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Titans 2014-2015 Outlook
The rebuilding process with the Tennessee Titans continues this season. After signing a stud like Michael Oher along the offensive line, the new running back tandem of Shonn Greene and rookie Bishop Sankey will make up for the loss of Chris Johnson.
Add in several new faces on the defensive side of the ball and a year to get acclimated under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, and Tennessee has the potential to stun many fans across the league.
All Tennessee Titans football games can be seen on one of the following television broadcasts depending on the team they are playing: Fox Sports or CBS for Sunday afternoon games; NBC for Sunday Night games; ESPN for Monday Night Football games and the NFL Network for Thursday night games. Tune into the Titans’ original flagship radio station WGFX 104.5 on your FM dial to catch each Tennessee Titans football game on the radio. WGFX 104.5 FM took over the reins from WKDF 103.3 FM at the start of the 2010 NFL season.
The Tennessee Titans have played in 6 different stadiums during their existence. Currently, the Tennessee Titans play in LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee, which has been their home since 1999. When the Tennessee Titans moved from Houston in 1997, Adelphia Stadium, now known as LP Field, was not quite ready for play. Accordingly, in 1997, the Tennessee Oilers played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee and in 1998, the Tennessee Oilers played in Veteran Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Adelphia Stadium opened for NFL play in 1999. Originally, Adelphia Business Solutions purchased the naming rights to the stadium for a 15-year term. When Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002, it lost the naming rights and the stadium simply went by “The Coliseum” for 4 years. In June 2006, Louisiana-Pacific, a Nashville-based company, purchased the naming rights to the stadium for $30 million over a 10-year term - hence the name LP Field.
LP Field is located directly across from downtown Nashville on the east bank of the Cumberland River. LP Field has a seating capacity of just under 69,000 fans. While its primary purpose is hosting NFL football games for the Tennessee Titans, LP Field also hosts the annual Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl and various international soccer matches. Few concerts are scheduled at LP Field because of the usual poor turnout for such events, but the CMA Music Festival’s main stage is held inside LP Field each and every year.
1 Titans Way
Nashville, Tennessee 37213
The Oilers/Titans Franchise
The Tennessee Titans are a professional football team in the National Football League (the NFL). The Tennessee Titans play in the American Football Conference (AFC) South Division with three other teams: the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans. The Tennessee Titans have won 2 AFL Championships. LP Stadium, located in Nashville, Tennessee hosts all Tennessee Titans home games.
The Houston Oilers (1960-1996)
In 1960, the Houston Oilers became one of the founding members of the American Football League (the AFL). The Houston Oilers moved to the State of Tennessee in 1996 and ultimately became the Tennessee Titans. The early Houston Oilers were a very successful franchise. The early Houston Oilers teams were led by a talented offensive unit, including stars like Quarterback George Blanda, Wide Receiver Charlie Hennigan, Running Back Charlie Tolar, Offensive Guard Bob Talamini and Running Back Billy Cannon, the Heisman Trophy winner from the LSU Tigers who surprisingly elected to sign with a new AFL team instead of a more established NFL team. Those Houston Oilers advanced to the AFL Championship game in each of its first 3 seasons. In 1960, the Houston Oilers finished 10-4 and defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 24-16 to win its first AFL Championship. The following season, the Houston Oilers finished 10-3-1 and once again defeated the San Diego Chargers 10-3 to win its second consecutive AFL Championship. In 1962, the Houston Oilers finished 11-3, its best record yet, and once again advanced to the AFL Championship. However, that year, the Dallas Texans defeated the Houston Oilers 20-17 in double-overtime. At the time, that double-overtime game was the longest professional football game ever played. From 1963 through 1966, the Houston Oilers endured losing seasons. But in 1967, the Houston Oilers made their 4th appearance in the AFL Championship Game, a 40-7 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The Houston Oilers had played in Jeppesen Stadium from 1960 through 1964 and in Rice Stadium from 1965 through 1967. But following the 1967 season, the Houston Oilers moved into the Houston Astrodome, becoming the first professional football team to play in a domed stadium.
