Tennessee Titans Face Colossal Challenge In Playoff Push

Can the Tennessee Titans turn it around and make a run for the playoffs, as the weeks tick off in the 2013 NFL schedule?

Not if their play Sunday is any indication.

Thanks to the Tennesee Titans’s play against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, there are no longer any win-less NFL teams, with Tampa Bay scoring a W in Monday Night Football and the Titans’ perplexing loss against the lowly Jaguars franchise. And, adding injury to insult, Tennessee has lost starting quarterback Jake Locker for the season with a Lisfranc injury; the odd, non-contact injury came on a hand-off to Titans running back Chris Johnson in the second quarter. Already down 13-0, Tennessee backup Ryan Fitzpatrick was unable to get the Titans out on top, despite putting up 17 points in the fourth quarter.

In fact, it was the Tennessee offense that put that nail in the Titans’ own coffin in that fourth quarter: right guard Chance Warmack was flagged for holding in the end zone, resulting in a safety for Jacksonville and the winning margin. The Titans made it a one-score game late in the fourth but failed to recover an onside kick and ran out of time against the team at the very bottom of the AFC.

With the loss of Locker, Tennessee faces a rough road on which to try to take a trip to the playoffs, a journey some say is already over for this Titans team, which is left to think of future concerns beyond the immediate.

“While the loss of Jake Locker essentially puts the Titans out of the playoff hunt, the bigger cause for concern is how this will affect Locker, long term,” said Yahoo Sports contributor Will Lomas. “This is Locker’s third injury in just two years as a starter; and they have happened different ways, every time.”

While Locker’s overall health and conditioning pose big picture questions for the Titans, Tennessee needs to be a bit more present-oriented in their approach. They aren’t out of it yet. The Titans face division-leading Indianapolis twice in the next three weeks, sandwiched around a road game against the lowly Oakland Raiders. Those Colts games won’t be a picnic but they will be the deciding factor of the season. After Tennessee either makes it or breaks it, they face challenges in the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals and then a shot at redemption two weeks in a row, with games against the Houston Texans and Jaguars to close out the year.

Do you think the Tennessee Titans can make it to the playoffs? Will the Tennessee Titans settle for a wildcard berth or will they overtake the Colts?