Remembering Steve McNair: Once a Titan, always a Titan
Super Bowl XXXIV
Super Bowl XXXIV was supposed to be an uphill climb for the Titans.
Nicknamed “The Greatest Show on Turf,” that Rams team had an all-time offense that made the Titans an underdog. Tennessee’s defense wasn’t supposed to be able to stop the Rams, and their offense sure as hell wasn’t supposed to be able to keep up.
Somebody forgot to tell McNair that.
Instead of caving under the pressure, McNair went toe-to-toe with the league’s MVP that year, quarterback Kurt Warner, and nearly pulled off one of the great upsets in Super Bowl history in a game that will go down as arguably the greatest in the big game’s illustrious past.
McNair completed 61 percent of his passes and threw for 214 yards without turning the ball over. He also added eight rushes for 64 yards, playing the all-around game that he had become well-known for. McNair was only 26 at the time, but he played like a veteran who had been in this situation before.
The Titans faced a 23-16 deficit late in the contest with just one minute and 48 seconds on the clock, starting from their own 12. McNair once again did what he did best in the game’s final drive to at least give the team a chance to win: he persevered.
McNair went on to complete six of nine passes for 48 yards, and added 14 rushing yards on a drive that saw the Titans signal-caller singlehandedly take his team down the field and give them a chance to win.
With just five seconds on the clock, McNair nearly culminated this impressive drive with a touchdown strike to Kevin Dyson, but the receiver was stopped just one yard short of breaking the plain.
It took what has become an all-time great play by linebacker Mike Jones to stop McNair and the Titans from making a last-second comeback to push the game into overtime. This was no doubt a devastating finish to a game in which McNair was great.
Because of the circumstances of the play that was necessary to stop the Titans from pulling off that touchdown play, Titans fans embraced McNair for his efforts, and rightfully so, he played like the No. 3 overall pick he was.
He played like a champion.