Titans Fans are Being Robbed of a Joyful Season, and the Culprit is Themselves

Fans have been complaining about the Titans performances this season since week one.  People were in an uproar after the loss to the Raiders and even more so in the first half of week two against the Jaguars.  While it has paused several times during the season, the negativity and uneasiness among the fan base has never truly ceased; even as the team has kept winning.  It’s as though these Titans are the New England Patriots dynasty of the past twenty years.  Where anything below 13-3 is seen as a disappointment.

The memories of the awful ownership, general management, coaching, and talent of the 2014 and 2015 season seem to have dissolved.  The depths of despair this team went through for nearly a decade have been forgotten.  The quick turnaround that Mike Mularkey, Jon Robinson, and Amy Adams Strunk pulled off has brought about unrealistic expectations from the fan base, and the only people suffering from it are the fans.

I would never expect the fans to want or accept mediocracy, but I will encourage patience on the road to greatness.  In the first year of Mularkey’s tenure, the team achieved a winning record after two of the worst seasons in franchise history.  He established a culture, vision, and attitude for a team that was walking in football purgatory.  Regardless of your feelings for Mularkey now, he was the right man for the job at the time, and deserves to see this thing through for a while.  Especially considering the Titans are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and improve on their record from last year.

It hasn’t always been pretty at times this year, and while the offense has seemingly taken a step back, the opposite can be said for the defense.  Since the embarrassment that was Deshawn Watson’s coming out party in Houston, the defense has played really well.  Winning some games single-handedly and keeping the Titans close in games that they probably had no business winning.  Last time I checked, though, the defense is just as important to a team as the offense.

And while the offense has struggled to find its way, the fan bases reaction to the production is far worse than the actual production itself.  As of last week, the Titans were ranked 20th in total offense.  That’s not setting the woods on fire by any means, but a lot of fans fail to realize that 20th isn’t even bottom 3rd of the league.  That’s not great, but it’s also not the worst.  The biggest struggles have been from the running game, and while it hasn’t been good, it’s arguably the easiest to fix.  Many would argue its as simple as switching RB1 and RB2.

As for the QB? Blaming OC Terry Robiskie for Marcus Mariota’s struggles this season is either refusing to believe what the tape says, or simply not wanting to give Mariota any criticism, which he definitely deserves this year.  He’s thrown some really bad passes that have absolutely nothing to do with scheme, and he’s also been a victim of some lackadaisical wide receiver play.  But guess what? letting Marcus shoulder some of the blame isn’t a bad thing.  He can do it.  He’s built to shoulder the blame.  He does it himself.  He hasn’t been great this year, and that’s ok.  I have complete faith that he’ll fix it.  He hasn’t given me any reason to believe he won’t.  And when he does fix it, he’ll still throw interceptions and have bad games now and then, because that’s what quarterbacks do.  Even the great ones.

This fan base needs to quit trying to find reasons to fire people and find reasons to rejoice because there are plenty of them.  This team is hopefully headed for the playoffs for the first time in decades.  They have good, likable personnel and great leadership.  They love their coaches and have a strong will to win.  They are accountable and tough. Ride this out for a while.  Enjoy this team and root them on.  Who knows how long this wave will last.  We, of all people, should understand that they certainly may not last forever, and the lows of a losing franchise in the NFL are really low.  Enjoy the highs when you get them.

 

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