Name three players on the Tennessee Titans.
Be honest. Don’t look it up or ask Siri for their roster.
In the early 2000’s I saw the Titans as the AFC equivalent of the Eagles. They had a lot in common.
If you look at 2002 in particular, both teams are eerily similar.
The two had solid secondaries. The Titans had pro-bowlers Lance Shulters, and Samari Rolle, as well as rookie second round draft pick Tank Williams to couple with one year man Andre Dyson.
The Eagles had pro-bowlers Brian Dawkins and Bobby Taylor leading their secondary with rookies Lito Sheppard, Michael Lewis, and Sheldon Brown. Yes, the Birds drafted all three of those dudes in one draft class. (And don’t forget that in the fourth round they snagged that Brian Westbrook guy.)
Offense-wise, bruisers of the backfield Eddie George and Duce Staley were two of the toughest runners in the league.
Most obvious is that both teams featured an African-American quarterback in the prime of their careers. Steve McNair and of course our Donovan McNabb were household names.
However, what is the most comparative of these two teams in the early 2000’s were their success.
Not good enough.
From 1999-2003 the Titans had four playoff appearances, two division titles, two 13 win seasons, two AFC Championship game appearances, one Music City City Miracle, and one Super Bowl loss.
From 2000-2004 the Eagles had five playoff appearances, four division titles, four NFC Championship game appearances, One 4th & 26 miracle, and one Super Bowl loss.
These teams had great potential. We know that the Eagles deserved, and could have won the big game during that five year span. For Titans fans, I’m sure they feel the same. (They were just one yard short in Super Bowl in XXXIV.)
You could easily say that these teams went in different directions after 2004 in success. Tennessee has made the playoffs just twice in the last decade, while the Eagles have made the postseason five times.
Since 2006 the Titans have won the AFC South championship just once. It was in 2008, where they were the number one seed in the conference with an impressive 13-3 mark. They lost in 13-10 against the Ravens in the Divisional Round.
Since 2006 Philly has won the NFC East championship thrice. All ending the same. Losing twice in the Divisional Round and last year in the Wildcard Round.
Looking at this year’s standings, you could easily say the Titans “suck,” and that the Eagles should easily handle them. Perhaps.
But what it comes down to at the end of the day are Super Bowl rings.
And both of these teams are still searching for their first one.
Perhaps the Titans do not suck as much as we thought.