Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans completed their third consecutive winning season in 2018, finishing 9-7 under rookie head coach Mike Vrabel.
With the offseason now underway and roster decisions approaching, the team enters the 2019 offseason optimistic it can take the next steps to make a return to the postseason.
Since executive vice president/general manager Jon Robinson arrived in 2016, the Titans have finished 9-7 every season and advanced to the divisional playoff round following the 2017 campaign.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) talks in the huddle during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
The Titans are one of only six NFL teams to finish each of the last three years above .500, joining the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.
Additionally, the Titans have found ways to rediscover a homefield advantage at Nissan Stadium. In their last 20 regular season home games, the Titans have 16 total wins. Their home winning percentage of .800 during that time period ranks second in the NFL, trailing only the 17-3 Patriots (.850).
On the heels of celebrating its 20th season as the Titans and unveiling new uniforms under the direction of controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, the franchise now enters its third decade in its current incarnation on an upward trajectory. And the marquee event of the NFL offseason will put the Titans and the city of Nashville in the national spotlight.
Vrabel Molding Tennessee Titans
Vrabel’s first team came within one game of reaching the playoffs, despite several untimely injuries and obstacles. A total of 12 players finished the season on injured reserve, the franchise’s third-highest total since 1990.
Still the “big, fast, strong, smart football team that’s disciplined,” as Vrabel envisioned when he took the job in January 2018, adapted and endured. Vrabel guided the team to a winning record while navigating one of the NFL’s toughest schedules. They played a league-high nine games during the regular season against seven eventual playoff teams, and their four wins against playoff clubs tied for the most in the league. Only New England, the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina had as many.
Eight of the team’s 16 games were played at non-Sunday-noon kickoff days and times, in addition to the season opener in Miami that lasted more than seven hours due to two separate weather stoppages.
In late-game situations, the Titans regularly executed their plan. They ranked third in the NFL behind New Orleans (79) and Indianapolis (42) with a plus-39 scoring differential in the fourth quarter. Their six touchdowns allowed in the fourth quarter tied for the league low (Baltimore and Cincinnati), while their four turnovers in the fourth quarter tied for the fifth-lowest total in the league.
The Titans committed 82 penalties in 2018. Not only was that number the best in franchise history over a 16-game season, it was the lowest total by an NFL team since 2014.
It was only after their season finale—and the NFL’s final Week 17, Sunday night matchup—that the Titans were eliminated from playoff contention. The AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts, playing a Titans team without injured starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, won “Game 256” in a memorable Nissan Stadium atmosphere to join the division-winning Houston Texans in the wild card round.
SectionsFeatured Story, Football, NFL, Professional Teams, Sports, Sports Leagues, Tennessee Titans
TopicsAFC South, Amy Adams Srunk, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Jon Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Marcus Mariota, Mike Vrabel, Nashville TN, National Football League, New Orleans Saints, NewEngland Patriots, NFL, NFL Draft, Nissan Stadium, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Titans