Pro Football Teams


Tennessee Titans:

Titans will look to McN'air' it out without George

The Tennessee Titans are a team that has a long rich history about their prideful franchise. The Titans were originally the Oilers and called the bay city of Houston their home. The team has enjoyed a great deal of success in the NFL since changing their name to the Tennessee Titans before the 1999 season. Since being in Nashville the team has a record of 56-24 which is a winning percentage of .700, which is just insanely good. The highlight of their time in Tennessee had to be their 1999 playoff run. The team went 13-3 and despite that they didn’t win their own division because the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the season with a 14-2 mark. In the Wild Card game the Titans found themselves down 16-15 with 00:14 left on the clock and returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown when tight end Frank Wycheck heaved the ball across the field to wide receiver Kevin Dyson and he ran it into the end zone untouched. After the game the play was dubbed the “Music City Miracle.” The Titans then went on to beat the 13-3 Indianapolis Colts 19-16 in Indianapolis. They then faced off against the Jaguars who suffered their only two losses at the hands of the Titans. The Titans pretty easily dismissed of the Jags by a score of 33-14 to earn themselves a trip to the Super Bowl and play against the St. Louis Rams. Super Bowl XXXIV was one of the greatest Super Bowls ever and it featured two teams of destiny. The Rams had their grocery bagger turned NFL MVP under center and the Titans had pulled off the Music City Miracle and just squeaked by the Colts in the second round. It was “meant to be” for both teams depending on whom one was talking to. The game came down to the final play where the hero in the Music City Miracle, Kevin Dyson, caught the ball at 5-yard line and couldn’t shake off the St. Louis linebacker Mike Jones and was brought down at the one yard line. Even as Dyson was falling he was completely stretched out and couldn’t reach the end zone. That was the last time the Titans had gone that far into the playoffs.

Last season the Titans were banged up and counted out a number of times but the team still managed to scrap their way to a 12-4 record and a berth into the playoffs. The team sold a great deal of Titans tickets heading into the playoffs. Oft-injured quarterback Steve McNair was one of the many who was hampered by an injury but he still managed to play in all but two of the 16 games the Titans suited up for. He also was named the Co-MVP of the league with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. In the first round of the playoff they squared off against the Baltimore Ravens a team that had beaten the Titans in the previous five meetings. The Titans shut down the potent Raven rushing attack and won the game 20-17. In the second round, the Titans met up with the New England Patriots who were on a 12 game winning streak. The temperature dipped to 2 degrees with a wind chill factor of 11 below zero. The Titans went on to lose the second coming of the Ice Bowl when Pats kicker Adam Vinatieri put a field goal through with a little over four minutes left in the game.

In the off-season the Titans made some personnel moves that many experts have questioned. The team just let go of two of its superstars. Running back Eddie George, who the Titans offense was literally run through for years, was cut after the team and George couldn’t come to terms on an extension for George. The Titans also didn’t resign defensive end Jevon Kearse who is nicknamed “The Freak,” because he is a freak of nature. He’s exceedingly big, super strong and blazingly fast. It will be tough for the team to get the same production from their replacements.

The draft brought a wealth of talent, albeit all talent picked after the first round, its still talent nonetheless. Their first pick of the draft was Florida tight end Ben Troupe. Troupe is one of the new breeds of tight end, in the mold of Tony Gonzalez, Todd Heap and Jeremy Shockey in that he can run, block and catch the ball extremely well. With their second pick of the second round the Titans got Hawaii defensive end Travis LaBoy. LaBoy is a great pass rusher and should work into the rotation and bring some of the pass rushing ability that was lost when Kearse left.

The Titans offense was carried more by the passing game last year which was a huge change in the Tennessee style of moving the ball. The offense ranked 5 th in passing and only 26 th in rushing but yet still managed to be ranked 9 th in overall offense. Look for the Titans to continue their aerial attack with the loss of George.

The Titans front seven was just plain scary last year. The unit was the best at stopping the run. On the flip side of that they were the third worst team at stopping the pass. The team is hoping that another year of playing together will strengthen the Tennessee unit that won’t be able to lean on the front seven like they did last season.


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