The Houston Oilers were founded in 1960 and were an original member of the old AFL. The Oilers were able to win the first two AFL Championships as well as four division titles until the leagues merged in 1970. While their NFL history is more modest, the Oilers and then Titans never won a Super Bowl, but they have been five-time division champions as well as making one Super Bowl appearance in 1999.
Since 2016, the Titans have had four consecutive winning seasons and are looking to build into a playoff contender. Nonetheless, the Titans have had some notable players in their history, here are the 25 greatest Tennessee Titans in history!
Notable mentions: Miller Farr, Delanie Walker, Leon Gray, Bob Talamini, Jim Norton
25. Ken Burrough - WR
Stats: 421 Receptions, 7,102 Receiving yards, 49 Touchdowns
Accolades: 2-time Pro Bowl
In his 11 year career with the Houston Oilers, Burrough was the NFL leader in receiving yards in 1975. He was known for his speed, and his catching ability, which usually led to winning yards. In total Ken Burrough had 408 career receptions, over 6,500 receiving yards, and 47 touchdowns with the Oilers.
24. Derrick Mason - WR
Stats: 943 Interceptions, 12,061 Receiving Yards, 66 Receiving Touchdowns, 3 Return touchdowns
Accolades: First-team All-Pro, 2-time Pro-Bowl
Derrick Mason was a fourth-round draft pick that spent eight years with the Titans. Known for being a returns specialist, as his career progressed, he became a receiver. In total, he had 453 receptions, over 6,100 receiving yards, and 37 touchdowns for the Titans. He was always a threat for the Titans.
23. Charley Hennigan - WR
Stats: 410 Receptions, 6,823 Receiving Yards, 51 Touchdowns.
Accolades: AFL All-Time Team, 3-time First Team AFL, 5-time AFL All-Star
Championships: 2 AFL titles
Long before the Oilers merged with the NFL, Charley Hennigan might just as well have been the greatest Oiler in the AFL. Many considered him one of the best receivers in the AFL. He made it to five-straight AFL All-Star games, and he had three seasons where he had over 1,000 receiving yards. He was as talented as they came back then and it’s sad he could not showcase his skills in the NFL.
22. Albert Haynesworth - DT
Stats: 347 Tackles, 30.5 Quarterback Sacks, 26 Pass deflections, 6 Forced Fumbles.
Accolades: 2-Time Pro-Bowl, 2-Time First-team All-Pro
Albert Haynesworth was a sack machine! He had 24 QB sacks with the Titans and 271 career tackles. Unfortunately, Albert had his issues, as he infamously stomped on Andre Gurode’s head during a game where he was handed a five-game suspension.
21. Ernest Givins - WR
Stats: 571 Receptions, 8,215 Receiving Yards, 49 Touchdowns
Accolades: 2-Time Pro-Bowl
Ernest Givins played all but one season with the Houston Oilers, he was an Oiler through and through. He was extremely consistent, having 542 receptions and scoring 46 touchdowns for the Oilers. He has the franchise record for total yardage that still stands today.
20. Brad Hopkins - OT
Stats: 194 Games played, 7 Fumbles Recovered
Accolades: 2-Time Pro-Bowl
Brad Hopkins played his whole career with the Oilers and then Titans. Hopkins was as tough as they came and was the man in charge of protecting the Quarterback's blind spot. He was a consistent left tackle and spent 15 years on one team.
19. Frank Wycheck - TE
Stats: 505 Receptions, 5,126 Receiving Yards, 28 Touchdowns
Accolades: 3-Time Pro- Bowl, Titans Ring of Honor.
Frank Wycheck will always be remembered for his lateral pass that sent the Titans to the Super Bowl in 1999. The man responsible for the “Music City Miracle” was no one-play wonder he was a 3-time Pro-Bowler that had amazing catching ability and had 4,958 yards for the Titans.
18. Keith Bulluck - LB
Stats: 1,088 Tackles, 18 Sacks, 13 Fumble Recoveries, 21 Interceptions
Accolades: Pro-Bowl in 2003, 3-Time All-Pro
Keith Bulluck did one thing, tackle. He had 1,056 combined tackles in 10 seasons with the team. He had over 100 tackles in six straight seasons and had 18 QB sacks. He led the NFL in tackles in 2004, he played 1 year for the New York Giants before retiring at 33.
