2008 Tennessee Titans season
The 2008 Tennessee Titans season was the team's 49th season and 39th in the National Football League, their 12th in Tennessee, and their tenth as the Titans. However, the Titans lost four of their last seven and were eliminated by the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.
The Titans pulled off an important divisional win behind the strong running of rookie RB Chris Johnson, who rushed for 93 yards in his NFL debut, and the arm of backup quarterback Kerry Collins, who replaced starter Vince Young when he went down late in the 4th quarter. Young had been inconsistent, throwing 1 TD pass to Johnson and 2 INTs. However, Collins moved the ball down field effectively and that drive led to the eventual game winning touchdown run by LenDale White. Jacksonville trailed for much of the game and couldn't run the ball against a locked in Titans defense, who sacked Jaguars quarterback David Garrard 7 times. Both teams' defenses played well but the Titans held on. This game was also significant because the Jaguars, Texans, and Colts (in their debut at Lucas Oil Stadium) lost, so the Titans grabbed first place in the AFC South for the first week of the season, ending a 56 week streak of holding 1st place in the division by the Colts as the team started the season 10.
The Titans stayed in 1st place thanks to the extremely strong wind from the remnants of Hurricane Ike (which interfered with an important field goal attempt by Shayne Graham) and a sloppy Cincinnati offense in a 247 rout. Chris Johnson ran for over 100 yards for the first time in his career and Kerry Collins had a good day filling in for the injured Vince Young. The Titans first scored on a 1yd TD run by LenDale White after a scoreless 1st quarter and then Cincinnati scored its only touchdown with a Chris Perry 13yd TD run on 4th down. The Titans, with a little over a minute left, drove the ball downfield and took a 147 lead at the half thanks to an 11yd TD reception by Justin Gage. The knockout punch was delivered early in the 4th quarter with the Titans leading 177. Keith Bulluck recovered a blocked punt in the endzone to finish off the Bengals and keep the Titans perfect.
The win also gave the Titans their first 20 start for the first time since 1999.
Coming off their road win over the Bengals, the Titans went home for a Week 3 duel with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Tennessee trailed early as Houston Texans kicker Kris Brown got a 44yard field goal. The Titans responded with RB LenDale White getting a 2yard TD run. Houston drew close as Brown kicked a 24yard field goal, yet Tennessee answered with QB Kerry Collins completing a 9yard TD pass to TE Bo Scaife. The Texans replied with RB Steve Slaton getting a 6yard TD run (with a failed PAT), while the Titans closed out the half with White's 1yard TD run. In the third quarter, Tennessee increased its lead with kicker Rob Bironas nailing a 44yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Titans closed out the game with CB Cortland Finnegan returning an interception 99 yards for a touchdown.
With the win, Tennessee acquired its first 30 start since their Super Bowl run of 1999.
Coming off their home win over the Texans, the Titans stayed at home for a Week 4 interconference duel with the Minnesota Vikings. In the first quarter, Tennessee drew first blood as kicker Rob Bironas got a 20yard field goal, along with rookie RB Chris Johnson getting a 1yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Vikings responded with RB Adrian Peterson getting a 28yard TD run. Afterwards, the Titans answered with Bironas kicking a 32yard field goal, along with RB LenDale White getting a 1yard TD run. Minnesota closed out the half with kicker Ryan Longwell getting a 42yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Tennessee increased its lead with Bironas nailing a 49yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings tried to rally as Peterson got a 3yard TD run, yet the Titans pulled away with Johnson getting a 6yard TD run.
With the win, Tennessee acquired its first 40 start in franchise history.
Coming off their home win over the Vikings, the Titans flew to M Bank Stadium for a Week 5 defensive duel with the Baltimore Ravens. In the first quarter, Tennessee trailed early as Ravens kicker Matt Stover got a 38yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Titans tied the game with kicker Rob Bironas getting a 35yard field goal. In the third quarter, Baltimore took the lead as RB Le'Ron McClain got a 1yard TD run. Fortunately, in the fourth quarter, Tennessee rallied with Bironas nailing a 26yard field goal, along with QB Kerry Collins completing an 11yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler.
With the win, the Titans kept their perfect season alive as they entered their bye week at 50. During the bye week, the Titans became the only undefeated team in the NFL with the Giants' loss to the Browns in Week 6.
Coming off their bye week, the Titans flew to Arrowhead Stadium for a Week 7 duel with the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first quarter, Tennessee drew first blood as kicker Rob Bironas got a 49yard field goal, along with RB LenDale White getting a 6yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Titans increased their lead as White got a 2yard TD run. In the third quarter, Tennessee continued its victory march as Bironas got a 46yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Titans ripped it up as White got an 80yard TD run. The Chiefs would get on the board as kicker Nick Novak nailed a 26yard field goal, yet Tennessee replied with rookie RB Chris Johnson getting a 66yard TD run. Kansas City ended the game's scoring with QB Tyler Thigpen getting a 14yard TD run.
With the win, the Titans stayed perfect at 60.
