NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Something rare happened for the Tennessee Titans in their 42-20 blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars: everything went right.

The Titans took the lead early in the second quarter and never looked back. They took total control at the start of the second half when it took them just 4:41 to turn a 7-3 lead into a 28-3 lead.

With five games left and a legitimate chance to earn a playoff berth, the Titans’ win on Sunday needs to be the blueprint for how things look for the team moving forward.

“It kind of shows you what we can do when we execute up front, when guys are finishing and you have a special guy like [Derrick] Henry who can make guys miss and run through tackles,” QB Ryan Tannehill said.

“You saw a lot of snapshots of guys executing, making plays, finishing and playing hard for each other.

“That’s the standard. That’s what we want to do week in and week out.”

“THE STANDARD”

Tannehill certainly was not saying that the Titans need to completely demolish each of the teams remaining on their schedule in the fashion that they did Jacksonville. That would be a completely unrealistic expectation.

But what isn’t unrealistic, and what Tannehill believes to be fair, is to expect the Titans to not have any repeats of the type of performance that lost them their first game against the Jaguars earlier in the season, or the one that put them in an early and insurmountable hole against the Panthers just a few weeks ago.

Because, based on how they’ve looked in their last two games, the Titans are better than that.

With an upcoming stretch of crucial division games, it will be vital for the Titans to avoid a backslide. They have to use the momentum gained from Sunday’s blowout win to their advantage.

“There are a lot of good things we can build off of to keep the momentum going,” Henry said. “We know we’re going to need it.”

A LOT TO BUILD OFF OF

There certainly were a lot of things present in the Titans’ win against the Jaguars that the team can build off of moving forward, especially on offense.

For starters, Henry was nearly unstoppable, as has become custom for him in games against Jacksonville. He averaged 8.4 yards per carry en route to a 159-yard, 2-TD performance.

Receiver A.J. Brown also returned to relevancy after a few weeks of not having much of a discernible impact. He caught four passes for 135 yards, highlighted by a 65-yard catch and run for a score in the third quarter.

As the commander-in-chief of the unit, Tannehill also was able to perform at a high level. He accounted for four touchdowns, running for two and throwing for two.

NO MORE BACKSLIDES

Despite the success, it’s fair to wonder whether the Titans will actually be able to keep it up.

Many times since Mike Vrabel took over as head coach, the Titans have followed up an impressive win or a streak of wins with a dumbfounding loss. For the Titans to have any hope of winning the AFC South, a backslide like that absolutely cannot happen.

Luckily for the Titans, it legitimately seems like they could be catching a late-season stride. That’s mostly thanks to Tannehill, who has recorded an impressive 4-1 record as the Titans’ starter in 2019.

But, for many Titans players and coaches, their focus isn’t on keeping some kind of streak alive. They’re merely focused on the task at hand each week.

“I couldn’t even tell you how many we’ve won, I know we’ve won one in a row,” Vrabel said. “We’re able to just get a leg up in what we’re trying to do. We’ll try to find our next opponent, find where we play them and when we play them, then start to prepare.”

So, is the version of the Titans that’s won four out of five games the version that will finish the season, or will it be the one that started the year 2-4?

The next few weeks should provide the answer to that question, and there’s no excuse for the bad Titans to show back up.

Based on what happened at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, it looks like that won’t happen.

Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today

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