17. Ray Childress - DT
Stats: 163 Games Played, 887 Tackles, 19 Forced Fumbles
Accolades: 5-time Pro-Bowl, NFL Record three recoveries in one game.
Ray Childress was a rock for the Oilers in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a strong Defensive End that had 75.5 career quarterback sacks with the Oilers. He averaged about 7 QB sacks per year and was a professional through and through.
16. Kyle Vanden Bosch - DE
Stats: 464 Total Tackles, 58 Sacks, 6 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 3-Time Pro-Bowl
Kyle Vanden Bosch was a tough defensive end for the Titans that played five years for the franchise. He played 74 games for the team and was a key part of their pass rush during those seasons. He had 38.5 sacks while with the Titans.
15. Blaine Bishop - S
Stats: 728 Total Tackles, 15.5 Sacks, 13 Forced Fumbles, 5 Interceptions.
Accolades: 4-time Pro-Bowl.
Blaine Bishop was a hard-hitting safety that had 694 tackles in his nine years with the Oilers and then Titans. He was able to get 13.5 QB sacks and is considered one of the best drafts picks in the team's history. They got a lot of value for an eighth-round pick.
14. Jevon Kearse - DE
Stats: 313 Total Tackles, 74 Sacks, 26 Forced Fumbles, 4 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 3-Time Pro-Bowl, First-team All-Pro
Jevon Kearse was an amazing pass rusher for the Oilers and then Titans. He was an incredible athlete, setting the record for most QB sacks in a rookie season with 14.5 in 1999. He eventually went down with many injuries and this forced the Titans to not resign him, but nonetheless, he had 52 QB sacks with the Titans and is considered one of the best Defensive Ends in franchise history.
13. Jurrell Casey - DE
Stats: 493 Total Tackles, 51 Sacks, 5 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 5-time Pro-Bowl
Jurrell Casey is still going strong and Titans fans won’t forget his nine-year stint with them. A 5-time Pro-Bowler he is one of the best Defensive Lineman in the AFC and was a leader in the locker room. He played 139 games for the Titans and had 51 sacks for the team. Casey would sign for the Broncos at the start of 2020.
12. Curley Culp - DT
Stats: 68 Sacks, 14 Forced Fumbles, 10 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1975), 6-Time Pro-Bowl
Curley Culp might have been short for a defensive line, standing only six feet one inch, nonetheless, he put in the work. He played 5 seasons with the Oilers, becoming the Defensive Player of the Year with them. As strong as they came, Culp often would need to be blocked by up to three players, this helped open up space for the rest of his teammates.
11. Chris Johnson - RB
Stats: 9,651 Rushing Yards, 4.5 Rushing Average, 307 Receptions, 55 Rushing Touchdowns
Accolades: 3-Time Pro-Bowl, NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2009), 2009 NFL Rushing yards leader.
Chris Johnson was an able Running Back having 1,228 yards and 251 carries in his rookie year. He would have a career year in 2009 running over 2,000 rushing yards and setting the NFL record for most yards from scrimmage in a season. He also scored 14 touchdowns that season and is considered one of the best running backs in Titans' history.
10. George Blanda - QB
Stats: 26,920 Passing Yards, 47.1 Completion Percentage.
Accolades: NFL Man of the Year 1974, Bert Bell Award 1970, Titans Ring of Honor, AFL All-Time Team.
Championships: 3 AFL Titles
George Blanda played 26 years in the NFL, seven of them with the Oilers. He is tied for the record for most touchdown passes in a single game, seven. He holds a strange distinction of being not only a quarterback but also a kicker and he played both positions with the Oilers. He was a durable player and helped the Oilers win back-to-back AFL Championships in 1960 and 1961. He had 82 career starts for the Oilers with a 44-38 record. He threw 165 touchdowns and as a placekicker, he had 48.1 percentage in field goal attempts and 98.4 percent of his point-after attempts.
9. Eddie George - RB
Stats: 10,441 Rushing Yards, 68 Rushing Touchdowns, 10 Receiving Touchdowns
Accolades: Titans number 27 retired, Titans Ring of Honor, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 4-time Pro-Bowl.
Eddie George is one of the all-time greats for the Titans. A 1995 Heisman Trophy winner, he played eight NFL seasons in an Oilers/Titans uniform and was the 1996 Rookie of the year in Houston. George set a total of 28 franchise records including most career rushing yards (10,009).