After the merger of the AFL with the NFL, which formally took place at the end of the 1969 regular seasons, the Houston Oilers achieved little success. The Houston Oilers only recorded 2 wining seasons in its first 8 years in the NFL and never qualified for the playoffs once. In 1975, however, the Houston Oilers began to piece together components that would eventually lead to the formation of a talented playoff-bound squad. In 1975, the Houston Oilers hired Bum Phillips as its Head Coach. The Houston Oilers utilized play-makers Elvin Bethea and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson to develop a powerful offensive unit. And in 1978, the Houston Oilers added the missing piece to the puzzle when they drafted Running Back Earl Campbell from the University of Texas. That year, Earl Campbell won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Rookie of the Year Award and led the Houston Oilers to its first NFL playoff appearance. Although the Houston Oilers defeated its first 2 playoff opponents, the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, in decisive fashion, they were no match for the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers forced the Houston Oilers to make 9 turnovers and they defeated the Houston Oilers 34-5. In 1979, the Houston Oilers finished 2nd in the AFC Central with an 11-5 record. Once again, the Houston Oilers recorded playoff victories against the Denver Broncos and San Diego Charges, but had to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Although the Houston Oilers performed better, the Pittsburgh Steelers still won 27-13 and thwarted the Houston Oilers opportunity to advance to its first Super Bowl berth. In 1980, the Houston Oilers finished 2nd in the AFC Central with another 11-5 record, but this time, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Houston Oilers 27-7 in the first round of the playoffs. During this 3-year stretch, although the Houston Oilers had no Super Bowl Championship to show for its successful 3-year playoff run, most football critics and fans felt that if not for the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty, the Houston Oilers would have won at least one Super Bowl Championship with the talented team it had.
From 1981 through 1986, the Houston Oilers endured another span of losing seasons, 6 in all. But in 1987, the Houston Oilers started a successful span with 7 consecutive winning seasons and 7 consecutive playoff appearances. Under the direction of Jerry Glanville from 1987 through 1989, the Houston Oilers made the playoffs 3 consecutive seasons, but could not seem to put together a successful playoff run. In 1987, after beating the Seattle Seahawks in a 23-20 overtime thriller in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, the Houston Oilers lost to the Denver Broncos 34-10 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. In 1988, after beating the Cleveland Browns 24-23 in another close Wild Card playoff game, the Houston Oilers lost to the Buffalo Bills 17-10 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. In 1989, the Houston Oilers didn’t even record a playoff win as they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 26-23 overtime loss in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
In 1990, the Houston Oilers hired Jack Pardee to lead the team. Once again, the Houston Oilers recorded four consecutive winning seasons, winning the AFC Central twice in 1991 and 1993. But once again, the Houston Oilers enjoyed little success in post-season play. In 1993, the playoff jinx hit rock-bottom when the Houston Oilers, after dominating football play all season long en route to a then franchise record 12-4 record, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 28-20 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. After the disappointing loss, Owner Bud Adams dismantled the team and traded fan favorite Quarterback Warren Moon to the Minnesota Vikings. The Houston Oilers did not record another winning season in its final 3 seasons in Houston. Owner Bud Adams began lobbying the city for a new stadium that would provide increased revenue streams for the team with luxury suites and club seating. However, Houston Mayor Bob Lanier rejected Adams’ proposal and Houston residents were wary of investing more money in the team and in a new stadium, especially since they had just sunk a lot of money into improvements for the Houston Astrodome. When it became apparent that the City of Houston would no longer support Owner Adams and the team, Adams researched other viable options for the team and settled on Nashville, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Titans (1997-Present)
For the first 2 years of is existence in Tennessee, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers. In 1997, the Tennessee Oilers played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee and in 1998, the Tennessee Oilers played in Veteran Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1999, Adelphia Coliseum, now known as LP Field, finally opened for play to host the home games for Nashville’s NFL team, the Tennessee Titans. Owner Adams changed the team name in response to fan requests and the desire of the city of Nashville to have a better connection to its new team. Adams formed an advisory committee to select the name and it looked for a name with leadership, strength and power, which reflected heroic qualities. The committee eventually settled on the “Titans” name which captured all of those qualities. Adams also announced that the Tennessee Titans franchise would retain all of the Houston Oilers team records and statistics, as well as all of the Hall of Fame inductees.
