Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has a chance at revenge Sunday, as Miami Dolphins — the team that drafted The Thrill eighth overall in 2012 — come to town for the regular-season home finale at Nissan Stadium.
Of course, success is the best revenge, and Tannehill is 30-15 as Tennessee's starter. The Dolphins are 23-24 since trading him to Tennessee before the 2019 season. For his part, The Iceman says his time in Miami was an Era of Good Feelings.
Tennessee finally controls its own destiny for the AFC South title. A win Sunday and it's theirs. The team also locks up the division with a Colts loss to the Raiders or (and obviously this is the most hilarious scenario) if both the Titans and Colts tie. It's possible for the Two-Toners to clinch a playoff berth without clinching the division with a tie and a Colts win — or if at least two of the Chargers, Ravens or Patriots lose or tie.
But the team has loftier goals. The expansion of the playoffs to 14 teams makes clinching the conference No. 1 seed even more valuable, as the top spot comes with home-field advantage and the only bye. With Omicron omicroning around and the Titans having dealt with a cavalcade of injuries besides, a week off could do wonders (particularly for a certain Best Player in Football, who may just make a Week 18 cameo). Buffalo did the Titans a favor last week beating New England, leaving both the Bills (over whom the Titans have the tiebreaker) and Pats (who hold the edge over Tennessee with the head-to-head win) at 9-6, a game back of Tennessee's 10-5 record. The Chiefs, who have rattled off eight straight wins since the loss to the Titans, currently have the AFC's best mark at 11-4, but face two road games — at 9-6 Cincinnati and 7-8 Denver — to end the year. By virtue of that Week 7 drubbing, Tennessee has the tiebreaker over Kansas City.
As for Sunday's opponent, the Dolphins are fine — the same sort of middle-of-the-road team they've been for years. They're never in the conversation to win the division, but never in danger of finishing last either, because, y'know, the Jets.
The Titans are a bit thin with eight regulars and two practice-squad players on the COVID list.
The game kicks off noon Sunday on CBS with Kevin Harlan and Trent Green on the call.