With the high from the Steelers win long faded away, I decided to realistically look ahead at the next 3 games schedule to see if this Titans team can continue down this path to becoming a playoff hopeful. This road won't be easy. Jake Locker is still out for at least one more game. Chris Johnson has not proven that he can be a consistent threat to run yet. Kenny Britt is mentally struggling to keep focused on the field. The offensive line has issues with repeated mental mistakes that lead to sacks, runs for losses, and penalties. The lack of true leadership on this team (including the coaching staff) is shocking at best. Finally (sort of), is the defense that has a scheme they either can't understand, don't have the personnel to implement, or just don't believe in.
@ The Bills come in with a 3-3 records, but with victories over the Browns and Chiefs it is not a very strong 3-3. However, they are coming off a huge victory over the Arizona Cardinals (who might be overrated too). This game comes at a time where the Titans have extra time to heal and put together a solid scheme. This is a winable game for the Titans even though the game is in Buffalo. For the sake of argument let's call this a win.
vs. The Colts are hot and cold, but one thing we can all agree upon is that Andrew Luck is the real deal. This game will be a good pushing off point in the AFC South for who can make an attempted run at the Texans. The Colts defense has improved, and this should be a very good matchup to see if the Titans coaching staff has a clue on how to motivate the team. Again, for the sake of argument let's call this a win.
vs. The Bears are an enigma. I have trouble figuring out which team will show up in their games. Cutler is very good when he is on, but has a tendency to go flaky at some point in the season. We can hope that this game will be one of them. The Titans traditionally play very well against the NFC. However, I think this game will be a struggle for this current Titans team. For the sake of argument let's call this a loss.
If these items hold true, the Titans will be 4-5. That isn't as bad as it sounds. With 7 games remaining in the schedule, this record is still a good platform to make a run at the playoffs. Although to make this run, the Titans coaching staff must have worked out the running game struggles and get Jake Locker back on the field playing with confidence. On defense, they must have a better plan. "Bend-don't-break" doesn't work. It's like playing the Prevent Defense on every down.
Finally, this season is not over by a longshot, but that light you see at the end of the tunnel could very well be an oncoming train.