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1999 Tennessee Titans season

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Title: 1999 Tennessee Titans season  
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Subject: Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XX, Super Bowl XXXIV, Tennessee Titans, 2000 in sports, Jim E. Mora, National Football League Rookie of the Year Award, AFC Championship Game, AFC North, List of Super Bowl champions
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1999 Tennessee Titans season

1999 Tennessee Titans season
Head coach Jeff Fisher
Home field Adelphia Coliseum
Results
Record 13–3
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (Bills) 22–16
Won Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 19–16
Won Conference Championship (Jaguars) 33–14
Lost Super Bowl XXXIV (Rams) 16–23
Timeline
Previous season      Next season
1998      2000 >

The 1999 Tennessee Titans season was the Titans' 40th season and their 30th in the National Football League. It was the first season for the club under the moniker "Titans," while the nickname "Oilers" was retired by the NFL. The Titans became the seventh Wild Card to qualify for the Super Bowl.[1]

Offseason

NFL Draft

Personnel

Staff

1999 Tennessee Titans staff
Front Office
  • Founder/Owner/Chairman of the Board/CEO – Bud Adams
  • President/Chief Operating Officer – Jeff Diamond
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – Floyd Reese
  • Director of Player Personnel – Rich Snead

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Steve Watterson

Roster

1999 Tennessee Titans roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance Notes
1 September 12, 1999 Cincinnati Bengals W 36–35
65,272
Titans win despite Bengals comeback from down 26-7
2 September 19, 1999 Cleveland Browns W 26–9
65,904
Neil O'Donnell started for McNair and threw for 310 yards and a touchdown
3 September 26, 1999 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 20–19
61,502
O'Donnell again started; Titans won even after giving up a last-second safety
4 October 3, 1999 at San Francisco 49ers L 22-24
67,447
Game decided when Titans two-point conversion attempt in final two minutes failed
5 October 10, 1999 Baltimore Ravens W 14–11
65,487
Titans gave up league-record 212 yards in penalties
6 October 17, 1999 at New Orleans Saints W 24–21
51,875
Titans outscored Saints 17-7 in fourth quarter
7 Bye
8 October 31, 1999 St. Louis Rams W 24–21
66,415
Steve McNair returned and threw two touchdowns
9 November 7, 1999 at Miami Dolphins L 0-17
74,109
McNair intercepted three times
10 November 14, 1999 at Cincinnati Bengals W 24–14
46,017
Jeff Blake sacked seven times
11 November 21, 1999 Pittsburgh Steelers W 16–10
66,619
Steelers penalized eleven times for 74 yards
12 November 28, 1999 at Cleveland Browns W 33–21
72,008
Titans erased 14-7 Browns lead with a run of 26 points
13 December 5, 1999 at Baltimore Ravens L 14-41
67,854
McNair intercepted twice as Tony Banks threw four touchdowns
14 December 9, 1999 Oakland Raiders W 21–14
66,357
McNair and Eddie George rushed for 204 yards and three scores
15 December 19, 1999 Atlanta Falcons W 30–17
66,196
Frank Wycheck threw a 61-yard touchdown
16 December 26, 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars W 41–14
66,641
Jaguars 0-2 against Titans and 13-0 against rest of league to date in 1999
17 January 2, 2000 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 47–36
48,025
Steve McNair, Neil O'Donnell, and Mike Tomczak combined for 523 passing yards, five scores, and two INTs

Standings

AFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA
Jacksonville Jaguars 14 2 0 .875 396 217
Tennessee Titans 13 3 0 .813 392 324
Baltimore Ravens 8 8 0 .500 324 277
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 10 0 .375 317 320
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 283 460
Cleveland Browns 2 14 0 .125 217 437

[4]

Notable games

In the team's inaugural game as the Titans, Steve McNair threw two touchdowns and ran in a third for a 26–15 lead with 2:55 left in the first half, but a Jeff Blake touchdown left the halftime score 26–21 Titans. The Bengals stormed to a 35–26 lead in the fourth before McNair connected with Eddie George for a 17-yard touchdown with 4:30 left in the fourth, then Al Del Greco kicked the game-winning 33-yard field goal of a 36–35 Titans final.

