What a job he and his staff did this year. No Derrick Henry for the second half of the year. Superstar receivers AJ Brown and Julio Jones missed a combined 11 games. Not only did they win the division, but they clinched the number 1 seed, and the only bye in the AFC. The defense came together, and has become one of the best in the league. The running back room has impressed without King, and Chester Rodgers, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine stepped up without AJ and Julio. The special teams were solid, and the kicking game didn’t give me too many heart attacks, besides that one in New York… But nevertheless, the AFC runs through Nashville, and Henry will be back… TitanUp!
The first quarter was uneventful, with punts, and a 42-yard missed field goal by Mr. Randy Bullock. But the offense finally woke up in the 2nd quarter, as they broke out for 3 TDs in that 15-minute time frame. The first TD was on a beautiful 94-yard drive, and it ended with QB1 Ryan Tannehill finding Anthony Firkser wide open in the end zone on a pass for 5-yards.
Randy made the PAT, to make it 7-0. The 2nd touchdown came on another long drive, this one 85-yards, and the recipient of the pass was Mr. 1K himself, AJ Brown. He took a short one from Tannehill and ran for 14-yards into the end zone to extend the lead to 14-0, after Bullock’s PAT.
Then the Titans defense forced a punt with 50 seconds left. It was Tanney time from then, as he led a masterful drive, which ended in a 4-yard TD pass to Westbrook-Ikhine.
Going into the half it was 21 zip Tennessee. But the Texans said they weren’t done yet…
The Titans punted to start the half, and rookie Davis Mills made them pay. He launched a 28-yard strike to receiver Chris Moore for 6. Ka’imi Fairbairn made the extra point to inch closer, at 21-7. The Tennessee offense suddenly went cold, and punted the ball right back. Mills got Houston into field goal range, and Fairbairn made a 31-yarder to make the score 21-10. The Titans punted for the 3rd straight possession, and the giraffe, Davis Miss made them pay again. He found Danny Amendola in the end zone for 6, and found him again on the 2pt-conversion, and suddenly it was a 3 point game! At 21-18 the pressure was on Tannehill and the rest of the Tennessee offense. And boy did they deliver. Ryan T led a great 75-yard drive, and to end it he found Julio Jones for his first touchdown as a Tennessee Titan!
It came at the best time, as it made it a 10 point game, at 28-18. Mills drove the Texans down again, and found Amendola for the 2nd time in the end zone, to get within 3, at 28-25, but it was too late. Todd Downing called the right plays, and the Titans running backs did their job and ran out the clock, and just like that, the Tennessee Titans clinched the number 1 seed! Final, Titans (12-5) 28 - Texans (4-13) 25.
What a game from Tannehill. He delivered when needed, with 287 yards, and 4 TDs. He spread the ball around well, as there was no 100+ yard pass catcher. Also, he made this magical play:
The running backs deserve their credit, especially mini-Derrick Henry, D’Onta Foreman. He rumbled 69 meaningful yards vs. the team that drafted him.
The defense was questionable, but they shut them out in the 1st half. For some reason, the Texans are really good at making comebacks vs. Tennessee, and they score points fast. But a win is a win, so I’ll take it.
Fantasy Performer of the Week
The final Fantasy Performer of the Week goes to, drumroll, please………….. Ryan Tannehill, with 27.28 points. He was my backup QB, to Josh Allen this year, but he could be a starter. I recommend him for next year.
Photo Credit: The Tennessean
Also, AJ Brown is a great option, as him and Tannehill have great chemistry. Look for both of them to have good fantasy seasons next year, with Henry returning.
MVP, Improvement, Breakout, and What’s Next
My MVP goes to Ryan Tannehill, of course. He played a great game, and hopefully, he can make it continue. Improvement goes to the 2nd half offense. In the playoffs, we have to finish teams off, we simply cannot let them hang around like Houston did. Breakout for the Divisional Round goes to King Henry. I think he’ll be a full go, and dominate and show everyone why he’s the best back in the NFL. Tennessee gets next week off, and will play in the Divisional Round vs. the highest remaining seed, in Nashville. As for the poor Texans, they are done for the season, but they do finally get their first-round draft pick this year. So I guess that’s a positive note. Anyways see you later, and TitanUp!
Illustration Credit: Titans Wire / USA Today