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A franchise that has repeatedly changed with the times to evolve into the current football club we see on the field today, the Tennessee Titans originated in 1960 in the Eastern Division of the AFL before joining the NFL following the 1970 merger. Known at that time as the Houston Oilers, the team would move to Tennessee in 1997 and adopt the Titans name in 1999.
Despite the changes, this franchise cannot escape their snake bitten nature, with their only two championship wins occurring back to back in 1960 and 1961 in the AFL. The Titans made it to the Super Bowl only once, losing a heartbreaker to the Greatest Show on Turf in the St. Louis Rams in 1999. Quarterback Steve McNair’s pass on the final play of the game to wide receiver Andre Dyson resulted in a tackle just inches short of the goal line in the waning seconds of the game, sealing a Rams victory and breaking the hearts of Titans fans.
Not all history has favored the opposition, however, as the Titans were the beneficiaries of one of the most famous plays in NFL history. Nicknamed the Music City Miracle, an unlikely play at the end of a 2000 Wild Card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills saw tight end Frank Wycheck throw a lateral pass to Kevin Dyson who sprinted 75 yards to the end zone and a Tennessee victory. Fans have debated for years about whether or not it was actually a lateral pass, but the Titans had the call go their way and moved on in the playoffs that year.
Today, their star Quarterback (and former second overall pick) Marcus Mariota has every intention of leading this team not only back to the title game, but to their first Super Bowl victory. Circling around him in the huddle this season will be receivers Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Tajae Sharp. Delanie Walker was lost to IR, paving the way for Anthony Firkser to taking the starting spot at Tight End. Running back Derrick Henry had a great season finding the holes in defense and exploiting them for some big gains.
While the taste of the postseason had both the team and fans excited for the 2018 season, it has not been an easy one. Just outside the bubble, the Titans will have to regroup this offseason if they want to make a playoff push next year.
Bud Adams, the late owner and founder of the franchise, had the privilege of watching some amazingly talented players play for him over the years. Legends of the Oilers/Titans include the likes of Warren Moon, Earl Campbell, Elvin Bethea, Bruce Matthews, Mike Munchak, Steve McNair, Eddie George, and Keith Bullock. For a more detailed history of the Tennessee Titans click here.