In the game, Tennessee's overall ground game reached a franchisebest 332 yards.
Week 8: vs. Indianapolis Colts
On Monday Night Football, the Titans responded to the doubters and defeated the Colts for only the fourth time since formation of the AFC South; the final score was 3121 and came after Indianapolis had been heavily favored to win. Rob Bironas got it started with a field goal but then Peyton Manning found Dallas Clark for a touchdown on the next drive. Bironas pulled the Titans to within one with another field goal, but missed one before the half to keep the Titans behind going into halftime. Manning found Clark once again the 3rd quarter for a 146 lead but that would be the last time they would lead as LenDale White scored and Ahmard Hall caught a two point conversion from Kerry Collins. Bironas hit another field goal to give the Titans the lead for good. Two key interceptions by the Titans put the Colts away as White scored again and rookie Chris Johnson added his fourth rushing touchdown late. Manning would score a rushing touchdown in the final minute but it was too little too late. With the win, the Titans picked up their first 70 start in the franchise's overall history.
During halftime, former Titans Steve McNair, Eddie George, and Frank Wycheck were honored.
The Titans kept their record perfect by edging the Packers 1916 in OT. Rob Bironas and Mason Crosby each traded field goals early in the first half and the Titans had a 63 edge until Aaron Rodgers hooked up with Donald Driver for a touchdown. Then LenDale White helped drive the ball downfield with 50 yard run that set up Chris Johnson's TD run to make it 1310. In the 2nd half, the Packers were able to tie the game with two more Crosby field goals and force it into overtime when Bironas missed a potential gamewinning field goal at the end of regulation. In overtime, Kerry Collins and Johnson helped move the ball down the field for a gamewinning 47 yard field goal by Bironas, who made up for his mistake at the end of the 4th. With the win, the Titans ran their regular season winning streak to 11 games, continued their hottest start in franchise history, and remained the only unbeaten team in the league as they improved to 80.
Coming off their home win over the Packers, the Titans flew to Soldier Field for a Week 10 interconference duel with the Chicago Bears. In the first quarter, Tennessee trailed early as Bears QB Rex Grossman completed a 5yard touchdown pass to RB Matt Fort. In the second quarter, the Titans answered with QB Kerry Collins completing a 10yard TD pass to TE Bo Scaife. In the third quarter, Tennessee took the lead as Collins completed a 12yard TD pass to WR Justin Gage (a former Bear). In the fourth quarter, the Titans increased their lead as RB LenDale White got a 2yard touchdown run. Chicago tried to rally as Grossman got a 1yard touchdown run, yet Tennessee's defense stiffened for the win.
With the win, the Titans kept their perfect season alive at 90.
Week 11: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming off two wins in a row over NFC North Division teams, the Titans continued their road tour to Florida for a Week 11 AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the first quarter, Tennessee drew first blood as kicker Rob Bironas nailed a 32yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Jaguars took the lead as RB Maurice JonesDrew got a 2yard and a 1yard TD run. In the third quarter, the Titans regained the lead as QB Kerry Collins completed a 13yard TD pass to WR Brandon Jones and a 56yard TD pass to WR Justin Gage. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee closed out the game as Collins hooked up with Gage again on a 38yard TD pass.
With the win, the Titans kept their dream season alive, improving to a perfect record of 100.
Coming off their seasonsweeping road win over the Jaguars, the Titans went home for a Week 12 duel with the New York Jets. In the first quarter, Tennessee trailed early as Jets QB Brett Favre completed a 10yard TD pass to RB Thomas Jones. In the second quarter, New York increased its lead with kicker Jay Feely getting a 20yard field goal. The Titans closed out the half with kicker Rob Bironas getting a 43yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Jets responded as Feely kicked a 30yard field goal, while Favre completed a 2yard TD pass to WR Laveranues Coles. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee tried to rally as Rob Bironas nailed a 49yard field goal, but New York replied with RB Leon Washington getting a 61yard TD run. The Titans had one last attempt to keep their perfect season alive as QB Kerry Collins completed a 6yard TD pass to FB Ahmard Hall. However, Tennessee's perfect season went down the tubes as Washington helped seal things for the Jets on a 4yard TD run.
With the loss, the Titans fell to 101.
Hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season, the Titans flew to Ford Field for a Week 13 Thanksgiving battle with the winless Detroit Lions. In the first quarter, Tennessee drew first blood as rookie RB Chris Johnson got a 6yard TD run. The Lions would respond with kicker Jason Hanson getting a 53yard field goal. The Titans would answer with Johnson getting a 58yard TD run, along with DE Dave Ball returning an interception 15 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, Tennessee increased their lead with RB LenDale White getting a 6yard and a 2yard TD run. Detroit would reply with QB Daunte Culpepper completing a 2yard TD pass to TE Michael Gaines.
In the third quarter, kicker Rob Bironas would kick field goals of 41 and 49 yards to put the Titans up by 31, and in the fourth quarter, he would nail field goals of 45 and 43 yards to put the Titans up for good.
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