Neil O'Donnell was forced to start, and he threw a third-quarter touchdown to Eddie George, but an Aaron Beasley interception became a 35-yard Jaguars score and a 17–7 Jacksonville lead. O'Donnell rebounded with a fourth-quarter score to Michael Roan and a 20–19 Titans win as Tennessee surrendered a safety on the game's final play.

Tennessee suffered its first loss of the year as Jeff Garcia ran in a one-yard touchdown, then connected with Terrell Owens in the fourth quarter. The Titans trailed 24–16 when O'Donnell hit Yancey Thigpen in the endzone with 2:48 left in regulation; the two-point try was stopped, however, and the Niners ran out the clock for a 24–22 Titans loss.

The Titans committed the highest penalty yardage in league history with fifteen fouls eating up 212 yards; the Ravens, under first-year coach Brian Billick, didn't fare much better with nine penalties for 81 yards. Titans starter Neil O'Donnell completed 24 of 35 passes for 216 yards and a 27-yard score to Yancey Thigpen while Eddie George was limited to just 55 rushing yards.

In a Super Bowl XXXIV precursor, Steve McNair threw two touchdowns and ran in a third in the first quarter, then the Titans sweated out three Kurt Warner touchdown throws for a 24–21 win. The Rams coughed up three fumbles to the Titans.

The Jaguars had beaten every team on their 1999 slate except the Titans, and the Titans finished a season sweep with a 41–14 rout. Steve McNair exploded to five touchdowns and 328 passing yards while Eddie George ran wild with 102 rushing yards. The Titans defense limited Jaguars quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Jay Fiedler to 196 combined yards and three interceptions.

  • Week 17 Jan 2 W 47–36 at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Titans erupted to six touchdowns, a 42-yard Al Del Greco field goal, and a safety after sacking Mike Tomczak in the Pittsburgh endzone for a 47–36 triumph. Jevon Kearse and Denard Walker scored off Steeler fumbles while Steve McNair and former Steeler Neil O'Donnell combined for 203 passing yards and three touchdowns. Tomczak had two touchdown throws while Jerome Bettis and Richard Huntley each ran in a Pittsburgh touchdown.

Playoffs

AFC Wild Card

Tennessee Titans 22, Buffalo Bills 16
1 2 34Total
Bills 0 0 7916
Titans 0 12 01022

at Adelphia Coliseum, Nashville, Tennessee

Music City Miracle

Main article: Music City Miracle

The Music City Miracle is a famous play in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs involving the Titans and Buffalo Bills that took place on January 8, 2000 (following the 1999 regular season) at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee.

Going into the game, Bills coach Wade Phillips created a stir by starting quarterback Rob Johnson, rather than Doug Flutie, who had started 15 games, and who had led the team to the playoffs. Late in the fourth quarter, the stage was set for an exciting finish. Tennessee received the ball with 6:15 remaining. Titans receiver Isaac Byrd's 16-yard punt return and five carries from Eddie George for 17 yards set up a wobbly 36-yard field goal by kicker Al Del Greco. The Titans took a 15–13 lead with 1:48 to go.

On the ensuing drive, with no timeouts remaining, Bills quarterback Johnson led the Bills on a five-play, 37-yard drive to the Titans' 24-yard line. On the last two plays from scrimmage, Johnson played with only one shoe on, as he had lost one during a scramble, and had no time to put it back on, with the clock running out. With only 16 seconds remaining in the game, Steve Christie, the Bills' kicker, made a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo in the lead, 16–15.

Moments later, Christie kicked off, and Titans fullback Lorenzo Neal received. Neal handed the ball off to Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, who then lateraled the ball across the field to another Titans player, Kevin Dyson, who then ran down the sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown. The play was named Home Run Throwback by the Titans and was developed by Special Teams Coordinator Alan Lowry.

  • Official review

Per the instant replay rules, the play was reviewed by referee Phil Luckett since it was uncertain if the ball had been a forward pass, which is illegal on a kickoff return. However, the call on the field was upheld as a touchdown, and the Titans won the game 22–16. After the game, however, many Bills players and fans continued to insist that it was indeed an illegal forward pass.

