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NFL Fan Guide to The Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans (formerly known as the Houston Oilers) have a surprisingly strong history of success in the NFL. From their AFL titles back in the early 1960s to their Super Bowl appearance in 1999, the franchise has accomplished quite a bit in the NFL.

If you plan on betting on the Titans, bookmark this Tennessee Titans team guide for constant updates on team news, stats, records, and much more.

Tennessee Titans Overview and Key Information

The Tennessee Titans have been firmly established in Nashville since 1999. But the franchise began as the Houston Oilers in 1960 as one of the original AFL teams.

As the AFL’s Oilers, the team has the distinction of being the first AFL Champion and repeated it for the first two years of league play. Before the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the Oilers made five playoff appearances, taking home their only two championship titles to date.

In the NFL, the Oilers/Titans have made 17 playoff appearances, the last in 2017, but have only gone to the Super Bowl one time in 1999, losing to the Los Angeles Rams. The two-time AFL Championship team is still waiting to claim their first Super Bowl trophy.

The Titans make their home at Nissan Stadium, formerly known as Adelphia Coliseum, where they’ve been since 1999.

Tennessee Titans – Key Info
Established
1960
Division
AFC South
Current Team Location
Nashville, Tennessee
Stadium
Nissan Stadium
Head Coach
Mike Vrabel
Owner
KSA Industries
Website
www.titansonline.com
Team Value (Forbes 2018)
$2.05 billion (27th)

Tennessee Titans Team History

The Tennessee Titans were actually known as the Houston Oilers when the franchise first emerged as one of the charter members of the AFL (American Football League) in 1960.

The Oilers played at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas, from 1960-64, then onto Rice Stadium, and finally the Houston Astrodome from 1968-1996. The franchise was off to a promising start with three playoff appearances in the first three seasons, resulting in two AFL Championships in 1960 and 1961.

When the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, the Oilers were positioned in the AFC Central division. But unlike the early ‘60s, the beginning of the 1970s was more challenging. The team didn’t see any playoff action in the NFL until 1978.

As the team struggled, fan support started to wane, and the Oilers packed up their bags and moved to Tennessee (Memphis, Tennessee, that is). The Oilers didn’t have an appropriate stadium ready in Nashville and spent 1997 in Memphis at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and then Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville renamed as the Tennessee Oilers.

Despite being unsettled and still struggling to build up a new fan base, 1999 ended up being the year of the Titans. The name was changed from Tennessee Oilers to coincide with the franchise’s move to Nashville and their residence at a brand-new stadium, then called Adelphia Coliseum.

Super Bowl Appearances and Playoff History

The fresh start was evidenced on the field as well. The newly branded Tennessee Titans made their one and (still) only Super Bowl appearance in 1999 under head coach Jeff Fisher. They finished second in the division but won the wild card playoffs against the Bills, the divisional playoffs versus the Colts, and the AFC Championship game 33-14 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Super Bowl XXXIV was played against the Los Angeles Rams at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Titans’ QB Steve McNair experienced injuries throughout the season but still threw 2,179 yards for 12 TDs and only eight interceptions in regular-season play.

Despite a valiant effort by the Titans (including coming back from a 16-point hole), Kurt Warner and the Rams defeated the Titans 23-16. The game includes one of the most iconic finishes in Super Bowl history, with Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson reaching out and barely missing out on a touchdown that would have tied the game as time expired.

Tennessee recovered nicely despite the loss, going 13-3 the following year. Jeff Fisher kept the Titans competitive for most of his time with the team, going on to make the playoffs four more times before exiting the franchise in 2010.

From 2009 through 2016, the Titans went on a severe playoff dry spell with no postseason activity. Their drought finally ended in 2017 with a wild card playoff win against the Chiefs but a loss in the divisional playoffs to the Patriots.

  • Super Bowl Appearances: 1999
  • Super Bowl Championships: none
  • AFL Championships: 1961, 1960
  • AFC South Titles: 2008, 2002
  • AFC Central Titles: 2000, 1993, 1991, 1967, 1962, 1961, 1960
  • Playoff Appearances: 2017, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1969, 1967, 1962, 1961, 1960

Home Stadium – Nissan Stadium

  • Inaugurated: 1999
  • Capacity: 69,143
  • Grass or Turf: Grass

Nissan Stadium has been known by other names throughout the years, such as Adelphia Coliseum, The Coliseum, and LP Field, but it’s the same venue that was built for the Tennessee Titans’ first season in Nashville in 1999.

