Why it’s best to respect the Titans, who’re underdogs once more in Week 12 vs. the Bengals

It is time to respect the Titans. Possibly not as a Tremendous Bowl contender after going one-and-done within the earlier two postseasons as a No. 1 seed, however actually their whole physique of labor beneath Mike Vrabel. This crew flat out wins and barely will get the credit score, whether or not within the media or betting market.

The Titans are presently a house underdog towards the equally sizzling Bengals regardless of Tennessee successful seven of its final eight video games, and masking in all eight. They have been surprisingly underdogs earlier than smashing the struggling Packers in Week 11, and have performed extra video games as an underdog than favourite this yr. They practically gained in Kansas Metropolis with their backup QB Malik Willis as a 14-point underdog.

They are going to be overshadowed, and an underdog, in every of their subsequent two video games towards the Bengals and Eagles. Which additionally means they’ve an opportunity to exceed expectations once more, and maybe earn well-deserved consideration that is beginning to come their approach.

They’re presently nearly as good of a wager because it comes, but hardly have the numbers to indicate for it. They’ve lined the unfold in eight straight video games, the longest lively streak within the NFL. In line with Caesars Sportsbook, lower than half the cash wagered has been on the Titans to cowl in six of these eight video games. That is additionally the way in which it is trending this week, as 61% of the cash is on the Bengals as of Thursday afternoon.

Week 3 vs. Raiders

22%

Week 4 at Colts

41%

Week 5 at Commanders

75%

Week 7 vs. Colts

44%

Week 8 at Texans

78%

Week 9 at Chiefs

44%

Week 10 vs. Broncos

21%

Week 11 at Packers

28%

A part of the rationale the Titans are neglected is as a result of they lack star energy exterior of Derrick Henry. They’ve a superb quarterback, however not a star quarterback. In addition they do not precisely win in type. In line with the CBS Sports activities analysis crew, they’re the one crew because the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to cowl in eight straight video games inside a season with out scoring 28+ factors in the course of the streak. Within the phrases of Al Davis, “Simply win child!” They grind out wins. It ain’t horny, nevertheless it will get the job performed.

The hole between their outcomes and the notion of the Titans solely continues to widen, in keeping with the CBS Sports activities analysis crew. Take into account that solely the Chiefs have a greater report than the Titans (19-8) because the begin of final season. But, Tennessee’s common unfold (+0.3) ranks nineteenth within the NFL over that span. 9 of their 19 wins have come as an underdog.

Vrabel made his emotions on the underdog mentality clear in the course of the Titans’ 2019 playoff run. “I attempt to spend nearly all of my time getting ready the crew the most effective that I can. I feel for these of us which were round this league lengthy sufficient, I feel that is form of overrated — the underdog factor. It is professional soccer. All people will get paid. All people has a job to do.” Maybe it is this mentality that makes Vrabel and the Titans so good.

Overachieving has been the one fixed because the Titans employed Vrabel in 2018. Vrabel is 20-15 straight up as an underdog in his teaching profession, second-best by any head coach because the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, behind George Allen (Allen coached Washington, and the Rams, within the 70s). Vrabel has performed so by navigating loads of adversity in his 5 seasons. In 2019, the Titans benched Marcus Mariota, the 2015 No. 2 total choose, in favor of Ryan Tannehill. In 2021, Vrabel gained NFL Coach of the 12 months after Tennessee received the highest seed within the AFC following accidents to Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown within the second half of the season. And in 2022, they’re 7-3 after buying and selling A.J. Brown this offseason. Their prime offensive lineman (Taylor Lewan) and prime move rusher (Harold Landry) are additionally out for the season, and Ryan Tannehill missed two video games.

If the Titans proceed doing what they have been doing, Vrabel additionally has a pleasant piece of historical past in entrance of him. Tennessee must win three of its ultimate seven video games to go over its preseason Over-Below win whole of 9. They’ve already hit the over in every of Mike Vrabel’s first 4 seasons as their head coach.

Relationship to 1989, when this knowledge is first out there on sportsoddshistory.com, the one head coaches to start out a training tenure with a crew hitting the over of their first 5 seasons is Andy Reid, Tony Dungy and Tom Coughlin. Solely Coughlin did it in his first 5 seasons as a head coach. Each Dungy and Reid had earlier NFL head teaching expertise previous to their stretches. 

Andy Reid (2013-20 Chiefs)

8

Tony Dungy (2002-08 Colts)

7

Tom Coughlin (1995-99 Jaguars

5

There isn’t any telling if the Titans will make a deep playoff run like in 2019, or have an early exit like in 2020 or 2021. However simply being in place to make noise within the playoffs but once more is kind of an accomplishment that ought to begin making extra waves across the league.

As for this week, you’ll be able to justify the Titans as house underdogs after shedding to Cincinnati within the playoffs in Nashville final season. The Bengals are additionally sizzling, successful six of their final eight video games and masking in all however one. However another nugget from the CBS Sports activities analysis crew. The Titans final performed on Thursday night time in Week 11 in Inexperienced Bay. Tennessee is 9-0 straight up and towards the unfold with no less than eight days of relaxation beneath Vrabel within the common season. 

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