Rivalries


Let's take a look at the rivalries that the team from the Cumberland River has with other teams in the league. There are some rivalries that don't have as much attention as they did 15 years ago because after the dissolution of AFC Central and the founding of AFC South, some of those rivalries are no longer present. One is with the Cleveland Browns. This rivalry was continued with the Baltimore Ravens, but a real Browns rivalry could not be established after their re-foundation.

AFC Central

Pittsburgh Steelers (30-48)

This rivalry dates back to the 70s, the NFL AFL merger. The Titans, then called Houston Oilers, were like the Pittsburgh Steelers a founding members of AFC Central. The Oilers won the first NFL game ever in Pittsburgh, paving the way for this rivalry. On the field the Steelers could celebrate the most victories, also due to the golden era of the 70s. When the NFL founded the new AFC South, both the Steelers and the Titans pleaded to play in the same division, AFC North. The Steelers and the Bengals were seeded. The city of Cleveland was promised to become part of the new division when the franchise moved to Baltimore. This would leave a starting place. The Ravens were chosen to be the last team in the division. Since then, the Titans and Steelers have met only four times during the regular season. When the teams met in the mid-2000s in the playoffs, there was still a crackling atmosphere in the stadium. But since a few years have passed and the past has faded away, this rivalry has almost disappeared.


Baltimore Ravens (11-12)

The rivalry against the Ravens was one of the hottest of the NFL from 1999-2001 and lasted until 2008. The Ravens were in competition with the Oilers in the AFC Central as Browns before moving to Baltimore. Ray Lewis versus Eddie George was one of the best RB-LB duels in NFL history. Why Ray Lewis became so dominant? Because of Eddie George! After Ray Lewis was run over by Eddie a couple of times, he set out to gain mass to stop backs like Eddie George. That was the starting shot for a successful career on the field. The Ravens were the first team to win against the Titans at the Adelphia Coliseum (now Nissan Stadium) on their way to the Super Bowl 2001. During the regular season and in the playoffs, they went off the court as winners. Shannon Sharpe continued to pour oil on the fire and said, "Maybe we should charge the Titans rent to keep playing in our house. Better yet, maybe we should just foreclose on it." But not only words were exchanged. Also fists flew during and after the games. All good habits were forgotten and it became publicly known to hate. But after the division paths separated in 2002, it became calmer. In 2003, the Titans won the Wild Card game in Baltimore and then the big rivalry only came up one last time, in the playoffs of 2008. The Ravens left the field as winners after the referees took the Titans out of victory. Since 2003, the Steelers have become the biggest rivals of the Ravens and the rivalry with the Titans has changed from "on fire" to "ice cold".

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans (18-16)

The rivalry with the Texans is the latest of all rivalries. After Houston got the Texans in 2002, the AFC South was founded. When Bud Adams left Houston with the team in 1996, there was a lot of bad blood. The people of Houston boycotted almost the entire last season of the Oilers in Houston and the Astrodome resembled a cemetery. The crowd in the stands could completely understand the audibles of the QB's, it was so quiet. The supporters of the Texans still think that the winnings of the AFL, the Hall of Famer and the achievements don't belong to the Oilers or the Titans, but to Houston. Elden Campbell even cheers this rivalry on by saying he was part of the Houston Oilers, Houston is his town and he has no connection to the Tennessee Titans and they are not his team. A better example would be Robert "Doctor Doom" Brazile. The climax of the rivalry on the field included the brawl between Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan and the walk-off touchdown by Vince Young (former Texas Longhorns QB). This rivalry has only really come into its own in recent years, since both teams have been successful. So far it has always been the case that one of the two was too bad to really give rise to this rivalry.


Indianapolis Colts (16-33)

The origin of this rivalry can be traced back to a single man. Peyton Manning. The hero from Tennessee, the Hero, who was first drafted by the Colts in 1998. Many Tennesseeans followed in Peyton's footsteps and supported the Colts (I even know someone special -.-). So Tennessee was divided before the team even started playing in Nashville. Saint Peyton with the Colts or the soon-to-be-established Titans. But it took until 2002 for this rivalry to really establish itself, because since there were almost no points of contact, they suddenly played against each other twice a year. If there's one fear opponent for the Titans in the NFL, it's the Colts. Since then, the Colts have won 25 times and the Titans only six. After Peyton left the Colts, the record against the QB of the Colts was even worse. So far you never could win a match against the Colts when Andrew Luck played.


Jacksonville Jaguars (29-20)

The biggest rivalry the Titans have is against the Jags. It starts right in the first year of Titans history, 1999, when both teams were still playing in the AFC Central. The Jaguars were the team with the best record in 1999. They finished the season 14-2 and lost only 3 games the whole year, all three against the Titans. The Titans defeat the Jags 33-14 in the AFC Championship game and the Titans advanced to the Super Bowl. From the mid-2000s, this rivalry reached a low point that lasted almost ten years. The Jags never really recovered from this trauma and have only finished four seasons with a positive record since 2000, while the Titans had a very successful time until 2008. The Jags were replaced as a big rival by another team from the beginning to mid-2000. From 2009 on the Titans were on a descending branch and in the next years they only played for the First Overall Draft Pick. During this time, no matter how bad the teams played, one thing was clear. The two teams go home in a direct duel with a draw. But then they both started to become aspiring teams of the NFL and the old rivalry was revived. Since then, the Titans have also dominated the Jaguars, winning both games in 2017 and 2018. As of today, they are the Tennessee Titans biggest rival.