AFC Divisional Playoff

Tennessee Titans 19, Indianapolis Colts 16
1 2 34Total
Titans 0 6 7619
Colts 3 6 0716

at RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana

Although the Indianapolis Colts, behind second year quarterback Peyton Manning, had posted some gaudy numbers (3rd in points scored compared to Tennessee's 7th) en route to a sterling 13–3 regular season record, the upstart Titans paid them little respect. Running back Eddie George rushed for a team playoff-record 162 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, to help lead the Titans to victory. Manning completed only 19 of 43 passes in the loss for the Colts.

AFC Championship Game

Tennessee Titans 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
1 2 34Total
Titans 7 3 16733
Jaguars 7 7 0014

at ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville Jaguars had been one of the NFL's best teams in the 1999 season; they were 6th in scoring and first in fewest points allowed while pacing the AFC with a 14–2 record. However, both of those losses came at the hands of their opponents in the AFC Championship game, the Tennessee Titans. The Titans would prove up to the task of beating their division rival once again as the Titans scored a resounding 33–14 victory; the game was at times a chaotic affair as the Titans forced six turnovers and an endzone sack for a safety, all despite giving up four turnovers themselves; the Jaguars were also bullied into nine penalties for 100 yards. The Titans advanced to the first Super Bowl in club history.

Super Bowl XXXIV

The Titans took over the ball at their own 10-yard line with 1:54 left in the game after committing a holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff. McNair started out the drive with a pair of completions to Mason and Wycheck for gains of 9 and 7 yards to reach the 28-yard line. Then after throwing an incompletion, defensive back Dre' Bly's 15-yard facemask penalty while tackling McNair on a 12-yard scramble gave the Titans a first down at the St. Louis 45-yard line. On the next play, St. Louis was penalized 5 yards for being offsides, moving the ball to the 40-yard line with 59 seconds left. McNair then ran for 2 yards, followed by a 7-yard completion to wide receiver Kevin Dyson. Three plays later, with the Titans facing 3rd down and 5 to go, McNair was hit by two Rams' defenders, but he escaped and completed a 16-yard pass to Dyson to gain a first down at the Rams 10-yard line. Tennessee then used up their final timeout with just 6 seconds left in the game, giving them a chance for one last play. McNair threw a short pass to Kevin Dyson down the middle, which looked certain to tie up the game, until Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Dyson at the one-yard line as time expired. Dyson tried to stretch his arm and the football across the goal line, but he had already gone down, so it was too late. This final play has gone down in NFL history as simply "The Tackle".

After the game, many sports writers commented on Warner's rise from an unknown backup to a Super Bowl MVP, but Warner himself wasn't impressed by it. "How can you be in awe of something that you expect yourself to do?" Warner pointed out. "People think this season is the first time I touched a football; they don't realize I've been doing this for years – just not on this level, because I never got the chance. Sure, I had my tough times, but you don't sit there and say, 'Wow, I was stocking groceries five years ago, and look at me now.' You don't think about it, and when you do achieve something, you know luck has nothing to do with it."[1]

Scoring summary

  • STL – FG: Jeff Wilkins 27 yards 3–0 STL
  • STL – FG: Jeff Wilkins 29 yards 6–0 STL
  • STL – FG: Jeff Wilkins 28 yards 9–0 STL
  • STL – TD: Torry Holt, 9-yard pass from Warner (Jeff Wilkins kick) 16–0 STL
  • TEN – TD: Eddie George 1-yard run (2-pt conv: pass failed) 16–6 STL
  • TEN – TD: Eddie George 2-yard run (Al Del Greco kick) 16–13 STL
  • TEN – FG: Al Del Greco 43 yards 16–16 tie
  • STL – TD: Isaac Bruce 73-yard pass from Kurt Warner (Jeff Wilkins kick) 23–16 STL

Awards and records

Milestones

References

  • Titans on Pro Football Reference
  • Titans on jt-sw.com

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