Preseason NFL games are meaningless. Except for the team that wins, of course.
Victory provides the opportunity to claim the establishment of winning mindset, a proper approach to preparation and increased enthusiasm for the coming days.
“We want to win,” Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munhcak 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 open the preseason against the Washington Redskins, Thursday at LP Field (7 p.m., WKRN-TV Ch. 2). If form holds, it will be a meaningful affair.
Tennessee has won 11 straight preseason home games, dating back to a 14-6 loss to New England in the 2007 preseason opener. That stretch includes three one-point victories and four by two touchdowns or more. All but one have come against NFC opponents.
The game against the Patriots, oddly, was the last in a run of five straight defeats at home.
Beginning with 2007, the Titans’ overall preseason record is 17-8, and they finished .500 or better in each of those years. The loss to New England, for example, was the only one in preseason that year.
Not that any of it did the franchise any good. It made the playoffs just twice in those six seasons and failed to win a single playoff game during that time.
Still, don’t try to tell Munchak that preseason contests are meaningless … unless the Titans fall to the Redskins, that is.
“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.”
A rundown of the games current 11-game preseason home win streak:
• 2007: d. Green Bay 30-14
• 2008: d. St. Louis 34-13; d. Oakland 17-16
• 2009: d. Tampa Bay 27-20; d. Green Bay 27-13
• 2010: d. Arizona 24-10; d. New Orleans 27-24
• 2011: d. Minnesota 14-13; d. Chicago 14-13
• 2012: d. Arizona 32-27; d. New Orleans 10-6