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VOL. 43 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 27, 2019

Once again, Titans' season comes down to one game

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The Titans A.J. Brown is congratulated by running back Derrick Henry, right, after scoring on a 49-yard run during Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. Henry was held out of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

-- Photo By James Kenney | Ap Photo

At least the Tennessee Titans are familiar with the situation they find themselves in as they approach the 2019 regular season finale.

For the third consecutive season, their playoff fate comes down to one last game where they can win and reach the postseason.

Two years ago, the Titans were able to do just that, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in the regular-season finale and parlaying that into a playoff win over Kansas City in the opening round as a sixth-seed wild card team.

Last year, the Titans weren’t so fortunate. They lost a home game to the Indianapolis Colts with Blaine Gabbert subbing at quarterback for an injured Marcus Mariota. The loss allowed Andrew Luck and the Colts to reach the postseason.

This year’s setting finds the Titans needing to win in Houston against a Texans team that handled them two weeks ago in Nissan Stadium to stop Tennessee’s four-game winning streak.

News of the Jets’ win against the Steelers – which allowed the Titans playoff hopes to live for another week – helped soften the blow of losing 38 to the New Orleans Saints in the final home game of the season.

“Nobody wants to lose any games,” safety Kevin Byard says. “But it’s great to definitely be in the position where we control our own destiny.

“I’ve been in this position the last three years. We beat Jacksonville and got in the playoffs. Last year we didn’t get in by losing to the Colts. It feels great to control our destiny, so we need to do whatever we have to do get it fixed and go play the game down in Houston and get in the playoffs.”

Defensive end Jurrell Casey echoed the sentiment that the loss was not acceptable, but …

“You still hurt. I feel like as a captain, letting 38 points is definitely not our style of football,” Casey says. “It’s not what we’ve been preaching all year long, and it’s not the way we’re built. But as long as you can get a chance to go fight, that’s all you can ask for in this league.

“Everybody understands that. Being a pro, it comes with challenges and lots of battles, but when you get an opportunity to go fight one more time, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

It is almost as if the Titans understood that from the start – electing to rest running back Derrick Henry’s sore hamstring against the Saints in a game that wound up not meaning nearly as much once the Titans’ division title chances evaporated Saturday with Houston’s win against Tampa Bay.

Still, Sunday’s win was there for the taking.

“It’s like mixed emotions,” says quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who tossed three TD passes in a losing effort. “Losing hurts. I hate losing – that’s kind of what my feeling is right now, is that we just lost the game.

“But we understand the situation and have an opportunity to win and get in.”

That opportunity just might be boosted by the fact that the Houston Texans are locked into the No. 4 seed as AFC South champs and might decide to treat Sunday’s game with the Titans as a semi-rest game.

How much will Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and some of the other Houston stars actually play.

That said, the Titans are already treating Sunday’s game in Houston as a postseason game.

“Next week is going to be like a playoff game for us,” linebacker Derick Roberson says. “We’ve got to get the win next week and win from here on out.”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
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FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
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UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0