The stadium features three levels of seating and includes three levels of luxury suites. It’s received some renovations over the years, adding a new sound system, high-speed elevators, and new 157’ x 54’ LED video displays that, just a few years back, were the second-largest in the NFL.

As it’s an open-air facility, the field can take a beating during the fall, prompting resodding halfway through the Titans’ season. Nissan Stadium is also used for concerts, soccer, and the Tennessee State Tigers (NCAA).

  • Stadium Address: Nissan Stadium, One Titans Way, Nashville, TN 37213
  • Mailing Address: Tennessee Titans, 460 Great Circle Rd., Nashville, TN 37228
  • Phone: 615-565-4000

Tennessee Titans Head Coaches

After more than 60 years, the Titans are still trying to recapture the magic of their first two years as the Oilers in the AFL. The team won the first two AFL Championships in the league’s history and made it to postseason action five out of 11 seasons.

Lou Rymkus was the first coach of the Oilers in 1960 through part of ’61, compiling a record of 11-7-1 (.605). Wally Lemm followed in ’61 with a 9 and 0 finish in the regular season. The two coaches led the new Houston Oilers to the AFL Championship, and the team was victorious both years.

Houston and Tennessee’s history from there doesn’t give way to many iconic coaches, but there are a few that definitely stand out.

Bum Phillips

After splitting their two AFL titles between two different coaches, the team lost a third in 1962 under Pop Ivy. From there, they went through several head coaches before landing on Bum Phillips, who helped the Oilers navigate the NFL waters for six seasons.

Houston won immediately upon Phillips’ arrival in 1975, winning 10 games. Despite that strong showing, the Oilers didn’t make the playoffs until Bum’s fourth season. Houston went 10-6 that year, advancing to their first AFC title game.

The Oilers would get back to the AFC title game once again the very next season and made the playoffs one more year in 1980. In the end, Phillips never managed to come away with a title, but he produced five winning seasons and nearly got the Oilers to the Super Bowl.

Jeff Fisher

The Oilers endured a rough six-year stretch where they were stuck near the bottom of the league but were eventually rescued by Jerry Glanville. The team made the playoffs three times under his watch but could never get out of the second round.

Next up was Jack Pardee, who led the Oilers to four winning seasons and four playoff appearances. Again, Houston never got out of round two.

In 1994, Pardee struggled immensely, with the Oilers going just 1-9. That led to his exit, and Jeff Fisher took over the team. Houston hung around .500 over the next four seasons, but upon their move to Tennessee, they instantly advanced to the Super Bowl.

Fisher’s Titans couldn’t win the title, but arguably the best head coach in Houston/Tennessee history still delivered the best season ever for the franchise.

Tennessee stayed competitive under Fisher’s guidance, making the playoffs five more times before his exit in 2010.

Mike Vrabel

The Titans hired new head coach Mike Vrabel for the 2018 season. Vrabel was a defensive end for the Steelers, Patriots, and Chiefs from 1997-2010 and was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Decade Team for 2000-2009.

Coach Vrabel spent the 2011-13 seasons at Ohio State before returning to the NFL in 2014 as the Houston Texans linebackers coach and then 2017 defensive coordinator. The Titans position is his first as a head coach, and the team went 9-7 during his debut season in 2018.

#YearsCoachW-L%Playoffs%Titles
192018-Mike Vrabel29-19.6042-2.500
182015-17Mike Mularkey20-21.4881-1.500
172014-15Ken Whisenhunt3-20.130
162011-13Mike Munchak22-26.458
151994-10Jeff Fisher142-120.5425-6.455

Tennessee Titans’ Last Five Seasons

SeasonCoachFinishW-L%Playoffs
2020Mike Vrabel1st11-5.6880-1
2019Mike Vrabel2nd9-7.5632-1
2018Mike Vrabel3rd9-7.563
2017Mike Mularkey2nd 9-7.5631-1
2016Mike Mularkey2nd9-7.563

Tennessee Titans’ All-Time Career Leaders

CategoryPlayerStatsYears
Passing YardsWarren Moon33,6851984-93
Passing TouchdownsWarren Moon1961984-93
Rushing YardsEddie George10,0091996-03
Rushing TouchdownsEarl Campbell731978-84
ReceptionsErnest Givins5421986-94
Receiving YardsErnest Givins7,9351986-94
Receiving TouchdownsCharley Hennigan511960-66
TacklesRay Childress8581985-95
SacksRay Childress75.51985-95
InterceptionsJim Norton451960-68

The Tennessee Titans have a much richer history than most NFL fans seem to remember. In the modern era, they’ve appeared in the playoffs seven times, while they’ve also won AFL titles and made numerous deep playoff runs in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.