8. Robert Brazile - LB
Stats: 1,281 Tackles, 48 Sacks, 13 Interceptions
Accolades: Seven-time Pro-Bowl, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year 1975, NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, Titans Ring of Honor.
Robert Brazile played his whole career with the Oilers. He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after the team moved into a 3-4 defensive front. Known as “Dr. Doom” for his punishing playing style he was a rock for the team. In total Dr. Doom had 1,281 total tackles and 13 interceptions. One of the Oilers/Titans best defensive players ever.
7. Elvin Bethea - DE
Stats: 691 Tackles, 105 Sacks
Accolades: 8-Time Pro- Bowl, Titans Retired number 65, Titans Ring of Honor
Elvin Bethea was a one-team man who played 16 years with the Oilers and was a no-nonsense defensive end. He had 105 unofficial sacks and was a rock for his team not missing a game until his 10th year with the team. He played 210 games for the Oilers and set the franchise record of 16 quarterback sacks.
6. Earl Campbell - RB
Stats: 9,407 Rushing Yards, 74 Rushing Touchdowns
Accolades: 5-Time Pro-Bowl, NFL MVP 1979, Bert Bell Award 1979, Titans retired number 34, NFL MVP (1979), 3-Time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1978-80), NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
Earl Campbell was amazing no questions asked. He won both the Heisman Trophy and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was an outstanding running back winning awards and accolades from all over the league. He was never able to win a Super Bowl but you cannot deny his importance to the Oilers with his aggressive running style.
5. Steve McNair - QB
Stats: 31,304 Passing Yards, 37 Rushing Touchdowns, 3,590 Rushing Yards
Accolades: NFL MVP (2003), 3-Time Pro-Bowl, NFL passer rating leader (2003), Titans number 9 retired, Titans Ring of Honor.
Steve McNair is a Titans legend having played over a decade with the team. He had an amazing arm and was good on his feet. He was the man calling the shots in the unlikely Super Bowl appearance for the Titans in 1999 having gone 9-2 that season. Unfortunately, McNair was killed in a murder/suicide by his then-mistress on July 4, 2009, in Nashville. He was only 36 years old.
4. Ken Houston - S
Stats: 49 Interceptions, 121 Fumbles Recovered, 12 Touchdowns
Accolades: 12-time Pro-Bowl, NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Titans Ring of Honor
Ken Houston is one of the best defensive backs in NFL history. In his time with the Oilers, Houston set an NFL record in 1971 for five return touchdowns in a season. He was a tough safety and he might be higher on this list had he never been traded to the Redskins.
3. Mike Munchak - LG
Stats: 159 Games Played, 5 Fumble Recoveries, 1 Touchdown
Accolades: 9-time Pro-Bowl, Titans number retired 63, Titans Ring of Honor, NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
Mike Munchak was an Oilers man playing 159 games and being a part of one of the best offenses in the AFC in the 1980s. He played in 9 Pro-Bowls and ended up on the 1980s All-Decade team of the NFL. He would go on to work in several capacities in the Oilers organization and today works for the Broncos as an offensive line coach.
2. Warren Moon - QB
Stats: 49, 325 Passing Yards, 58.4 Passing Completion, 22 Rushing Touchdowns
Accolades: 9-Time Pro-Bowl, 1989 NFL Man of the Year, 1990 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Titans number 1 jersey retired, 2- Time NFL passing yards leader (1990-91), NFL passing touchdowns leader (1990)
The best quarterback in Titans history, Warren Moon is probably one of the All-Time great NFL QBs ever. During his time with the Oilers Moon went to six straight Pro-Bowls, he led the league in passing yards twice and went 70-69 as a starter. He was considered ahead of his time by playing more passing-centric.
1. Bruce Matthews - G
Stats: 296 Games Played, 5 Forced Fumbles, 10 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 14-time Pro-Bowl, 1990’s All-Decade NFL Team, 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Titans Ring of Honor, Titans number 74 jersey retired.
Bruce Matthews is the greatest Oilers/Titans player ever. He played his whole career with the team, playing 296 games, and retired at the age of 40. He was considered a very versatile offensive lineman. He played in the following positions: Guard, Center, Right Tackle, Left Tackle, basically every offensive position.