Remember when the Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers? Most of you probably don’t, but I sure do. My dad ( RIP) and I were going to the games together back then, and in 1979 the Bolts had a 12-4 record and won the AFC West. This was before Kellen Winslow was drafted, but both Charlie Joiner and Jefferson went over 1,000 yards receiving. Louie Kelcher got hurt so Wilbur Young took over as a tackle and had a heck of a year along with Gary Johnson, Fred Dean, and the rest of the defense. What does all of this have to do with the Titans (Oilers)? In ’79…everything.
Dec 11, 2011; Nashville,TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) rushes against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE
In those days there were no radios in helmets and the Chargers signaled their plays in from the sidelines. They lined up 2-3 guys, all giving different signals and Dan Fouts would find the right set of signals, huddle the team up, and call the play. So, in the most important game of the year, the divisional playoff game, the Oilers had in part, stolen the Chargers signals. The Oiler coaching staff didn’t have enough time to signal much of what they knew into the defense but they were able to communicate at least run or pass to key players Robert Brazille (Middle LB) and safety Vernon Perry. The result? The Chargers had 63 rushing yards and Perry had 4 interceptions!
The Chargers lost 17-14. I remember that game as being the third-most crushing loss in Charger history behind the Oakland loss in the AFC championship game in 1980 and the 2007 loss to New England when the Bolts were 14-2 in the regular season.
On to more recent history. Since the Titans moved to Tennessee the Chargers are 9-1. Overall, the Chargers are 26-17-1 against the franchise. I would have liked to go back to the old AFL and have written about the days of Oilers kicker-QB George Blanda and the shootouts between the Bolts and Oilers, but I was a little young to remember those games.
Anyway, just because we’ve got a good record against Tennessee doesn’t mean we can take them lightly. Their one win in the last 10 meetings? Last time we played, 20-17 in Nashville, Titans won.
On a more personal note, I can’t have my cousins in Clarksville, Tennessee bragging about another Titans win!!