The Tennessee Titans Mt. Rushmore

From Houston to Nashville, the Oilers/Texans have had an impressive 55 years of Pro Football. Photo Credit:ESPN.com

From Houston Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee the Oilers/Titans franchise has racked up 404 regular season wins, 2 League Championships (the first two in AFL history), an AFC Championships, 9 Division Championships, while making the playoffs 21 times in their 55 year history.

8 former Oilers/Titans players have been inducted in the Pro Football Hall of fame. But only four standout as the franchise’s Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon. 
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Earl Campbell (1978-1984) the “Tyler Rose” is a Texas and Houston Legend. The bruising running back was the first major star in their years in the NFL. After staring in Austin for the Longhorns, Campbell came to the NFL and became a 5-time Pro Bowler, 3-time 1st-team All-Pro (1978-1981,1983), 3-time NFL rushing champion, 3-time NFL MVP (1978,79,80) 3-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1978,1979,1980) and the 1978 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. When he retired he was the Oilers/Titans all-time leading rusher with 8,574 yards and his 73 rushing touchdowns are still number in team history. In 2010, he was voted the 55th NFL Player of all-time by NFL.com and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. His number 34 is retired by the franchise.

Warren Moon (1984-1993) can make a case that he’s the greatest passer in NFL history, in pro football history. After HAVING to spend six seasons playing in the Canadian Football League to prove he could be a quarterback, all Moon did in his eight seasons as a member of the Houston Oilers was become the team’s all-time leading passer with 33,685 yards and 196 touchdowns. He’s also the Oilers/Titans all-time leader in completions (2,632) and attempts (4,546). In 1990 he was award the NFL MVP award as well as Offensive Player of the Year. Moon was a 6-time Pro Bowler in Houston and a 3-time All-Pro (1988,1989, 1990). When he finished his career as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000, Moon had amassed 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns; in the CFL he threw for 21,228 yards and 144 touchdowns for a total of 70,553 yards and 435 touchdowns. Those numbers would have been good enough for 3rd on both lists behind Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. The Titans made him only the sixth player in team history to have his jersey retired.

Bruce Matthews (1983-2001) has a name that still is very active in today’s NFL. He’s the father of Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Kevin and Jake Matthews, as well the uncle of Green Bay Packer and Minnesota Vikings Linebackers Clay Matthews III and Casey Matthews. Long before they arrived in the League he had his own outstanding career. He was a 14-time Pro Bowler (1988-2001), 10-time All-Pro (1988-1993,1996, 1998-200), NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year (2000), and a member of the NFL 1990’s All-Decade team. He blocked for the top two leading rushers in team history in Eddie George and Earl Campbell, and played for the team as both the Oilers and Tennessee Titans. Matthews is the All-Time NFL record holder for games played by an offensive lineman with 296. His jersey, number 74, is retired by the team. NFL.com ranked him 78th on the “100 Greatest Players” list in 2010.

Steve McNair (1995-2005) was the driving force of the Tennessee Titans that reached Super Bowl XXXIV after the 1999 Season. The 3rd pick by the Houston Oilers in 1995, he finished his career with the team as the second all-time leading passer with 27,141 yards and 3rd in passing touchdowns with 156. McNair was a 3-time Pro Bowler with the club and an All-Pro in 2003. He also was the co-NFL MVP in 2003 with Peyton Manning. His 76 wins are the most by an Oilers/Titans quarterback.

Titans-Oilers fans what do you think? Is this the right four? Or would you have gone with someone else? Say Eddie George? Ernest Givens? Or Mike Munchak?

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