Facts and information about the Tennessee Titans
- Marcus Mariota was the sixth quarterback ever taken by the Tennessee Titans franchise in the first round of the NFL Draft. The first three were selected when the team was still known as the Houston Oilers: Dan Pastorini, Jim Everett, and Steve McNair. The next three were taken after the team relocated to Tennessee: Vince Young, Jake Locker, and Marcus Mariota.
- The Houston Oilers scored the first major coup of the AFL when they signed former LSU Tigers star and 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon to a contract in 1960.
- The Oilers were the first ever AFL Champions when they defeated the San Diego Chargers in the championship game.
- Chris Johnson was the fourth running back in team history to have 10 or more 100 yard rushing games while playing for the franchise. The first three were Hoyle Granger, Earl Campbell, and Eddie George.
- The first person to have both played for the Oilers/Titans franchise and also been their coach is Mike Munchak.
- Former Head Coach Jerry Glanville was notorious for leaving game tickets at the gate in the names of famous dead celebrities, usually Elvis Presley.
- The first five quarterbacks in Titans/Oilers franchise history to have 3,000 yard passing seasons were George Blanda, Ken Stabler, Warren Moon, Steve McNair, and Matt Hasselbeck.
- Barry Switzer, the longtime Oklahoma Sooners head coach, said of running back Earl Campbell that he was the only player he’d ever seen in his life who could have made the jump from High School football to the NFL.
In Earl Campbell’s rookie year (1978) with the Houston Oilers, he not only won Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year, but also Most Valuable Player of the NFL.
- The first two passes Marcus Mariota threw in the NFL were both intended for Titans running back Bishop Sankey, but neither were caught.
Billy Cannon holds the distinction of making the AFL All-Star Team at two different positions (as a halfback in 1961 with the Oilers and as a tight end in 1969 with the Oakland Raiders).
- When Titans tight end Delanie Walker caught a TD pass from Marcus Mariota on September 13, 2015, it was the ninth different QB who’d thrown a scoring pass to him during his career. The first eight were: Trent Dilfer, J.T. O’Sullivan, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Charlie Whitehurst, and Zach Mettenberger.
Longtime Oilers quarterback Warren Moon is the first quarterback to make it to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame after not even being drafted out of college.
- In 1997, the first round pick Tennessee traded to Kansas City as part of a large package of draft picks was used to take eventual All-Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez.
In 1980, former Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini appeared nude in Playgirl.
In 2007, Titans kicker Rob Bironas set the NFL record for most field goals kicked in a game with eight.
- 2009 saw Titans running back Chris Johnson lead the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards, yards from scrimmage, and rushing yards per game.
Offensive lineman Bruce Matthews is the only player to play in the last game the Baltimore Colts would play in their home stadium, Memorial Stadium… as well as in the Baltimore Ravens’ last home game in Memorial Stadium.
Running back Earl Campbell led the league in rushing in three consecutive years (1978, 79, & 80). Before him, only the legendary Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns accomplished that.
No player caught more touchdown passes from all time great Warren Moon than former Houston Oilers receiver Drew Hill. Hill caught 43 TD passes from Moon during his career, just three more than Ernest Givins who sits in second place on the list.
In 1990, Warren Moon became the first Oilers/Titans quarterback to ever pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season.
- Titans quarterback Steve McNair threw 174 TD passes during his career. No one caught more of them than Titans receiver Derrick Mason with a total of 32.
Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell is the only running back in history to have twice gained more than 200 yards rushing in a game without scoring a touchdown. He is also the only player to do it twice in the same year (1980).
The first time the Titans wore their navy jerseys with their navy pants for an all dark uniform look was in 2006 in a game against the Washington Redskins.
Archie Manning played quarterback for the Oilers from 1982 to 1983. His record as a starter was 0-8.
- Titans running back Eddie George scored five postseason touchdowns during his career. He scored one each against the Colts, and Raves, as well as two against the Rams.
In 2009, the Titans trailed by the score of 45-0 at halftime in their game against the New England Patriots. This set the record for the largest halftime deficit ever.
In 1966, Houston Oilers quarterback and eventual Pro Football Hall of Fame member George Blanda became the first NFL quarterback to ever throw five touchdown passes in a loss twice during his career. This happened first in 1963 in a 52-49 loss to the Oakland Raiders and then again in 1966 in a 40-38 loss to the Denver Broncos.
- In one amazing game in 1961, just their second season in pro football, Billy Cannon would rack up 216 yards rushing and 114 yards receiving in one game for the Oilers. He scored five touchdowns that day.
- With 25 total, the Houston Oilers had more 300 yard passing games than any other team in the AFL during it’s existence.
Steve McNair threw more touchdown passes to Derrick Mason, 32 in total, than he did to any other player he played with.
Earl Campbell appears in the top ten list of most 100 yard rushing games by decade in both the 1970’s and 1980’s. He has the fifth most in the 1970’s and is tied for the tenth most in the 1980’s. No other player appears on the list in multiple decades.
- Marcus Mariota’s first complete pass in the NFL was caught by tight end Delanie Walker and was good for a 22 yard gain.
Former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon played the role of head coach of one of the opposing teams in the film ‘Any Given Sunday’.
- While playing for the Titans, Chris Johnson twice had the longest TD run of the season in the NFL. He did this with a 91 yard scoring run in 2009 and then again with a 94 yard touchdown run in 2012.
In a 2009 blowout loss to the New England Patriots, Vince Young and Kerry Collins combined to put up one of the worst team passing stat lines ever. Over the course of the entire game, they completed two of 14 passes for negative seven yards and two interceptions.
