If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a Titans fan. Which also means you probably know the Titans were originally the Houston Oilers. And while the Titans consider the Oilers history their history – they were called the Tennessee Oilers for their first two seasons after all – these three moments will only involve the team that’s spent the last quarter century playing in the Music City, THE Tennessee Titans.
No. 3: Derrick Henry
April 29, 2016.
The day the Titans drafted Derrick Henry. That’s it. He’s just that good.
No. 2: A Game of Inches
Jan. 30, 2000. Georgia Dome, Atlanta Georgia. Super Bowl XXXIV.
While a conference championship is no easy task – just ask the Cleveland Browns– any team that gets to go to the dance wants to be crowned king. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for the Tennessee Titans, but man, it was one for the ages. The ‘99 Rams, aka “The Greatest Show on Turf,” was arguably the greatest offense in NFL history up to that point. But the Titans didn’t care. Not. One. Bit. The Titans defense was giving Kurt Warner fits, slapping balls down and attacking on every play. Still, it was The Greatest Show on Turf, and the Rams managed to put 23 up on the Titans. Down by a touchdown and extra point with just under two minutes left on the clock, Steve “Air” McNair went to work, driving the Titans down the field like a man possessed. On third-and-5, with 22 seconds left and at the Rams’ 26-yard line, McNair scrambled out of a sack and managed to find Kevin Dyson for a 16-yard completion to put them on the Rams’ 10-yard line. With six seconds left and no timeouts, McNair completed another pass to Dyson, who managed to get to the 1-yard line as time expired. It was a heartbreaker, to be sure. It would mark the Rams first Super Bowl win and the Titans only appearance to this date. Final score: Rams 23, Titans 16.
The Music City Miracle
Jan. 8, 2000. Adelphia Coliseum, Nashville, Tennessee.
Sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination. And while losing a Super Bowl must suck, the Titans have the rare distinction of making one of those postseason plays that’s so spectacular, so improbable, that it gets its own nickname. With 16 seconds to go in the fourth quarter and down by one point with no timeouts against the Buffalo Bills, the game looked to be over. Heck, Bills players were dancing on the field. Eddie George looked dejected as all get-out. All the Bills had to do was hold the Titans for a few plays and they were moving on. And then it happened. The Bills kicked off to Tennessee and the Titans played good old-fashioned schoolyard keep-away football. Now these plays rarely work in high school, much less the NFL. But work it did. Tight end Frank Wycheck threw a lateral pass (a forward pass if you ask a Bills fan) to receiver Kevin Dyson and he took it all the way to the house for a walk-off touchdown in this first-round playoff game. The Titans would go on to win the AFC title that season. Final score: Titans 22, Bills 16.
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