Those stellar (and underrated) eras produced several marquee players that stand out in Titans team history. Here are a few that deserve to be remembered more than others.

Warren Moon

Even though Warren Moon led the University of Washington Huskies to a Rose Bowl victory where he was named MVP, the quarterback was not selected in the 1978 NFL Draft. Instead, Moon signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. During his six years with the team, the Eskimos claimed five consecutive Grey Cup victories, giving their QB the MVP award in 1980 and ’82.

In ’84, the Houston Oilers won a bidding war over Moon. His first NFL game was in 1984, and he stayed in Houston through the ’93 season. Moon was picked for nine Pro Bowls and was First-Team All-Pro in 1990. Also that year, he was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, AFC Player of the Year, and NEA NFL MVP.

Moon was a two-time NFL passing yards leader and the 1990 passing touchdowns leader. He retired after the 2000 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Titans have retired his #1 jersey.

Eddie George

Eddie George won the 1995 Heisman Trophy at Ohio State University and was drafted in the first round of the ’96 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. While George spent his final year on the field in Dallas in ’04, he remained with the Houston and Tennessee Oilers from 1996-2003, earning honors like 1996’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The running back was selected for the Pro Bowl for four successive seasons (1997-2000). He was second-team All-Pro in 1999 and First-Team in 2000. Eddie George retired with 10,441 career rushing yards, 3.6 yards per carry, and 68 rushing touchdowns.

Steve McNair

Quarterback Steve McNair was the third overall draft pick by the Houston Oilers in 1995 out of Alcorn State. When the Oilers made the move from Texas to Tennessee, McNair was the starting QB for the first season in the team’s new home. In 1999, McNair led the newly renamed Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, the team’s only appearance.

McNair made the Pro Bowl three times. In 2003, he was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player as well as passer rating leader. He retired after two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and 2007. He was involved in a murder-suicide in 2009 and died at the young age of 36.

Earl Campbell

Running back Earl Campbell was the Houston Oilers’ first pick in round one of the 1978 NFL Draft. Campbell played for the Texas Longhorns and was twice a First-Team All-American and the 1977 Heisman and Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy winner.

His first year in the NFL, he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. 1978 was also the first of three years as the NFL rushing yards leader and Offensive Player of the Year. In ’79 and ’80, Campbell was the NFL rushing touchdowns leader. He was given the Bert Bell Award and the AP’s NFL Most Valuable Player.

Campbell made the Pro Bowl five times and retired after spending the 1984-85 seasons with the New Orleans Saints with a career 9,407 rushing yards, 4.3 yards per carry, and 74 rushing TDs. The Titans have retired his #34 jersey.

Tennessee Titans Trivia

Former Oilers/Titans head coach Jeff Fisher has the dubious record of career losses by a head coach. Fisher won 178 total games during his career but also lost 170.

The Oilers moved to Tennessee and became the Titans in 1999. That same year, they appeared in their first and only Super Bowl.

Late Titans quarterback Steve McNair earned the nickname “Air” for airing it out at Alcorn State. The impressive college star put up 4,863 yards and 44 touchdowns in 1994. Ironically enough, he never came close to that type of production in the pros.

Oilers great Charley Hennigan is responsible for the first touchdown in franchise history. His score was the first for the franchise and the first of many. His 51 receiving touchdowns still pace the Titans as a franchise.

In a 2018 playoff game against the Chiefs, quarterback Marcus Mariota caught a deflected pass for a touchdown. He was the first Titans quarterback to ever accomplish this feat, one which sparked a comeback win.

Earl Campbell was as dominant a runner as the league had ever seen. He was so dominant, in fact, that he was named Offensive Player of the Year in each of his first three seasons.

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