Trouble handling success may have ultimately undone the Tennessee Titans in a loss in Jacksonville that ended their playoff hopes.
That’s one conclusion coach Mike Mularkey drew after he had time to consider Saturday's 38-17 defeat.
“We had some success against some very good football teams,” he said, referring to consecutive wins over Denver and at Kansas City. “Maybe it’s a lack of learning how to deal with success that we went through. Maybe you start to feel like you can do more, and maybe not be locked in and focused as much as you need to be.”
While the Titans made some excellent gains in 2016, none of them came in the AFC South. Depending on Sunday’s result against Houston, the Titans cheap jerseys will finish 1-5 or 2-4 in games against their division rivals. At best, that will tie for the worst division record in the AFC South.
The 2015 Titans went 3-13 overall, 1-5 in the AFC South.
The 2014 Titans went 2-14, 1-5 in the AFC South.
That Tennessee will, at best, better that by one game is the biggest disappointment about this season.
The Titans beat Miami and Kansas City, who are going to the playoffs. They beat Green Bay and Detroit, who will play for the NFC North title on Sunday night.
But they got swept by Indianapolis, split with Jacksonville and lost their first matchup with Houston.cheap nfl jerseys
Tight end Delanie Walker has said for a while he thinks the Titans play to the level of their competition. “Could it be that the other teams [outside the division] have higher profiles and we go in to the games thinking that we’ve got to play harder?” he said. “Then the guys in our division are not as hard, and we go in there and we play like them and they end up beating us. Who knows?"cheap mlb jerseys
Mularkey has made it clear to his players that Sunday's game, while lacking playoff consequences for the Titans, is meaningful. A 9-7 record will be easier to swallow than 8-8.
The offseason will come with plenty of looking back on what didn’t happen on Dec. 24 in Jacksonville.
“We’ve got to be able to win the games that we have to win,” Mularkey said. “Is that part of the learning process? Yeah, it’s part of it.
"But it’s a tough lesson to learn. You have to wait a year to build off of it. But I think we will take something from that and build off of it.”