In its first season in the new LP Field, the Tennessee Titans recorded a franchise best record of 13-3, but still finished one game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Central. The Tennessee Titans defeated the Buffalo Bills 22-16 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs in a controversial play at the end of the game. On the final kickoff of the game, Tight End Frank Wycheck threw a lateral pass to Wide Receiver Kevin Dyson, and Kevin Dyson then took the lateral pass 75 yards for the game winning touchdown. While some replays showed that the pass may have been a forward pass, all other replays were in conclusive and the play stood as called on the field. That fortunate lateral pass and subsequent touchdown run became known as the “Music City Miracle”. The next week, the Tennessee Titans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 19-16 in another close Divisional round playoff game and advanced to the AFC Championship Game to face their intra-division foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Tennessee Titans trailed 14-7 early, but scored the final 26 points of the AFC Championship Game to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-14. The Tennessee Titans forced 6 turnovers and recorded 1 safety, and advanced to the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Unfortunately, their good fortune ran out in Super Bowl XXXIV when the Tennessee Titans lost to the St. Louis Rams 23-16. On the final play of the game, Wild Card playoff hero Kevin Dyson was tackled on the Rams’ 1 yard line as time expired and the Tennessee Titans fell just inches short of their first Super Bowl Championship. In 2000, the Tennessee Titans followed up the previous year’s success with another 13-3 regular season record and this time, a 1st place finish in the AFC Central. However, hopes for another Super Bowl berth were quickly dashed in the playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens and their dominating defense defeated the Tennessee Titans 24-10 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Baltimore Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl that season over the New York Giants. Following a losing season in 2001, the Tennessee Titans finished atop the AFC South with an 11-5 record. Following an exciting 34-31 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Tennessee Titans advanced to their 2nd AFC Championship Game in 4 years. However, the Tennessee Titans lost to the Oakland Raiders 41-24 and were denied another opportunity to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. During the 2003-4 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans finished with a 12-4 record, but that was only good enough for a 2nd place finish in the AFC South. The Tennessee Titans defeated the Baltimore Ravens 20-17 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs but lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots 17-14 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans endured losing seasons in 2004 and 2005 winning only a total of 9 games combined during that stretch. Head Coach Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans turned it around during the 2006-7 NFL season when the team one 8 games behind emerging superstar quarterback Vince Young. The Tennessee Titans just missed qualifying for post-season play, but the pieces were in place for the Tennessee Titans to remain competitive for years to come. During the 2007-8 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans recorded a 10-6 record (it's first winning season in 4 years), which was good enough to finish 3rd in the competitive AFC South and qualify for post-season play. The Tennessee Titans lost to the San Diego Chargers 17-6 in the wild card round of the playoffs, however, bringing an abrupt end to the Tennessee Titans magical season. Expectations are high for Quarterback Vince Young and the talented Tennessee Titans.
Hall of Famers
Six men associated with the Tennessee Titans have been inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame. Most notably, one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks and kickers, George Blanda, was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1981. While Blanda was most remembered for his stellar NFL career with the Chicago Bears, George Blanda played 7 years for the AFL’s Houston Oilers and helped the team to the franchise’s first 2 AFL Championships. Other offensive stars inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame include Running Back Earl Campbell (1991), Offensive Guard Mike Munchak (2001) and Quarterback Warren Moon (2006). Notable defensive stars inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame include: Defensive End Elvin Bethea (2003) and Safety Ken Houston (1986). All of the above mentioned inductees played for the Houston franchise. Currently, no Tennessee Titans have been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. The following players have had their numbers retired by the Tennessee Titans franchise: Quarterback Warren Moon – 1, Running Back Earl Campbell – 34, Defensive Back Jim Norton – 43, Offensive Guard Mike Munchak – 63, Defensive End Elvin Bethea – 65, and Offensive Lineman Bruce Matthews – 74.