NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans‘ start to the 2020 season has been a good one. Their 6-2 record through the first half of the season puts them on pace to finish 12-4, a record that would certainly put them near the top of the AFC.

“I think that we’ve put ourselves in a position to, again, play a lot of meaningful football games in the second half of the season,” head coach Mike Vrabel said.

The real work starts now, though, as the Titans get set to face the Colts on Thursday night and again in two weeks on Nov. 29. Those games could very well decide the AFC South.

At 5-3, the Colts are just one game behind the Titans’ lead in the AFC South. Sweeping the Titans would be a brutal blow for the Titans’ hopes of a division title, and a split would likely keep things close for the remainder of the season.

The task ahead of the Titans is simple: if they want to win the AFC South, they need to beat Indianapolis at least once, preferably twice. Their best shot will be on Thursday, as the Titans will be playing at home.

“It’s a big game,” QB Ryan Tannehill said. “Division games are huge. Being at home, it’s a huge opportunity on Thursday night.”

It’s been 12 years since the Titans last won the AFC South, and this year’s team is more than capable of ending that dismal drought.

With the Texans and Jaguars sputtering toward top-10 picks in the 2021 draft, the AFC South will be a two-horse race. The Titans are the better horse, at least on paper.

Indianapolis’ defense has been impressive in 2020, but 38-year-old QB Philip Rivers has been all over the place, and the offense hasn’t gotten nearly the spark they were expecting from rookie RB Jonathan Taylor.

However, if the Titans are unable to get at least one win against the Colts, it won’t matter that they have the better roster.

By starting the season 6-2, the Titans have positioned themselves to not have to rely on help from other teams in getting into the postseason. Frankly, it would be somewhat of a travesty if the Titans aren’t still playing when January rolls around.

At the end of the day, though, the Titans finishing the season poorly would render their impressive start totally useless. They’ll be playing meaningful games, but they need to tea advantage of them by winning.

“The more you win in November and December, the more meaningful the games get,” safety Kevin Byard said.

“We can’t get caught up in being 6-2, we have to take it one week at a time.”

Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today
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