Don’t try to tell Titan’s coach Mike Munchak that preseason games are meaningless. He means business.
“We want to win,” he said this week. “That’s it. We want to win. I don’t look at it any other way. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Well we played so-and-so, that’s why we didn’t win.’ We want to win no matter who’s out there. I think you always have to have that attitude for the first quarter to the fourth no matter who’s in there.”
The Titans not only want to win in the preseason, they do win in the preseason. At home, anyway.
Tennessee has won 11 straight preseason home games, a streak dating back to 2007. This may be an NFL record, or at least close to being one. But nobody really knows because, well, who cares enough to do the research to find out about consecutive wins in preseason game.
The Titans built their streak to 11 last August with a 30-7 win over the Bucs and by edging the Saints 10-6. They split their road exhibition games to finish 3-1 in the preseason.
But it didn’t do them much good once the scores started to, you know, mean something. The momentum generated by their preseason success helped them get out of the gate at 1-4 and they finished the season 6-10. In all, the Titans are 17-8 in the preseason since the “streak” started but they have made the playoffs just twice with no postseason wins.
But don’t tell Munchak that success in the preseason doesn’t add up to regular season wins.
“I think as a team, we have to start learning how to get better at making plays when we need to, to win football games,” he said. “… We just want to be successful. You like to see the offense go score on a couple drives and the defense have three-and-outs and all those things. That’s what we’re looking for.
“We put them in a position to go out there and play well on Thursday night and get some momentum going into Week 2 of the preseason.”
The Titans are expected to play their starters about 20 plays tonight.