The Tennessee Titans continued their unlikely success this season on Saturday night by knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
If you’ve watched any national media coverage of the game, you’ve probably noticed that not much has been said about the Titans advancing in the playoffs. Most of the discussion has centered around the Patriots, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Look, I understand that Saturday night was possibly Brady’s last game in a Patriots uniform. And I understand that the eventual breakup of Brady, Belichick and the Patriots will be one of the biggest stories in sports.
If this is the end, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have had an incredible run with the Patriots:
🔹 20 seasons
🔹 6 Super Bowl wins
🔹 9 Super Bowl appearances
🔹 219 wins
🔹 74k pass yards, 541 TDs
🔹 17 AFC East titles pic.twitter.com/VET6rNySqq
— ESPN (@espn) January 5, 2020
But at the moment, no one has any idea what the future holds for Brady and the Patriots. It’s very possible he’s back in New England next season and all of this speculation will be for naught.
Meanwhile, there’s a tremendous story in Nashville that should be getting loads of national attention right now.
The 2019 Titans just won a road game in the playoffs after looking like their season was toast earlier this season.
On October 13, the Titans were 2-4 and they had just benched starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. At that point, the playoffs seemed like a longshot. A 5-11 outcome to the season seemed much more likely.
But then everything changed. Ryan Tannehill, a quarterback who was discarded by the Miami Dolphins for almost nothing (Miami sent Tannehill and a sixth round pick to Tennessee for a fourth rounder and seventh rounder), took the Titans’ offense to the next level. Running back Derrick Henry averaged 69.3 yards per game before Tannehill took over as Tennessee’s starting quarterback. After Tannehill took over, Henry averaged 112.4 yards per game.
The Titans’ entire 2019 season was saved because of a former Patriots scout’s decision to make a deal for a quarterback the Miami Dolphins literally paid to go away (Miami is paying $5 million of Tannehill’s guaranteed $7 million this season).
Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is an incredible story that’s not getting nearly enough attention outside of Nashville.
The Titans shouldn’t be in the playoffs. And they shouldn’t be moving on to the divisional round after playing the Patriots on the road.
But they are. And it’s due in large part because of Jon Robinson’s savvy deal to rescue Ryan Tannehill from South Beach and bring him to a franchise where his obvious talent could be properly utilized.
Perhaps if the national media wasn’t so enthralled with the possible “end of the Patriots dynasty”, they’d see there’s an even better story they could be telling their national audience.
As usual, however, the Titans get pushed to the back burner — even when they slay the king of the AFC.
Featured image via David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports