Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a day-after-game press conference after a 40-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Titans fell to 10-5 after the loss. They face the Houston Texans in week 17. A win clinches them the AFC South and a playoff berth.
— Terry McCormick (@terrymc13) December 28, 2020
Here are the topics Mike Vrabel discussed during the press conference.
STAKES VERSUS HOUSTON
We know you want to forget the travesty that was Sunday night. So, we will just look ahead at what’s coming.
The Tennessee Titans have the Houston Texans next. A divisional rival who is playing just to ruin their rivals’ chances of winning the division.
A win on Sunday night would’ve given the Titans a chance to clinch the AFC South. They didn’t do so, but they have another chance to do so on Sunday in Houston.
“Rarely do you get a second opportunity at something,” Vrabel said, “That’s the message this week, we got a second opportunity to go on the road, win a game, win the division, and host a home playoff game.”
The Titans have only won the AFC South twice in its history. They won in 2002 and 2008. A win would give them their third divisional crown and their first home playoff game in 12 years.
PLAYING A FAMILIAR FOE
The Tennessee Titans had the odds against them on Sunday night. The ground was covered in a sheet of snow, and they were facing an unfamiliar foe.
This week they face a team they know very well and have faced already this season.
Vrabel was asked if facing a familiar foe helps Tennessee prepare for such a critical game.
“That happens every week,” Vrabel said, “Sometimes you know teams in your division and you’ve played them often. We’ll have to understand who the go-to guys are, what makes Deshaun (Watson) so good and talented, and try to find ways to affect him.”
The Titans defeated the Texans the last time these two teams faced each other in overtime. Watson had 335 yards and four touchdowns with only nine incompletions versus Tennessee’s defense.
CONFIDENCE ON DEFENSE
The defense of the Tennessee Titans has been the main concern for them all season. The spotlight shined bright on the defense in big games, taking away from the potent offense the team has.
Mike Vrabel was asked if the issues on defense have anything to do with the confidence of the defensive players.
“I think confidence plays a large part in everybody,” Vrabel said, “You have to go out there and show it and prove it. Then it carries over.”
With an offense as great as the Titans, it’s annoying that defense is such a large issue. But, the Titans still have time to make strides.
PREPARING FOR THE TEXANS
The success of the season now rides on the results of week 17. A Tennessee Titans win caps off a great season with an AFC South crown. A loss could see it all go down the drain.
The Titans beat themselves on Sunday night. Vrabel said the message this week in practice will be to avoid that.
“Try to avoid unforced errors,” Vrabel said, “Turnovers, inexcusable penalties that turned third-down stops into touchdowns. Those are things that are going to get you.”
Although the Texans are 4-11, they still have a pretty good quarterback. A quarterback that can certainly shred a defense without a pass rush. A key to a win this Sunday will be to make sure Watson isn’t too comfortable.
“If you just let him sit back there and pick you apart, he’s 70% accurate,” Vrabel said, “A very talented player, unbelievable person, so this will be a huge challenge.”
The Tennessee Titans will hope to get him rattled on Sunday, so they can get a much-needed win, finish 11-5, and host their first playoff game since 2008.