There's good news in Nashville this morning, and it's not just Vanderbilt's dramatic late cover in a losing effort to Missouri. It's the news that Nissan Stadium could potentially host the AFC Championship in three weeks due to the Titans' late-season generosity in granting the AFC South division to, of all people, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While it was suggested earlier this week by some drool-drenched idiot that the neutral site for the AFC title game would likely be Indianapolis, the Titans had their own ideas, and all it took was taking the easier of two choices. Tennessee could either plow through a postseason jammed with superior teams in Kansas City, Buffalo and Cincinnati, or it could take the infinitesimally easier path easier of losing its last seven games and get caught and passed by the worst team in the league over the past 15 years. At this moment, the Titans are mocking the Colts for having their stadium and city invaded by volleyball players the weekend of the title game, while they are free and clear to host the Chiefs, Bills or Bengals, or in a burst of madcap, all three simultaneously.
The Titans managed this extraordinary feat by chewing through three quarterbacks in those seven games, the last of which, Joshua Dobbs, managed the extraordinary feat of playing for three franchises this year. There are worse teams, to be sure. Chicago can and likely will finish their season with a 10-game losing streak by being the Bears against Minnesota. Arizona can close with a seven-gamer by allowing David Blough to face the San Francisco defense. And Indianapolis can do the same by losing to Houston, which had lost nine in a row before BEATING TENNESSEE, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
And that last one is particularly instructive because this particular AFC South will have the second-worst aggregate record in league history—23-43-2, with a combined record outside the division of 12-32. This is a ziggurat of collective equine product that tends to reduce the Jaguars' accomplishment of making the postseason for the second time since the end of the second Bush administration. I mean, the Jags made one of the largest comebacks in NFL history after the Urban Meyer pageant of career cannibalism, and hats off to them for that, but the bar they had to clear to overcome the radiation poisoning of Ol' Urbs seems slightly more modest given the rest of the field.
But while the Texans were so unutterably rancid that they even fired the noted Cheez-It with ears Jack Easterby before it ended, and the Colts so dreadful that they closed the gap between Jim Irsay and his dad for worst owner in league history, it took the Titans and their preposterous spent balloon of a season to slap the moldy blackberry atop this pudding of competitive death. The only thing the Titans accomplished other than reducing Derrick Henry's career by one fruitless game was covering as a six-point underdog.
Well, that, and entertaining the nation by being your avuncular hosts for Chiefs-Bills in three weeks and handing out T-shirts to the visiting sucker . . . err, fans that read, "All Things Being Equal, We'd Prefer The Volleyball."
Correction (11:38 a.m. ET): A previous version of this blog put Bears-Vikings in Minnesota. It's in Chicago.