Tennessee is out to prove last year ain’t no fluke.
There is nothing wrong with looking ahead. I glanced at the Titans schedule and started thinking towards a promising 2020 season. Us sportswriters look toward the next years’ draft right after the current draft. Hell, I just ate dinner and I’m thinking about what I’m eating before bed (answer: chips and salsa).
I get excited for the fall. Colleges gear up for their upcoming football season and I bust out the jerseys for the upcoming NFL and NCAA games. The chill of an early fall (for Texas it’s like November) bring up those old, familiar memories of seasons past. A time for pride or reopening wounds of past disappointments when your team loses.
Unlike Dr. Z or The Simpsons, I won’t be able to predict exactly how the Titans season will end. If I could mold their future the Lombardi Trophy would parade through downtown. In the end, I would be presented a Super Bowl ring from Amy Adams Strunk for my Titans coverage all while Olivia Munn would be draped on my side.
Whatever. Still can happen. Regardless I’m going to go through each Tennessee game complete with a little history, a dash of info, and keys to victory.
*Titans lead series, 23-18-1
*Part of a doubleheader to begin the 2020 Monday Night Football season.
*Third time these two have opened their season against each other. Met in the 1966 and 1972 season openers. Titans won in ’66, Broncos in ’72.
*Titans lead series, 30-21.
*Split the season series last year.
*The Jaguars gave the keys to the offense to bootleg Uncle Rico himself Gardner Minshew. Minshew threw for over 3200 yards and 21 touchdowns in his rookie season.
*Receiver A.J. Brown had 135 yards and a touchdown on only four catches in their last meeting against Jacksonville.
*If Derrick Henry can reach 246 yards thru two games he can overtake the fourth position in Titans career rushing yards. He would be right behind Chris Johnson, Earl Campbell and Eddie George.
*Vikings lead series, 9-4.
*Titans have only won once in Minnesota (1992).
*Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had his best season ratings-wise with 107.4. He finished 2019 fourth in the league with Ryan Tannehill leading the league.
*Steelers lead series, 46-32.
*Ryan Tannehill is 2-0 as a starter against Pittsburgh.
*Pittsburgh boasted the 3rd best passing defense in 2019. On the other hand, the rushing defense ranked 29th.
*Both teams were apart of the AFC Central from 1970-2001.
*Titans lead series, 28-19.
*Buffalo has won the last three matchups.
*Both were charter members of the old AFL. Bills founder Ralph Wilson was the last of the original AFL owners to still own his team.
*The Bills and Titans were involved in two events of NFL lore. The Comeback and The Music City Miracle.
*Titans lead series, 19-17.
*The battle for Houston, kind of. If you don’t know or remember the Titans were the Houston Oilers from 1960-1996.
*Also play in the season finale. Even though they’ve never met in the postseason their matchups at season end usually have playoff contention or conference championship stakes on the line.
*Derrick Henry had 211 yards rushing and three touchdowns in their last match up.
*Houston has won four of the last five AFC South division crowns. Meanwhile, Tennessee hasn’t won a division title since 2008.
*Titans lead series, 40-34-1.
*30 of their 75 match ups have been determined by 7 points or less.
*The Bengals dropped 61 points on the Titans on two occasions. Once in 1972 and again in 1989. Quarterbacking the Bengals in that ’72 game was Ken Anderson and the ’89 starter was Boomer Esiason. Esiason would take Anderson’s job in 1985.
*Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow will face his LSU teammate and fellow rookie Kristian Fulton. Fulton was drafted at cornerback by Tennessee.
*Series tied, 6-6.
*Titans haven’t beaten the Bears at home since 1992 and never since their move to Nashville in 1996.
*Colts lead series, 34-17.
*Since they both joined the AFC South in 2002 the Colts have swept the season series 10 times. Regardless they have never had a heated rivalry.
*The Colts have had first-round draft quarterbacks such as Marty Domres, Bert Jones and Jeff George start against the Titans franchise. Also, some lesser know first-rounders Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck played a few games against the Titans.
*Series tied, 12-12.
*The former Browns vs the former Oilers.
*Former Titans quarterback Steve McNair was traded to the Ravens in 2006 after a dispute with Tennessee’s front office.
*These two teams have met in the playoff four times. The first in 2001 had the famous Ray Lewis interception in the AFC championship game. In 2003 the Titans would win in the divisional round. Tennessee was the top-seeded team in the AFC in 2008 but was upset by the Ravens and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco in the divisional round. Tennessee got revenge though in the 2019 playoffs defeating the #1 seed Ravens and eventual MVP Lamar Jackson.
*see previous post.
*Browns lead series, 35-32.
*The actual Browns vs. the former Oilers.
*Titans have won the last three matchups. The Browns also lost the first nine games of this rivalry from 1970-1974.
*Steve McNair made his pro debut versus Cleveland in 1995.
*Cleveland quarterback, Baker Mayfield, while a freshman at Texas Tech broke Billy Joe Tolliver’s team record for most completions in a game with 43. His performance was also four completions short of the freshman record held by Luke McCown. Billy Joe Tolliver played for the Oilers and Luke McCown played for the Browns.
*More mindless trivia: Cleveland Browns great Clay Matthews Jr. played 19 seasons in the NFL. The linebacker played games against quarterback Craig Morton and safety Brian Dawkins. Morton started his career in 1965 and Dawkins’ career ended in 2011.
*See previous post.
*Titans lead series, 9-3.
*Tennessee has won previous five match ups.
*Lions won their very first game in the series in 1971, 31-7 at the old Astrodome.
*Detroit had the 31st ranked defense in terms of yardage given up.
*Matt Stafford missed half the season due to injury and the Lions missed him. Stafford won the Lions only three victories in 2019. His replacements went 0-10 and threw eight touchdowns. Stafford threw 19 in his eight games before his back injury.
*Legendary running back, Barry Sanders, didn’t have much success vs the Titans franchise. Despite scoring four touchdowns in three games Sanders was held to 199 total rushing yards. Detroit was also 1-2 versus the Titans franchise.
*Titans lead series, 7-5.
*The last time they met in 2016 a brawl almost broke out. Titans quarterback, Marcus Mariotta, was given a cheap shot early in the game. This lead to Tennessee offensive lineman, Taylor Lewan, getting ejected while arguing with the refs. Later Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, scored a rushing touchdown and was hit late in the end zone. This led to a fight with both teams.
*Derrick Henry’s 16 rushing touchdowns were tied for the NFL lead along with the Packers Aaron Jones.
*Both teams lost in last year’s conference championship games.
*See previous post.
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