As Super Bowl 51 gets ready to kick off, it’s time to revisit the last time the Tennessee Titans were in the Big Game.

For Tennessee Titans fans, it’s been a long time since Super Bowl Sunday was a nerve-racking, meaningful affair. Not since the 1999 season have the Titans been in the Big Game. And not since 2008 have the Titans even made the playoffs. This post might be painful, but we must recall what happened in the Super Bowl that almost brought a championship to Tennessee.

That Super Bowl was a classic tale of teams that weren’t expected to make it that far. The St. Louis Rams came into the season not expected to do much damage. In fact, ESPN The Magazine predicted them to be the worst team in the entire NFL. What ensued that year was the creation of the “Greatest Show on Turf”, a record-breaking offense that exploded on the back of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt. Holt was a rookie wide receiver and Warner was an undrafted backup quarterback who took the reins of the offense after starter Trent Green suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. This would be only the second Super Bowl appearance in the team’s history.

 For Tennessee, it would be their first ever Super Bowl appearance in team history. The team was led by Steve McNair, who was in his fifth season with the Titans. His 1999 season was a bit marred by injuries that forced him to miss five games. While his passing numbers weren’t anything to brag about, his rushing ability was a dynamic that made the offense unpredictable and kept the chains moving. Eddie George had a fantastic season that year, rushing for 1,304 yards and catching 47 passes for 458 yards, while totaling 13 touchdowns in a third straight Pro Bowl year. The defense was the bread and butter, led by playmakers like Jevon Kearse, Blaine Bishop, and Samari Rolle.
The game began with a pair of failed field goal attempts by each team. The Rams’ attempt was a botched snap by the holder, while the Titans’ attempt was a missed 47 yard kick by Al Del Greco. The Titans got absolutely nothing going for the rest of the half, being forced to punt on all of their other first half possessions. The Rams were able to drive on the rest of their first half possessions, but had to settle for four field goal attempts. Kicker Jeff Wilkins made three and missed one, meaning the Rams went to halftime leading the Titans 9-0. All in all, a nine point deficit was generous to the Titans as they were out gained 294-89 by the potent Rams offense.

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