The 2017 Titans bear resemblance to the 1999 Super Bowl team.
For the first time since 2008, the Tennessee Titans are becoming a team that is talked about once again. Most media outlets are picking us to be an above-.500 team for the second year in a row. We as Titans fans are not used to that. We are not used to being considered a contender or a dark horse team that could make a run.
But something feels different with this organization. We as fans feel a change coming. But is it a “different” feeling, or is it something that is eerily familiar?
Take a look at the schedule for the upcoming 2017 season. Now take a look at the schedule for the 1999 season. You will see a lot of the same teams on that schedule. Granted we were in the AFC central at that time, so of course we were going to play Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Cincinnati since they were in our division at that time. That is something we will also do this year. We also played Jacksonville (3 times that year), San Francisco, Oakland, St. Louis (2 times including the Super Bowl), Indianapolis (in the Divisional round of the playoffs), and Miami.
The 2017 Titans will play 85% of the teams they faced in the 19 games played during the 1999 regular season and postseason., and 87% of the teams they faced during the regular season. That is an astronomically high number.
There are also other similarities to these two teams that are separated by 18 years. The run first mentality of the two teams is another common denominator. Eddie George and DeMarco Murray are two Pro Bowl running backs that seem to be, and have been, captains of each of their respective teams. The Titans now have Marcus Mariota, a dual threat quarterback, and Steve McNair was one of the best dual threat quarterbacks to ever lace up cleats. The Titans have Delanie Walker, a tight end that plays a key role in the offense. In 1999, Frank Wycheck was a key cog in that offense, while both led the team in receptions and made the Pro Bowl. Not to forget about the offensive line, which is probably the strongest position group for each of these teams.
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While all of these similarities come on the offensive side of the ball, according to Pro Football Reference, the 1999 Tennessee Titans had a middle of the pack defense ranking 15th in the league. I believe that this year’s team has the potential to be that, or even better.
We can sit here and look at similarities all day long, but there is something that the Titans of the present have not yet proven to us. The 1999 Titans lost one game in their division. Last year the Titans went 2-4 in their DIVISION. That is something that seems to haunt the present Titans. If this year’s team can prove to us that they can win their division, how strikingly similar would these teams be?
That is something that we will be asking ourselves for the rest of this offseason, and all the way up to the beginning of preseason. Oh, and one more thing. The 1998 Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in their franchise history, and the following season your Titans made their first appearance in franchise history. In 2016, the Falcons made their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
Could 2017 be the year the Tennessee Titans make history repeat itself? The only thing we can do is wait and see.
If you liked this article check out my podcast entitled The Post Route. My co-host and I break down something to do with the Titans every week. You can subscribe to that and give us some feedback on any of the major podcast networks. Let us know what you think.