Titans eager to end San Diego skid that dates back to 1990
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The last time the Tennessee Titans beat the Chargers in San Diego the franchise was located in another city and with a different nickname. During the stretch, the Titans have played home games in three different cities and are on their fifth coach.
Yes, it’s been a very long time.
The skid itself is just six games but dates back to Sept. 30, 1990, when Jack Pardee and the then-Houston Oilers got a victory. The Titans finally ended a nine-game skid overall to the Chargers the last time these teams met in 2013 , and now they head back to California on Sunday looking to end their other drought.
Not that any of the current coaches and players put much stock into that history.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey believes the only relevant statistic from his perspective is ending this skid.
"I’d like to make another change," Mularkey said when asked about the losing streak.
Mularkey is their fifth head coach since Pardee’s Oilers won 17-7 in San Diego. Pardee lost his next trip to San Diego, while Jeff Fisher — now with the Los Angeles Rams — lost all four of his visits including a wild-card playoff game in January 2008. Mike Munchak’s squad was blown out 38-10 in 2012.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy agrees with Mularkey — the past has no impact on Sunday’s game.
"Every year’s different," McCoy said Wednesday. "It doesn’t matter if you play a team two weeks ago or this week, you have to go out and play your best week in and week out."
The Titans hired a new general manager in January in Jon Robinson along with Mularkey, who took over Nov. 3 last season when Ken Whisenhunt was fired after a 1-6 start . Whisenhunt now is the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, while Robinson added 23 new players to the Tennessee roster going into this season.
Linebacker Derrick Morgan this team is completely separate from all those other teams.
"It’s a new team, new players, new coaches," Morgan said. "We’re trying to make our own identity."
These Titans (4-4) have won three of their last four to top their win total from all of last season. One more win matches their victory total for the past two seasons combined, and they are one game back of division leader Houston in the AFC South.
But they are visiting the Chargers (3-5) where they are 5-17-1 all-time and a quarterback in Phillip Rivers who has been their starter for the past 11 seasons. Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey blamed Rivers for dominating the Tennessee defense in the Titans’ last visit to San Diego.
Mularkey is taking the Titans out to California on Friday, a day earlier than usual road games. Mularkey said he has traveled teams both on Friday and Saturday before a Sunday game to mixed success. This time, it’s just a change-up in the Titans’ routine. The Titans also will get the time change with clocks being set back an hour Sunday morning.
As a native of Long Beach, California, Casey says he doesn’t believe in changes in time zones having any effect on a team.
"You go out there, you get a day’s rest, you get up and you get to go play a game of football," Casey said. "I don’t really think the time zone or anything makes a difference."
Notes: Titans RB DeMarco Murray (toe) was limited along with LB Aaron Wallace (shoulder). Mularkey said he doesn’t think the toe will prevent Murray from playing Sunday. … LG Quinton Spain (right knee) did not practice.
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