their next matches contributes to the mission of the Titans to lift his first title Super Bowl.
Your first hurdle is Bengals in the Divisional Round. The Cincinnati team, which is also looking for its first title, will have to worry about protecting its quarterback Joe Burrow and stopping the running game of the Titans, who will reactivate Derrick Henry, one of the best running backs in the league after an injury that kept him off the field since week nine.
“The Titans are an unconventional team. The NFL loves quarterbacks, they are stellar Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Tennessee is winning with a quarterback (Derrick Henry) who is very efficient but is far from this conversation of the best quarterback in the NFL. Many do not trust the Titans because they win with a dominant running game, which is not very well seen either, but it has been a successful formula, controlling the ball, defensive plays and dominating the game,” said Harada.
The numbers are also in favor of the Titans: the place Five Thirty Eight, specializing in statistical analysis, gives him a 66% chance of beating the Bengals.
It is no coincidence that Titans, Bengals Y Bills battle to reach the title. These three teams also rank among the top five lowest-value franchises in the NFL. Despite having increased its value by 14% over last year, the Titans are the 28th team in this category among the 32 teams in the league with 2,625 million dollars, according to estimates from Forbes. The Bengals occupy rung 31 (2.275 million) and the Bills 32 (2,270 million).
The 300 million increase in value that the Titans from 2020 to 2021 has been the highest since the 500 million increase from 2015 to 2016, which coincides with the appointment of Amy Adams Strunk as majority owner in March 2015. Beginning in 2016 a series of improvements to the facilities began of the club, which in 2021 was capitalized with a new training camp and a major expansion of its executive offices, the most significant upgrade the franchise has made since moving to Nashville in 1997.
Before moving to Tennessee that year, his hometown was Houston and his name was the Oilers, who won a pair of AFL championships in 1960 and 1961, but since joining the NFL they couldn’t win the Super Bowl. The closest they have come to the title was in the final of the 1999-2000 season against the Rams, when wide receiver Kevin Dyson came within a yard of forcing a tie or win.