In a 1978 game, Houston Oilers rookie running back ran for 199 yards and four touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins, setting a record for both the most yards and touchdowns given up by the Dolphins to a rookie. The yards mark was passed in 1986 by Rueben Mayes of the Saints.
Steve McNair’s first touchdown pass ever was caught by Chris Sanders. His last touchdown pass as a Titans player was caught by Drew Bennett. His last touchdown pass came two years later while he was with the Baltimore Ravens, it was caught by Quinn Sypniewski.
Warren Moon’s first NFL touchdown pass went for ten yards and was caught by Mike Holston, this was the only touchdown pass he ever threw to him.
- The first TD pass Steve McNair ever threw in the NFL went for 39 yards and was caught by Chris Sanders.
As of 1981, only four people had been proclaimed as an official State Hero of Texas by the Texas Legislature: Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and Earl Campbell.
Longtime Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini’s real first name was “Dante”.
- Former Wide Receiver Ken Burrough was one of the few players to ever wear the number double zero on his jersey.
- The Houston Oilers appeared in the first three American Football League Championship games, winning the first two and losing the third.
- The Oilers were the first professional football team to play in a domed stadium (The Houston Astrodome).
- In 1992, the Oilers had a 32-point lead in the second half of a playoff game versus the Buffalo Bills and lost.
- Bum Phillips had never been a Head Coach in the NFL when the Oilers hired him to be both coach and General Manager in 1975.
- Former Head Coach Bum Phillips was known for wearing a cowboy hat while on the sidelines, however he never wore it in domed stadiums saying that; “My mama told me never to wear a hat indoors”.
- The Tennessee Titans were relocated to Tennessee from Houston, where they played as the Oilers, before the start of the 1997 season. During the 1997 and 1998 seasons they played as the Tennessee Oilers before changing their name to the Titans before the 1999 season.
- Marcus Moriata was the third quarterback ever taken in the NFL Draft who had been born in Hawaii. The first was Joe Francis in 1958 and the second was James Ritchey in 1997.
- During the Titans first three seasons in Tennessee they played in three different home stadiums; Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Vanderbilt Stadium, and LP Field.
- Hall-of-Fame Offensive Lineman Bruce Matthews played his whole career for one organization, but under three different team names; the Houston Oilers, the Tennessee Oilers, and the Tennessee Titans.
- The Titans first year in Tennessee, they played in Memphis before relocating to Nashville for their second season.
- The Oilers came into the league as an original member of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960, they were then part of the AFL-NFL merger of 1970.
- The Oilers played in the first three AFL Championship games, winning the first two, both times over the Chargers.
- When the Oilers lost the double overtime1962 AFL Championship Game to the Dallas Texans (later the Kansas City Chiefs), at the time it was the longest professional football game ever played.
- The Houston Oilers were the first AFL team to sign an active NFL player away from his team when they signed the Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Willard Dewveall in 1962.
- When the Oilers moved into the Astrodome in 1968 they became the first professional football team to play inside a domed stadium.
- Former Running Back Earl Campbell won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in his first season in the NFL.
- Eddie George rushed for 100 yards or more in a game 36 times during his career with the Titans franchise. His best game came in a 1997 win over the Raiders when he carried the ball 35 times for 216 yards.
- Legendary Oiler Quarterback, and Hall-of-Famer, Warren Moon was told no NFL team would draft him to play Quarterback after he had graduated from the University of Washington. He went on to win multiple championships and MVP awards in the Canadian Football League before coming south and proving his doubters wrong.
- In 1996, the Oilers led the Bills in their wildcard playoff game by a score of 35-3 and ended up losing the game in overtime.
- Except for minor changes, the original 1960 Oilers logo remained the same until 1999 when the team name was changed to the Titans.
- Longtime Oilers/Titans Running Back Eddie George finished his career playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
- The first former Oiler to both make the Hall-of-Fame and have his jersey retired, and to have played with the team in Tennessee as well was Offensive Lineman Bruce Matthews.
- Billy Cannon made All-AFL as a Halfback in 1961 and then as a Tight End in 1969.
- Over the course of his six seasons with the Titans, running back Chris Johnson caught eight touchdown passes thrown to him by four different quarterbacks: Vince Young, Kerry Collins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jake Locker.
- In the playoffs following the 1999 season, Kevin Dyson caught the cross field lateral from Frank Wycheck and ran 75 yards for a touchdown in what became known as the Music City Miracle. Coincidentally, it was Dyson that was tackled one yard short of a Touchdown in that year’s Super Bowl. A Touchdown would’ve given the Titans the opportunity to tie the game or win it with a two-point-conversion.
- The Tennessee Titans share some team name history with the New York Jets. After moving from Houston to Tennessee, the Oilers changed their name to the Titans. In the old AFL days, before the merger with the NFL, the Jets original team name had been the New York Titans.
- Quarterback Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli, finished his career with the Houston Oilers after starring with the Saints.
- In 2003, Quarterback Steve McNair shared the league MVP award with Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning.
- The Houston Oilers had six Head Coaches in their first seven years in the league; Lou Rymkus (1960-61), Wally Lemm (1961), Pop Ivy (1962-1963), Sammy Baugh (1964), Hugh Taylor (1965), Wally Lemm (again, 1966-1970).
- Marcus Moriata’s first NFL touchdown pass was good for a 52 yard gain and was thrown to Kendall Wright.
- In 1976, the Oilers used a fourth round draft pick on a Wide Receiver who they then almost cut before trading away before the season started. This Wide Receiver would go on to set many of the NFL’s career receiving records before retiring and being elected to the Hall-of-Fame and Congress. That Wide Receiver was the Seattle Seahawks’ Steve Largent.
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