Tennessee Titans fans have ample reason to be salty about 2023 Super Bowl

Tennessee Titans fans have ample reason to be salty about 2023 Super Bowl

Disclaimer: If you’re looking to feel better and more upbeat and hopeful as a Tennessee Titans fan, you’ll want to stop reading. Positivity isn’t what’s happening here.

Not this week.

Not when A.J. Brown is about to play in the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles while his old team carries a seven-game losing streak into the next season.

If for no other reason, I’d imagine Titans fans may be salty during Sunday’s Super Bowl. I wouldn’t blame them one bit for it, either.

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I don’t know which sets up worse: Enduring last year’s Super Bowl after a painful home playoff loss that meant you wasted a golden opportunity as a good team? Or this season when you didn’t even make the playoffs as a bad team, in part because you gifted one of the Super Bowl teams their superstar wide receiver?

And then there’s the we-are-always-going-to-be-here-whether-you-like-it-or-not Kansas City Chiefs. I mean, are you going to root for them? Like anyone wants more of those Patrick Mahomes State Farm commercials?

Yeah, as gloomy as that 2021 finish was for Titans fans, I’d say this upcoming Super Bowl might even be even more difficult.

No matter who wins the Super Bowl …

  • It’ll be a No. 1 seed who took advantage of the bye week and home-field advantage to reach the Super Bowl, something the Titans failed to do last season.
  • It’ll be a team that beat the Titans during the 2022 regular season, albeit in very different games.

If the Chiefs win …

  • It’ll be a team the Titans nearly beat with Malik Willis at quarterback. From that standpoint, it’d probably be easier to watch the Eagles (or, say, the Bills) win it all, given how badly they whipped the Titans.
  • It’ll bring up memories of the 2019 AFC title game and the one team — and the player in Mahomes — who kept the Titans from returning to a Super Bowl.
  • It’ll make that Dillon Radunz second-round pick in 2021 look even costlier, coming five picks before the Chiefs’ stud linebacker Nick Bolton and 10 picks before offensive lineman Creed Humphrey, who is already a Pro Bowler.
  • It could feature three receivers in Kadarius Toney, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling whom the Titans could have either traded for or signed to bolster a weak receiving room that badly needed the help.

If the Eagles win …

Look, you already know what I’m going to say:

  • Titans fans will have to watch Brown celebrate with a new team after leaving Nashville like 15 minutes ago. Then they’ll have to see him post on social media about it. And they can say they aren’t looking and listening. But they are.
  • It’ll further validate Brown’s trade as a historically regrettable NFL move, no matter how good a receiver Treylon Burks ends up becoming for the Titans.
  • It’ll make Caleb Farley’s first-round pick in 2021 look even costlier, coming 15 spots before the Eagles took offensive lineman Landon Dickerson, who is already a Pro Bowler. Not to mention the fact that the Titans in 2020 took Isaiah Wilson 24 picks before Philly drafted QB Jalen Hurts, whose rise to prominence on a rookie deal allowed the cap space to build a loaded team, including the ability to sign Brown.

Having said all that …

Reach Tennessean sports columnist Gentry Estes at gestes@tennessean.com and on Twitter @Gentry_Estes.