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Titans D Steps Up To Secure First Division Win

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Chris Johnson celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown. Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images.
Chris Johnson celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown. Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images.

It was disappointment after disappointment after disappointment after disappointment – four straight division losses. But Sunday, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tennessee Titans finally reversed the tables.

And with the game on the line, the Titans welcomed back their defense. It showed up. In the fourth quarter. When it mattered. They got two big stops in crunch time late in the fourth, with the Titans nursing a 20-16 lead.

“We talked about what’s been our Achilles’ heel this season in the games we’ve lost, and that’s finishing games off — playing situational football and putting ourselves in position to win by every man doing their job,” safety George Wilson told reporters.

“That was the message at the end of the game, and it just feels great to be able to get a shot at redemption. It feels great to help the team come away with the win.”

Nate Washington scored on a 30-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to give the Titans a 20-16 lead. Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson combined for 181 rushing yards as the Titans overcame a 10-point halftime deficit. It was probably their best win of the season in the entire scheme of things. The Titans finally put together what Mike Munchak had envisioned in the offseason – a solid running game along with a passing attack (Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 181 yards and a touchdown) combined with a dominant defense (the Jaguars were held to 85 second half yards).

But even though the Titans showed glimpses of what they could be or should be, we have to remind ourselves that this “solid” performance was against the Jaguars.

The "overachieving" 4-11 Jaguars.

Nevertheless, the Titans picked up their first division win and improved to 6-9 on the season and have secured a second place finish in the AFC South, if that’s any consolation.

With one week left, it’s difficult not to place a big question mark on this season. What if...

What if Jake Locker hadn’t had gotten hurt?

What if the duo of Johnson and Greene had played like this all season long?

What if the defense that showed up in the second half against the Jags showed up for a longer period of time?

What if. What if. What if.

At least on Sunday, that what if became a we did.