In the here and now, the Titans are still chinning themselves up since bottoming out with 5-11 and 4-12 seasons in 2004 and ’05. They made considerable headway last season but will struggle to match the 8-8 record.
It doesn’t matter if the Titans are one year away from challenging for the AFC South title.
All that matters is the here and now. What matters is whether the Titans can make the playoffs this year.
An NFL team’s number one goal is not to win the division title.
The Titans’ goal is to win the Super Bowl.
A Super Bowl victory can happen any season a team makes it to the NFL playoffs. Last year, the New York Giants made the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Going 9-7 gives you a very good chance of making the playoffs, and going 10-6 makes it almost certain that you’ll have a chance to play for the title.
As I said before, I have complete confidence that Vince Young will win at least one Lombardi trophy during his career. My expectations have no time limit and have nothing to do with how the Titans look on paper.
The only thing we know about this season today is this: Indianapolis is Indianapolis, Drew Brees had a bad game and Jason David is easy pickings for quarterbacks and wide receivers. That’s it. That’s all we know.
So whether or not the Titans ever challenge for the AFC South division title is of no consequence. They may never win the division as long as Peyton Manning is healthy.
But not winning the division doesn’t mean the Titans can’t win the Super Bowl this year, or any year.
They just have to make it to the big dance.