After a 23-19 victory over the Oakland Raiders on the road Sunday, the Tennessee Titans find themselves in playoff contention with just five weeks left to play.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the charge against Oakland, the veteran quarterback from Harvard looked like the Ryan Fitzpatrick that the Buffalo Bills bought into in 2009.
Completing 30 of 42 pass attempts, “Fitzpatrick” threw for 320 yards with two scores while rushing for 26 yards on the day. Despite his nearly flawless numbers, the best part about Fitzpatrick’s game Sunday was his ability to make the entire offense better.
Both Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter went over 100 yards receiving on the day while each recording a touchdown, including Kendall Wright’s game-winning reception with 12 seconds remaining in the game. With the passing attack working for the Tennessee offense, Chris Johnson was able to contribute as well. Johnson touched the ball 20 times rushing for 73 yards aiding the Titans ground attack as they rushed for over 100 yards collectively.
Even with the great play by Fitzpatrick and the Titans defense, Tennessee trailed for most of the day recording their first touchdown with 13 minutes left in the third quarter on a 54-yard touchdown reception by rookie wide out, Justin Hunter.
Despite two missed field goals by veteran kicker, Sebastian Janikowski, the Tennessee defense allowed a mere 19 points and a single touchdown which came late in the fourth quarter on a pass from Matt McGloin to Marcel Reece leading to the game winning drive for Tennessee.
With six minutes left to play, Tennessee trailed 19-16 and it seemed as if Titans fans would be heartbroken for the second consecutive week after leading in the second half.
Then “Fitz-Magic” happened.
On the final drive of the game, Ryan Fitzpatrick went 8 of 10 for 67 yards, capping off a mistake free performance with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright.
Sitting at 5-6, along with the rest of the AFC, it seems as if the Titans have solidified themselves as the front-runner for the final AFC Wild Card spot. With early season victories over the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers, Tennessee holds the tie-breaker over every AFC contender outside of the Kansas City Chiefs and each of the division leaders within the conference.
Though winless in the division, Tennessee is .500 within the conference and still has three divisional games remaining on their schedule. However, of their remaining games, three of the five are against playoff contenders. It seems as if 7-9 or 8-8 will be more than enough for Tennessee to make the playoffs. A matchup with the Indianapolis Colts is the next step in Tennessee’s improbable playoff run.
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