|2009 Tennessee Titans season|
|Head coach||Jeff Fisher|
|General manager||Mike Reinfeldt|
|Home field||LP Field|
|Division place||3rd AFC South|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|AP All-Pros||Chris Johnson (1st team)|
Michael Roos (2nd team)
The 2009 Tennessee Titans season was the 50th season for the original American Football League team, their 40th in the NFL, and 13th in Tennessee. The Titans aimed to equal or improve on their 2008 NFL best 13���3 record; however, they lost the first six games of the season. The Titans switched their starting quarterback to Vince Young and won eight out of their remaining ten games, losing only to the Colts and Chargers. The 42–17 loss to the Chargers in Week 16 eliminated the team from playoff contention.
From 2009 to 2016, the Titans would fail to qualify for the playoffs.
As a side note, the Titans became the first, and, as of 2020, only team in NFL history to lose their first 6 games, then win their next 5.
The Titans played the Buffalo Bills on August 8 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, pitting teams owned by Bud Adams (Titans) and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. (Bills). They were two of the three surviving members of the "Foolish Club", the eight original owners of American Football League franchises. The 2009 Professional Football season celebrated what would have been the AFL's 50th. Both the Bills and Titans wore AFL throwbacks, with the Titans in Houston Oilers uniforms.
|HOF||August 9||Buffalo Bills||W 21–18||1–0||Fawcett Stadium||Recap|
|1||August 15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 27–20||2–0||LP Field||Recap|
|2||August 21||at Dallas Cowboys||L 10–30||2–1||Cowboys Stadium||Recap|
|3||August 29||at Cleveland Browns||L 17–23||2–2||Cleveland Browns Stadium||Recap|
|4||September 3||Green Bay Packers||W 27–13||3–2||LP Field||Recap|
|1||September 10||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 10–13 (OT)||0–1||Heinz Field||NBC|
|2||September 20||Houston Texans||L 31–34||0–2||LP Field||Recap||CBS|
|3||September 27||at New York Jets||L 17–24||0–3||Giants Stadium||Recap||CBS|
|4||October 4||at Jacksonville Jaguars||L 17–37||0–4||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||Recap||CBS|
|5||October 11||Indianapolis Colts||L 9–31||0–5||LP Field||Recap||NBC|
|6||October 18||at New England Patriots||L 0–59||0–6||Gillette Stadium||Recap||CBS|
|8||November 1||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 30–13||1–6||LP Field||Recap||CBS|
|9||November 8||at San Francisco 49ers||W 34–27||2–6||Candlestick Park||Recap||CBS|
|10||November 15||Buffalo Bills||W 41–17||3–6||LP Field||Recap||CBS|
|11||November 23||at Houston Texans||W 20–17||4–6||Reliant Stadium||Recap||ESPN|
|12||November 29||Arizona Cardinals||W 20–17||5–6||LP Field||Recap||Fox|
|13||December 6||at Indianapolis Colts||L 17–27||5–7||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap||CBS|
|14||December 13||St. Louis Rams||W 47–7||6–7||LP Field||Recap||Fox|
|15||December 20||Miami Dolphins||W 27–24 (OT)||7–7||LP Field||Recap||CBS|
|16||December 25||San Diego Chargers||L 17–42||7–8||LP Field||Recap||NFLN|
|17||January 3||at Seattle Seahawks||W 17–13||8–8||Qwest Field||Recap||CBS|
|(1) Indianapolis Colts||14||2||0||.875||6–0||10–2||416||307||L2|
Regular season results
Week 1: at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Titans began their season at Heinz Field for the annual kickoff game against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee trailed near the end of the second quarter as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Afterwards, the Titans would tie the game as quarterback Kerry Collins completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Gage.
After a scoreless third quarter, Tennessee took the lead as kicker Rob Bironas got a 45-yard field goal, while Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed made a 32-yard field goal to tie the game. In overtime, the Steelers got the win as Reed nailed a game-winning 33-yard field goal.
With the loss, the Titans started the season out at 0–1.
Week 2: vs. Houston Texans
Hoping to rebound from their loss against the Steelers, the Titans went home for their Week 2 home opener against their AFC South foe, the Houston Texans. Tennessee would strike first in the opening quarter as running back Chris Johnson got a 57-yard touchdown run. The Texans would answer with quarterback Matt Schaub completing a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Johnson, yet the Titans would reply with quarterback Kerry Collins completing a 69-yard touchdown pass to Johnson. Tennessee would add onto their lead in the second quarter as Collins completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nate Washington. However, Houston took the lead as Schaub completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Johnson and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, followed by a 38-yard field goal from kicker Kris Brown. The Titans would close out the half as kicker Rob Bironas made a 40-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Tennessee would regain the lead as Johnson got a 91-yard touchdown run. The Texans would tie the game again as Schaub completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Owen Daniels. In the fourth quarter, Houston took the lead as Brown nailed a 23-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Texans' defense prevented any attempt at an offensive rally.
With the loss, the Titans drop to 0–2.
