Tennessee Titans: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NFLPhotoLibrary)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NFLPhotoLibrary) /
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Ernest Givins, Houston Oilers

148. . WR. (1986-94). Ernest Givins. 21. player

  • 2x Pro Bowl (1990, 1992)
  • Second-Team All-Pro (1990)
  • 7,935 career receiving yards w/Oilers
  • 542 career receptions w/Oilers
  • 46 career touchdown catches w/Oilers

Ernest Givins spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons as a member of the Oilers. Houston took him in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft out of Louisville. This proved to be one of the franchise’s better draft selections in the 1980s. This is because of both longevity and consistency, he became the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards.

As a rookie in 1986, Givins had 61 catches for 1,062 yards and three touchdowns. Strangely, that would be the only time in his NFL career that he went over 1,000 yards in a season. Frankly, that didn’t matter, as Givins was still a highly productive receiving during his time in the Lone Star State playing for the Oilers.

Four other times in his football career did Givins come within 100 yards of getting to 1,000 on the year, including his 1991 campaign. That fall saw him come up just four yards short of that benchmark with 996 receiving yards. One more catch would have certainly done the trick.

With future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon slinging him the pigskin, Givins amassed great numbers in Oilers uniform. In 1990, he finally made it to the Pro Bowl, earning Second-Team All-Pro honors in the process. Givins had 72 catches for 979 yards and nine touchdowns that season.

Then in 1992, Givins made his second and final trip to the Pro Bowl. He had 67 catches for 787 yards and a career-best 10 touchdown receptions. During his nine-year stint with the Oilers, Givins averaged 14.6 yards per catch. This means he was more than well-equipped to break off a big gain through the air, as well as be a reliable possession for Moon in the passing game.

Unfortunately, Givins would not spend his entire NFL career with one team. He would play his 10th and final NFL season with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, but was nowhere near as successful as he was with the Oilers. Givins retired after his age-31 season.

In his nine years with the Oilers, Givins had 542 catches for 7,935 yards and 46 touchdowns. His yardage total remains a franchise record. It’s pretty impressive that this record still stands nearly 25 years after he last played for the franchise.

With Delanie Walker in the twilight of his NFL career, there is a good chance this record remains intact for Givins for years to come. But to think that he did this with only one 1,000-yard receiving season is just incredible. Frankly, Givins will be the franchise record holder for well over 30 years.