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VOL. 36 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 10, 2012

Both 9-7, NY is ‘super’ while Titans rebuilding

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Another football season is in the books with the New York Giants’ 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

And with that ending begins another offseason of planning and building for the other 30 teams, Tennessee Titans included, trying to reach next year’s Super Bowl.

From a “half-empty” viewpoint it appears the Titans have too many holes to fill in one offseason. They have 18 free agents and need help on defense and the interior of the offensive line.

What should the Titans do with the likes of Cortland Finnegan, Michael Griffin and Jason Jones, among others? Chances are, not all will be back in a Titans uniform in 2012.

The Titans also will have to let the quarterback situation play itself out. Do they go another season with Matt Hasselbeck, who proved to be rejuvenated after moving from Seattle to Nashville, or has the time come to see if they can parlay the moxie that rookie Jake Locker showed in cameo appearances into something more long-term?

And what of Chris Johnson? Can 2011 be blamed on his holdout or is he already in decline after just four years of hits on his 200-pound frame?

And how quickly can receiver Kenny Britt recover from knee surgery? Will he become the player he was on the verge of being before the injury.

Those are the types of decisions that now rest on the shoulders of new general manager Ruston Webster, working hand-in-hand with head coach Mike Munchak and the Titans scouting staff.

No question there are major concerns. But from a “half-full” perspective, perhaps the Titans might not be as far away from the Promised Land as one might think.

New York should are Exhibit A that you don’t have to be best team in the league to win the Super Bowl.

The Giants finished the regular season 9-7, same as the Titans, and were not without their warts. It’s just that no one will remember them because of the end result.

Consider the Giants’ season:

They endured a four-game losing streak that had people whispering that Tom Coughlin might lose his job. In fact, there were even rumors that Jeff Fisher might be the Giants’ next coach.

They finished last in the league in rushing. Want to guess who finished next-to-last? Yes, the Titans were right there with them, a mere seven-tenths of a yard per separating the two.

The Giants didn’t clinch a playoff berth until the final game of the regular season, knocking off the Dallas Cowboys to win an NFC East so mediocre that the Philadelphia Eagles were still in contention entering the final week despite being 4-8 at one point.

New York lost not once, but twice, by double digits to the Rex Grossman-led Washington Redskins. That alone should have disqualified them from the postseason.

The Giants were 5-7 in NFC games, the conference they represented in the Super Bowl.

They actually gave up more points this season than they scored, allowing 400 while scoring only 394 in the regular season. They are the first team to ever give up more than they scored in a season and win a Super Bowl.

All those things worked against the New York Giants for the bulk of the regular season.

But in the end, none of it mattered because once the Giants got their chance, made the best of it and rolled through the postseason, playing their best football when it mattered most.

The Titans should take note.

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com and is the AFC blogger for National Football Post.

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