This is not the “Warning” column.
This is not the “Let’s keep it in perspective” column.
The Titans’ 6-0 start is absolutely awesome. It is a fantastic accomplishment, especially considering that no team in the franchise’s 49-year history had started 4-0, let alone 5-0 or 6-0.
You just don’t do this in the NFL. Hopefully, the Titans took a little time to enjoy it on their way back from crushing Kansas City, 34-10.
They absolutely deserve it.
When you start 6-0, you are no longer an underdog. You are a favorite. The question is, “A favorite for what?”
The Super Bowl?
The next six games will tell us that. This is where the race will be largely determined. From Oct. 27 to Nov. 27 -- a span of 31 days -- Tennessee will play six football games.
Home for Indianapolis on Monday Night.
Home for Green Bay.
At Chicago and Jacksonville.
Home for the New York Jets.
At Detroit on Thanksgiving day.
Some scenarios for the six games…
Go 3-3 and the Titans will still enter December with AT LEAST a share of the AFC South lead. They will still be playing for a playoff bye, but by no means have a playoff spot wrapped up. If you split the six games, there is still plenty of work to be done, but you aren’t in bad shape.
Go 4-2 and Tennessee still leads the division. The Titans would enter December in great shape for a playoff bye.
Go 5-1 and you are beautiful. December becomes a lot less pressurized, as you would have to crater to not win the division. A bye and home field advantage throughout the postseason are totally within your grasp.
I’m not even going into 6-0 during the stretch. Way too much for me. I’m also not going into 1-5 or 2-4. If you falter like this, you throw away this remarkable start and spend December trying to find the magic. You can still make the playoffs, probably can still win the division, but rarely does a team that has blown a great start find the magic again.
Enough scenarios. Time to get on with it.
It all starts with Monday Night Football against 3-3 Indianapolis at LP Field. From a ticket demand standpoint, the case could be fairly made that this is the biggest regular-season game in LP Field’s history. Fans are pumped and the whole football world will be watching. It is a huge game for the Tennessee Titans and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
But neither winning nor losing next Monday’s game gives us a final answer on who these Titans truly are. Sure, it would be great to pin another loss on the Colts, but when that game concludes, the work is just beginning. Next Monday’s game just starts this all-important stretch.
Six games. 31 days. And at the end, we’ll have a much better idea just how good these Tennessee Titans are.