A bye week early in the season isn’t always ideal.
If you’re a team that has started off the season hot and perhaps still undefeated, the last thing you want is to be slowed down with a break in your schedule.
But if you’re a team like the Tennessee Titans that has already experienced a few bumps in the road, an early bye might actually be beneficial.
The Titans aren’t where they want to be after a 1-2 start. Especially when you consider how well they played in Week 1 in Tampa, and then how poorly they finished in the Week 3 game against Indianapolis.
In a span of three weeks, the Titans went from one end of the spectrum to the other. Just think about how eventful the past three weeks have been.
Marcus Mariota set NFL records in helping Tennessee thrash the Bucs by four touchdowns. Then the Titans followed it up with a miserable performance against a below average Browns team in Cleveland.
And to cap it off, the team held a 27-14 lead with less than seven minutes remaining against a Colts team that many – including myself – picked to win the Super Bowl before eventually collapsing and losing.
That type of inconsistency can’t continue to happen. If Ken Whisenhunt wants to remain in charge of the franchise, he’ll need to find a way to change this trend.
Maybe the bye week will be a step in the right direction. The Titans will be able to really dissect the issues that popped up against Cleveland and Indianapolis. There have been problems on both sides of the ball, so it’s not like only one unit is to blame.
Mariota hasn’t been perfect. Neither has his receivers. The defense has had some issues in the secondary, which will need to be fixed if the Titans are to turn things around during this October homestand.
Yes, the bye week allows the Titans to stay in Nashville for the entire month. Never has a team needed this more.
Given how young some of the key players are in this franchise, the ability to gain a bit of comfort in your home stadium is important. You sensed Mariota getting comfortable against the Colts, and now he’ll have a chance to take that up a notch with Buffalo, Miami, and Atlanta coming to town.
But the Titans won’t be able to make the same kind of mistakes if they want to beat those three.
The Bills look like a legitimate AFC contender, the Dolphins are solid despite their record, and the Falcons could very well be the best team in the NFC.
It’s not going to be easy to turn things around. However, we all knew it wouldn’t be.
It’s just that the Titans were so close. Beating the Colts would have given this franchise a boost of momentum that hasn’t been there in years. Entering the bye week at 2-1 is a lot different than entering at 1-2.
But there’s nothing anyone can do about that now. Here the Titans are, now a team that is feeling the pressure to regain its Week 1 ways.
There’s no way that every problem will be solved with a simple week off. That’s not realistic.
But this is a chance for a fresh start. A demanding schedule awaits starting next week, and Mariota and company will need to be ready.
The schedule makers have given the Titans an early Christmas present. You can’t ask for anything better than four straight home games when you have a young team that is looking to prove itself.
The Titans have given one of those games away. If they can make the other three count, then maybe a wave of hope will return to the Music City.