Titans vs. Giants: Recent history/common links

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 26: Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants during their game on November 26, 2006 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Even though Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Steelers and the fallout from Jeff Fisher’s controversial decision to pull Vince Young is still fresh on our minds, as they say in Hollywood, “The show must go on.”

Of course, feel free to continue to chime in with your thoughts on our recent articles pertaining to last weekend’s Steelers/Titans debacle. In the meantime, I’ll get the Week Three ball rolling as we march towards this upcoming Sunday’s battle between the Titans and the G-Men.

Despite playing in different conferences and competing against one another every four years, the Titans and the Giants have some interesting links between them.

Classic recent battles

If recent history is any indication, then we should expect a rather thrilling contest between the Titans/Giants this weekend.

In 2002, the Titans defeated the Giants 32-29 in an exciting, overtime finish. Beloved former Titan signal-caller Steve McNair had one of his finest moments, leading the team in a fourth quarter comeback to send the game into OT where they’d eventually emerge victorious. On the afternoon, McNair completed 30 of his 43 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns, while also tying the game before the end of regulation with a QB draw on a two-point conversion.

Let’s fast-forward to 2006, when a resilient Titans’ squad led by the antics of then-rookie QB Vince Young and the playmaking ability of Adam “Pacman” Jones, battled back from a 21-0, 4th quarter deficit to defeat the Giants 24-21 in an unforgettable home win.

The Super Bowl that wasn’t meant to be

In 2008, the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants emerged as their respective conference’s top seeds in the playoffs. Prior to the postseason, I authored a piece that took a look at the tale of the tape between the league’s two best teams during the ’08 regular season.

Unfortunately, thanks to the hated Ravens defeating the Titans and the Giants also falling to an arch-rival (Philly) in home playoff losses, we’ll never know who would have won if the two teams had managed to make it to the Super Bowl in Tampa that year.

Recent draft history

Both teams also share an interesting link between them in regards to the last two NFL Drafts. In 2009 and 2010, the Giants picked just ahead of the Titans.

In ’09, the Giants nabbed a WR I wanted to see in Nashville, Hakeem Nicks, with their 29th selection. With pick #30, the Titans ended their over-a-decade-long streak of not selecting a WR in the first round by picking up Kenny Britt.

Both WR’s excelled during their rookie seasons, with Nicks and Britt displaying the abilities to become difference-makers in this league. Unfortunately, Britt hasn’t been able to sustain his momentum as he’s struggling to overcome a terrible offseason. Meanwhile, Nicks has continued his playmaking ways by catching four touchdown passes in his first two games.

Last April, the Giants selected athletic-specimen Jason Pierre-Paul with pick #15. Just one spot later, the Titans also reached into the DE cookie jar by taking Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan.

Contrary to the Britt/Nicks outcome so far, the Titans have the early upper-hand regarding the DEs, with Morgan stepping up with a sack-and-a-half through two games and Pierre-Paul registering a goose-egg in the QB takedown department.

Of course, it’s too early in their careers to determine which team truly has the upper-hand, but it will be interesting to revisit this conversation as the years go by.

Keith Bulluck

Last but not least, this Sunday’s Titans/Giants battle will be the first time Keith Bulluck has been on the same field as the Titans since his season-ending knee injury during last year’s win over the Dolphins.

Unfortunately, this time around, Bulluck will be suiting up for the opposition, due to the Titans’ decision not to re-sign Bulluck, who decided to continue his playing career by returning home to the state of New York.

I think I can speak for the majority of Titans’ fans by stating that it will be difficult to say the least witnessing Bulluck make tackles in a set of team colors other than two-tone blue.

As you can see, for two teams that rarely face-off on the gridiron, the Titans and the Giants have often been linked to one another throughout the course of recent history.

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