Week 3: at New York Jets
Trying to snap a two-game losing skid, the Titans flew to The Meadowlands, donned their Houston Oilers throwbacks, and played a Week 3 AFL Legacy game with the New York Jets. Tennessee would struggle in the first quarter as Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez got a 14-yard touchdown run and completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Hartsock. The Titans would climb into the game in the second quarter with running back LenDale White's 5-yard touchdown run and kicker Rob Bironas' 38-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Tennessee would take the lead with quarterback Kerry Collins' 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nate Washington. However, New York would strike back with Sanchez's 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. The Jets would increase their lead in the fourth quarter with kicker Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal. The Titans tried to rally, but New York's defense would stand firm and prevented any possible comeback attempt.
With the loss, Tennessee would fall to 0–3 for the first time since the 2006 season.
Week 4: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Hoping to save their season, the Titans flew to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for a Week 4 AFC South duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tennessee would trail early in the first quarter as Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee got a 22-yard field goal, followed by running back Maurice Jones-Drew's 9-yard touchdown. The Titans would get in the game in the second quarter with kicker Rob Bironas making a 29-yard field goal. However, Jacksonville came right back with quarterback David Garrard completing 9-yard and 15-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker, with Scobee's 50-yard field goal in between.
The Jaguars would continue to build their lead as Scobee nailed a 33-yard field goal. Tennessee would then begin its comeback attempt with quarterback Kerry Collins completing a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nate Washington (with a failed 2-point conversion). The Titans kept their rally going in the fourth quarter with Collins getting a 10-yard touchdown run, followed by running back Chris Johnson's 2-point conversion run. However, Jacksonville would pull away with Garrard's 33-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis.
With this loss, Tennessee fell to 0–4.
Week 5: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Down four games, the Titans went home for a Week 5 Sunday night duel with their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts. Tennessee would trail in the first quarter as Colts quarterback Peyton Manning found wide receiver Reggie Wayne on a 3-yard touchdown pass. The Titans would answer with a 49-yard and a 43-yard field goal from kicker Rob Bironas, but Indianapolis came right back in the second quarter with running back Joseph Addai’s 1-yard touchdown run. Tennessee tried to keep it close with Bironas nailing a 46-yard field goal, yet the Colts continued its domination with Manning hooking up with wide receiver Austin Collie on a 39-yard touchdown pass. Afterwards, Indianapolis would pull away in the second half. Manning connected with Collie again on a 6-yard touchdown pass, followed by kicker Adam Vinatieri booting a 23-yard field goal.
With the loss, the Titans fell to 0–5.
Week 6: at New England Patriots
Still looking for their first win of the season, the Titans flew to Gillette Stadium, donned Oilers throwback uniforms, and played a Week 6 AFL Legacy game with the New England Patriots in a rare October snowstorm. Tennessee's struggles continued as Patriots running back Laurence Maroney got a 45-yard touchdown run, followed by kicker Stephen Gostkowski making a 33-yard field goal. Things got worse for the Titans in the second quarter as quarterback Tom Brady completed five touchdown passes, two to wide receiver Randy Moss (40-yard and 28-yard), one to running back Kevin Faulk (38-yard), and two to wide receiver Wes Welker (30-yard and 5-yard). The Patriots' 45–0 halftime lead was the largest in NFL history. New England would then conclude their scoring in the third quarter with Brady's 9-yard touchdown pass to Moss, followed by backup quarterback Brian Hoyer's one-yard touchdown run.
With the loss, not only did the Titans go into the bye week at 0–6 (their first such start since 1984), but they suffered their worst loss in franchise history, eclipsing a 61–7 loss to Cincinnati in 1989, when the team was the Houston Oilers. This was the first 59–0 game since 1976, and only the fourth in NFL history. It was the largest blowout in the 2009 season, and tied the post-merger record for largest margin of victory.
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming off their bye week, the Titans went home for a Week 8 AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In this game, quarterback Vince Young would make his first start since Week 1 of the 2008 NFL season.
Tennessee got off to a fast start in the first quarter with kicker Rob Bironas booting a 48-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Titans would add onto their lead as Young hooked up with wide receiver Nate Washington on a 6-yard touchdown pass, followed by Bironas nailing a 25-yard field goal. The Jaguars would answer with an 80-yard touchdown run from running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
In the third quarter, Jacksonville would tie the game as Jones-Drew got a 79-yard touchdown run (with a blocked PAT), yet Tennessee came right back with a 52-yard touchdown run from running back Chris Johnson and a 45-yard field goal from Bironas. Afterwards, the Titans pulled away in the fourth quarter with Johnson getting an 89-yard touchdown.
With the win, Tennessee improved to 1–6 and snapped a seven-game Losing streak dating back to Week 17 of 2008.
This would become the first game in NFL history where there were four touchdown runs of 50 or more yards. Also, Johnson (24 carries for 228 yards) and Jones-Drew (8 carries for 177 yards) would join the Browns' Bobby Mitchell (14 carries for 232 yards) and the Redskins' Johnny Olszewski (18 carries for 190 yards) on November 15, 1959, as the only pair of opposing running backs to both have at least 175 yards rushing in the same game.
