Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill piloted the Titans to 4-0 on Tuesday night in a blowout of the Bills. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)
- At +1800, the 4-0 Tennessee Titans show the longest Super Bowl odds of any of the NFL’s four remaining unbeaten teams
- Four teams with at least one loss are given shorter odds of winning this season’s Super Bowl
- Can the Titans remain unbeaten the longest? See updated Super Bowl odds below
Remember the Titans? The 4-0 Tennessee Titans?
Oh yeah, those guys. Believe in the Titans? No thanks.
What the Titans accomplished on Tuesday night was nothing shy of astonishing. Playing for the first time in 16 days, after holding one practice since Sept. 27, Tennessee absolutely demolished the previously unbeaten Buffalo Bills, 41-26.
Like the victim of a Derrick Henry straight arm, the oddsmakers easily shunted aside Tennessee in the 2020 Super Bowl odds, however.
At +1800, the Titans are given the longest odds to win the big game among any of the four NFL unbeaten clubs left standing.
Super Bowl 55 Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+400|
|Green Bay Packers||+1000|
|New Orleans Saints||+1200|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1600|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1800|
Odds taken Oct. 14 at DraftKings
Two teams already with one loss – the 4-1 Kansas City Chiefs (+400), and 4-1 Baltimore Ravens (+550) – are ranked ahead of Tennessee. So are a pair of two-loss teams: the 3-2 New Orleans Saints (+1200) and the 3-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1600).
After a COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in positive tests for two dozens members of the organization, the NFL shut the Titans down. Prior to beating Buffalo, Tennessee’s previous game was a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 27.
They were handed a crutch by this coronavirus affliction that sidelined several players, including two of the team’s top three receivers. Instead of using it as an excuse, the Titans deployed it as a battering ram against the 4-1 Bills.
They went from outbreak to break out game.
One hell of a galvanizing win for the Tennessee #Titans tonight. No tricks or magic to it. Crushed a good #Bills team, 42-16, to move to 4-0 after what was an awful two-plus weeks. TEN deserves a great deal of credit. Mike Vrabel knows how to navigate choppy waters.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) October 14, 2020
How impressive was their performance? According to NFL research, Tennessee was the first team to score a touchdown on every red zone possession (minimum six red zone drives) while having zero turnovers and allowing no sacks since the New England Patriots did so in Week 11 of their undefeated 2007 regular season.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was a starting outside linebacker for the 2007 Patriots.
Been There, Run That
Tennessee is 4-0 for the first time since the 2008 season. That year, the Titans rolled all the way to 10-0 before suffering defeat.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, at 4-0 the AFC’s other unbeaten still standing, were supposed to play the Titans in Week 4. That game was rescheduled following Tennessee’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The @Titans are 4-0 for the first time since 2008! pic.twitter.com/ea4oPUGwhz
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 14, 2020
The Green Bay Packers (4-0) and Seattle Seahawks (5-0) remain unbeaten in the NFC. In the last two seasons, the final unbeaten team standing reached the Super Bowl. That was the San Francisco 49ers (9-0) last season and the Los Angeles Rams (8-0) in 2008.
Neither of those teams won the Super Bowl, though. Nor did the 2008 Titans. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional playoffs.
2020 NFL Divisional Odds Tracker
The Titans have played far and away the toughest schedule of the four still unbeaten NFL squads. Tennessee’s four vanquished opponents show a combined winning percentage of .368 (7-12).
not the same as another or each other; distinct, independent. pic.twitter.com/TzyH9Q1byL
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) October 13, 2020
Green Bay (.263, 5-14) is next, followed by Seattle (.250, 6-24). Pittsburgh has enjoyed the easiest slate of the quartet.
The Steelers’ opponents own a combined .184 win rate (3-15-1). None of their four defeated foes have won more than one game this season.
Four of the last eight AFC Champions have come back to win the AFC Championship Game after losing it the previous season. Tennessee fell 35-24 to the Chiefs in last year’s AFC Championship Game.
.@ryantannehill1: We have been ticked off about how we’ve been treated the last few weeks by outsiders @Titans
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) October 14, 2020
Last season’s Chiefs, New England (2014, 2016) and Baltimore (2012) also rebounded in this manner. Interestingly, all four also won the Super Bowl.
The Titans are 13-4 over their past 17 games. That run also coincides with the moment when Vrabel promoted Ryan Tannehill to starting quarterback of a team that sat 2-4 through the first six games of the 2019 campaign.
The @Titans improved to 4-0 with their 42-16 win over the Bills.
Tennessee has scored 122 points this season, their most in their first 4 games of a season in team history.
Their previous high was 121 as the Oilers in 1989. pic.twitter.com/XEGBCapKnY
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 14, 2020
Still, it’s challenging to make a case for Tennessee as a Super Bowl team. The Titans are currently the NFL’s #16 offense (377.3 yards per game). Even worse, they’re the league’s #29 defense (409.3). The Titans are the #6 scoring offense (30.3 points per game) and #9 scoring defense (22.5).
The last AFC South team to win the Super Bowl was the 2006 Indianapolis Colts.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.