Tennessee Titans: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NFLPhotoLibrary)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NFLPhotoLibrary) /
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Warren Moon, Houston Oilers
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg) /

Warren Moon. 2. player. 148. . QB. (1984-93)

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006)
  • Tennessee Titans No. 1 jersey retired
  • 1989 NFL Man of the Year
  • 1990 NFL Offensive Player of the Year
  • 6x Pro Bowl w/Oilers (1988-93)
  • 2x NFL passing yards leader (1990-91)
  • NFL passing touchdowns leader (1990)
  • Second-Team All-Pro (1990)

Warren Moon is not just the best quarterback in Oilers/Titans history, he’s probably one of the most important star quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. After starring at the University of Washington for legendary head coach Don James, Moon went undrafted and had to play his first six professional seasons in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos.

All Moon did was win five-straight Grey Cups quarterbacking the Eskimos from 1979 to 1982. Even though he is arguably the greatest player in CFL history, Moon didn’t play quarterback in the NFL until 1984 almost entirely because of the color of his skin. People had their doubts about an African-American quarterback playing in the NFL. Boy, did Moon put that stupid line of thinking to bed.

Moon debuted as a member of the Oilers in 1984 at the age of 28. This is largely because his former Eskimos head coach Hugh Campbell was named the head coach of the Oilers franchise that same year. Yes, it took a few years for Moon to find his footing in the NFL. Then in 1988, he became a superstar.

Moon made six straight trips to the Pro Bowl with the Oilers began in 1988. He would be named NFL Man of the Year in 1989 and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1990. Twice did Moon lead the league in passing yards, coming in 1990 and 1991. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns in 1990, as he was named Second-Team All-Pro.

In 10 years as a quarterback for the Oilers, Moon went 70-69 as a starter, completing 57.9 percent of his passes for 33,685 yards, 196 touchdowns and 166 interceptions. Despite going 12-4 and winning the old AFC Central in 1993, former Oilers owner Bud Adams was a man of his word and dismantled the team after failing to reach the Super Bowl. The Oilers lost in the divisional round to Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Moon, who had been the greatest quarterback in franchise history, was traded to the Minnesota Vikings ahead of the 1994 NFL season. He played three seasons with the Vikings and made it to two more Pro Bowls.

In 1997, Moon made his ninth and final Pro Bowl at age 41 quarterbacking the Seattle Seahawks. After quarterbacking in the Pacific Northwest for two seasons, Moon closed out his illustrious NFL career as a backup with the Kansas City Chiefs before after the 2000 NFL season at age 44.

Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2006, and rightfully so. He was a quarterback that was both ahead of his time, yet extremely important for his time. He broke down so many barriers for men of color, as well as ushering in an increasingly passing-centric league. Moon is seen as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history to never play in a Super Bowl.