If you took one thing away from the press conference on Tuesday it should have been that Titans have belief. In themselves and each other. Titan sized belief that they’re a very good football team and they can overcome adversity. The season finale against Jacksonville was really a must win first-round playoff game. Then came the biggest playoff,(non-super bowl) comeback since 1972 to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans have earned that belief in themselves. They have earned the right to be where they are in the AFC divisional playoffs.
Coach Mike Mularkey, “Trust starts in the offseason and that comes into play in the fourth quarter. There was no flinch or wavering, there wasn’t one guy in that locker room that didn’t believe we couldn’t come back (against Kansas City) and win that game.” It’s obvious that the Titans have climbed up another rung on the “We” ladder. There is a sense when you watch them play that they are truly playing for each other more than themselves. Case in point. Late fourth quarter on a key third down play, Maritoa hands off to Henry and steps out of the way. The play would have been over for a lot of signal-callers but not Mariota. Henry reversed field and Mariota stepped in and threw a block that sprung Henry and sealed the Titans victory. More noteworthy it was MARIOTA that was mobbed by the Titans offensive line, not Henry.
“They’re the champs. These are the kinds of teams that you have to beat if you want to be the champs. We know we’ll face a team that won’t make mistakes in any of the three phases of the game.” Mike Mularkey on the Patriots. “He’s the best. He’s been the best for a long time now.” Marcus Mariota on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Titans go into Saturday’s match-up with open eyes. It’s not easy to win in New England. The Patriots have had a first-round bye for eight consecutive years, as a result, they will be prepared. The Titans know it will take a lot of smart, error free football and effort to play up to expectations in the divisional round.
“You know what, I don’t know who they are or what they think.” Coach Mike Mularkey on the Titans being underdogs for the second straight week. Have you seen the Patriots story out of ESPN recently? Many think it will be a unifying point for New England. Including FPC_Patriots managing editor Mike D’Abate. The Titans and their coaching staff have been picked at for over a month. After a three-game losing streak late in the season, rumors have swirled around the head coach and his possible termination. The Patriots will not be the only team with the “Us against everyone else” mentality. That makes the Titans a dangerous team. A team that not only thinks it can win but believes it can win. In any walk of life, belief is a powerful thing.
Want to continue the conversation? Dean Williams is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Titans and you can reach and follow him on twitter @badappleffb