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Titans-Chiefs Flashback: O'Donnell Spearheads Comeback in 2000

Posted Oct 4, 2013

Sept. 10, 2000: Titans 17, Chiefs 14, Overtime | Click here to download the gamebook.

This flashback highlights an interesting matchup that became Tennessee’s ninth straight win to open the stadium know known as LP Field and includes a touchdown pass by tight end Frank Wycheck, a comeback spearheaded by backup QB Neil O’Donnell and a game-winning field goal by Al Del Greco.

Eddie George broke free for a 29-yard run in overtime, and Kevin Dyson led the Titans with six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.

The 36-yard field goal was Del Greco’s eighth game-winner with the Titans and 14th of his NFL career. It capped a five-play, 58-yard drive that was highlighted by a 29-yard run by Eddie George. The Titans won the coin toss and opted to receive the kick to begin the extra period.

Derrick Mason returned the kickoff 28 yards to the Tennessee 29-yard line. After a short loss on a carry by George and a short pass from O’Donnell to Yancey Thigpen, O’Donnell converted a third-and-8 with a 27-yard pass to Kevin Dyson to move the ball to the Kansas City 37. A holding penalty negated a 26-yard pass from O’Donnell to Wycheck and put the Titans in a first-and-20 at the 47, but George delivered the longest run of the game to move the ball to the 18, and Tennessee opted to attempt the kick on the resulting first down.

O’Donnell entered the game with the Titans down 14-7 with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter. He replaced Steve McNair, who suffered a sternum injury that resulted from a helmet-to-chest hit by Chiefs defensive end Duane Clemons. The Titans moved the ball but were unable to score on O’Donnell’s first series. Tennessee’s defense, however, forced a three-and-punt, and a 13-yard return by Mason gave the Titans the ball at the Tennessee 44 with 2:43 left in regulation.

The Titans overcame a sack of O’Donnell on the first play of that drive with four straight completions to move the ball inside the Chiefs’ 10. After two incompletions, O’Donnell connected with Thigpen for an 8-yard touchdown with 50 seconds remaining. O’Donnell finished 11-of-17 passing for 132 yards and a passer rating of 108.

George finished with 80 rushing yards on 21 carries, and McNair added 42 yards on seven rushes. Dyson led the Titans with six catches for 104 yards that included an exciting 30-yard TD pass from Wycheck that gave the Titans a 7-0 lead with 1:42 left in the first half.

Wycheck got the ball on a laterall from McNair before heaving it to Dyson for his second career TD toss. In his career, Wycheck was 5-for-6 passing for 148 yards and two TDs against zero interceptions to have a maxed-out NFL passer rating of 158.3. It was the first regular season game for the Titans at the stadium since Wycheck and Dyson connected for the Music City Miracle in the playoffs nine months earlier.

Tennessee’s defense delivered a goal-line stand early in the second quarter when Randall Godfrey, Jevon Kearse and Greg Favors stuffed three different runs from the Tennessee 1 for no gain. The Titans also held the Chiefs to 189 net yards on the day and had 10 tackles for loss, including two each by Blaine Bishop, Jason Fisk, John Thornton and Kenny Holmes.

Houston Oilers franchise great and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was with Kansas City that season, which was his last in the pros, but he did not play in the game.

The ninth regular season win to open a stadium tied an NFL record, and the Titans set the new record that season by adding three more home wins in a row.

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