Week 9: at San Francisco 49ers
Coming off their divisional home win over the Jaguars, the Titans flew to Candlestick Park for a Week 9 interconference duel with the San Francisco 49ers. Tennessee would trail early in the first quarter as 49ers kicker Joe Nedney got a 40-yard field goal, yet the Titans would answer with kicker Rob Bironas making a 21-yard field goal. The Titans would take the lead in the second quarter as quarterback Vince Young got a 10-yard touchdown run, but San Francisco would close out the half with a 3-yard touchdown run from running back Frank Gore and a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith to wide receiver Jason Hill.
In the third quarter, Tennessee would tie the game as running back Chris Johnson got a 1-yard touchdown. The 49ers would retake their lead in the fourth quarter with Nedney nailing a 25-yard field goal, yet the Titans would regain the lead with Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run, Bironas' 28-yard field goal, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan's 39-yard interception return for a touchdown. San Francisco tried to make a comeback as Smith found Hill again on a 3-yard touchdown pass, yet Tennessee's defense held up for the victory.
With the win, the Titans improved to 2–6.
Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills
Coming off their road win over the 49ers, the Titans went home, donned their Houston Oilers throwbacks, and played a Week 10 AFL Legacy game with the Buffalo Bills. Tennessee would trail early in the first quarter as Bills running back Fred Jackson threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lee Evans. The Titans would respond as running back Chris Johnson got a 28-yard touchdown run, followed by quarterback Vince Young hooking up with wide receiver Nate Washington on a 14-yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter, Tennessee would increase their lead as kicker Rob Bironas booted a 38-yard field goal. Buffalo would end the half with quarterback Trent Edwards finding Evans on an 8-yard touchdown pass.
The Bills would tie the game in the third quarter with kicker Rian Lindell booting a 25-yard field goal, yet the Titans would explode with points in the fourth quarter. It began with Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run, followed by Bironas' 51-yard field goal. It would follow up with safety Vincent Fuller returning an interception 26 yards for a touchdown and cornerback Rod Hood returning an interception 31 yards for a touchdown.
With the win, Tennessee would improve to 3–6.
Chris Johnson (26 carries, 132 yards, 2 TDs and 9 catches, 100 yards) would join Billy Cannon as the only players in franchise history to rush and receive for 100 yards in one game. He would also join Earl Campbell in 1980 as the only players in franchise history to have two rushing touchdowns in three-straight games.
At the end of the game, owner Bud Adams raised his middle fingers to Buffalo players from his box and was subsequently fined $250,000 by Roger Goodell, who was in attendance at the game.
Week 11: at Houston Texans
Coming off their win over the Bills, the Titans flew to Reliant Stadium for an AFC South rivalry match against the Houston Texans. In the first quarter the Titans trailed early as quarterback Matt Schaub got a 3-yard touchdown pass to RB Steve Slaton. In the second quarter, they replied with quarterback Vince Young completing a 13-yard touchdown pass to WR Kenny Britt. Then Houston tried to pull away as Schaub hooked up with WR Andre Johnson on a 13-yard touchdown pass, until the Titans replied again with RB LenDale White making a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Titans got the lead in the third quarter as kicker Rob Bironas made a 50-yard field goal, but the Texans replied to tie the game when kicker Kris Brown made a 26-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter the Titans scored for the win when Bironas got a 53-yard field goal. Brown had a chance to tie the game and sent it into overtime for the second game in a row and for the second game in a row he missed giving the Titans the victory.
With the win, the Titans improve to 4–6.
Week 12: vs. Arizona Cardinals
The game would start with a Rob Bironas field goal to take a 3 nothing lead. However, to end the first half, Tennessee was holding the defending NFC champs 6–3, but an extended play with 5 seconds left on Arizona's 20 or so, would diminish Tennessees chances for a field goal. Tennessee scored the first touchdown during the second half to take a 13–3 lead, but Arizona scored 14 straight points with the help of Lerod Stevens-Howling returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Facing a 17–13 deficit at their own 1-yard line, Vince Young led the Titans on an 18 play drive which featured him throwing for 94 yards, running for 5 and converting three 4th downs including a 4th & goal to Kenny Britt as time expired for a touchdown to win 20–17. The win improved the Titans to 5–6 and marked the first time in NFL history that a team won five consecutive games after losing their first six.
Week 13: at Indianapolis Colts
With the loss, the Titans' 5-game winning streak came to an end and they were swept by the Colts. The Titans fell to 5–7 after losing their third straight game to the Colts.
Week 14: vs. St. Louis Rams
With the win, the Titans improved to 6–7.
Week 15: vs. Miami Dolphins
With both teams fighting for their playoff lives the Titans clawed to a 24–9 lead over the Dolphins, but two fourth-quarter touchdowns by Chad Henne forced overtime. Henne, however, was intercepted in overtime, setting up a 46-yard game-winning Rob Bironas field goal.
With the win, the Titans improved to 7–7.
Week 16: vs. San Diego Chargers
With the loss, the Titans fell to 7–8.
Week 17: at Seattle Seahawks
With the win, the Titans were good enough to finish the season at 8–8 and 3rd place in their division.
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