Titans out, but remember what they did in 2019

Derrick Henry is all smiles after the Tennessee Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens.
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NFL

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Cinderella story is over for the Tennessee Titans.

But they won’t soon be forgotten.

The Titans scraped into the playoff with an unspectacular 9-7 regular-season record but took their talents to new heights thereafter. Their postseason run took their 2019 campaign from “good” to undeniably “great” and set the stage for success in the future.

Close but no cigar

Naturally, coming up one game short of the stings regardless of it was expected or not. And it was expected. Tennessee was a touchdown underdog against the second-seeded Chiefs, who were hosting the AFC Championship for the second time in as many years. Not too much unlike Houston one week earlier, the visitors came out blazing to put Kansas City in a double-digit hole. The Chiefs, however, laughed at that 10-0 first-quarter deficit in the face and eventually rolled to a 35-24 victory.

“It’s tough,” Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill admitted. “Honestly, I’m kind of in shock a little bit. You don’t prepare yourself for this outcome. Everything in your preparation, in your mind is we’re gonna win this game. You don’t really even think of the other side.”

The other side

That other side now involves an offseason littered with question marks. Star running back Derrick Henry can become a free agent if a new deal is not struck by March 10. Tannehill is heading for unrestricted free agency and this team also has to make decisions on fellow QB Marcus Mariota, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, and offensive tackle Jack Conklin, among others.

As good as the Titans were, they are not a team that can afford to lose many—if any—key pieces without replacing them in a big way. With any team in any spot, you are what your record says you are. Pittsburgh let the Titans off the hook and helped them get into the playoffs, but 9-7 is 9-7. It’s really nothing more than mediocre. Tennessee has to get better—better in a big way, in fact—if it wants to take the next step and seriously contend for a Super Bowl title (our free NFL expert picks will soon have you covered for the upcoming Super Bowl between Kansas City and San Francisco).

Questions can be answered

That’s not to say Titans fans should put a damper on any enthusiasm stemming from this recent run. If Henry returns and to a lesser extent if Tannehill is back, this club is capable of giving it another go. After all, Henry has established himself as the best running back in football. After compiling 1,540 yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season, the former Heisman trophy winner positively abused New England and Baltimore in the wild-card and divisional playoffs, respectively.

“I think he went from a good running back to a very good running back, but he became a leader,” head coach Mike Vrabel commented. “I think he helped lead this football team. I think he helped carry my message and our staff’s message into the locker room. I think his durability, his effort, his toughness allowed him to be a leader.”

Speaking of Vrabel, the Titans have one of the bright, young coaching stars roaming their sidelines. This team can coach, run the football, and play defense. Even in the current era of spread offenses and boatloads of points being scored, running the ball and playing defense remains a tried and true formula for success.

The Titans have the tools. They simply have to remember how they got this far and then make the right decisions in the offseason.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply