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Denver Broncos 2013 Opponents -- A Historical Perspective: Tennessee Titans

Can the Broncos get back on a winning track?

Grant Halverson

You may or not be aware that the Broncos history with the Tennessee Titans stretches back to 1960 when that franchise was founded as a charter member of the American Football League. Of course, the franchise was known as the Houston Oilers at that time. The Oilers relocated to Tennessee following the 1995 season when owner Bud Adams was not able to work a deal for a new stadium in Houston. In the early 1960s, the Oilers won 9 of their first 10 games against the Broncos.

The last five games in the series have been more even with Denver winning three of those contests. This five-game series started with a loss in a game played in Houston on Week 13 of the 1995 season. It was a high-scoring affair that saw the teams combine for 75 total points. The lead changed hands four times in the first quarter with the Broncos leading 3-0, trailing 3-7, leading 10-7 before trailing 10-14. From that point on, the Oilers would edge further ahead only to see Denver creep back. Houston took a 21-10 lead that became 21-17. The Oilers then moved out to a 35-17 lead only to see the Broncos close to 35-27. Both teams added one final touchdown to bring the score to its 42-33 final.

Their next meeting -- Week 16 of the 2004 season, in Tennessee -- resulted in a Denver victory. This game saw the Broncos amass 496 offensive yards (to the Titans' 153 yards). Despite this advantage, Denver was not able to pull away from Tennessee until the second half. After jumping out to leads of 10-0 and 17-3, the Broncos watched the Titans close to 24-16 at the half. Denver, however, was able to hold Tennessee scoreless in the second half while adding thirteen points (two field goals and a touchdown) of their own for a final score of 37-16.

Denver won the next game which took place in Denver on Week 11 of the 2007 season. In this game, a balanced Denver offense (166 rushing yards/1 rushing touchdown, 200 passing yards/2 passing touchdowns) was able to overcome Tennessee's 423 total yards -- aided by two interceptions and one fumble recovery. The Broncos took control early scoring two first quarter touchdowns -- the second coming on a 52-yard punt return by Glenn Martinez. The Titans edged closer on a touchdown of their own. Denver responded with a field goal then scored a second field goal when Tennessee running back LenDale White fumbled. The Titans mustered a field goal of their own which made the Denver lead 20-10 at the half. The Broncos turned the opening drive of the second half into a touchdown and a 27-10 lead. Tennessee responded with a touchdown drive to close to 27-17. The Titans cut the score to 27-20 with a field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter. Denver running back Andre Hall then exploded for a 62-yard touchdown run on the Broncos' next possession. Denver held on for the 34-20 victory.

The Broncos' 26-20 victory over Tennessee was one of the few bright spots in the disastrous 2010 season. The game took place in Tennessee on Week 4. It was a back-and-forth contest until the fourth quarter. Denver took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter only to see the Titans tie the game at 7-7. The Broncos moved back in front 10-7 in that same quarter but once again Tennessee tied the game 10-10 at the half.. In the third quarter, Denver once again took the lead on a Matt Prater field goal but fell behind when the Titans responded with a touchdown. A second Prater field goal in the quarter narrowed the deficit to one (17-16) but Tennessee increased the lead with a field goal of their own. Denver entered the fourth quarter trailing 20-16. The Broncos reclaimed the lead when Kyle Orton connected with Correll Buckhalter for a 6-yard touchdown pass. Prater added his fourth field goal of the day to give Denver a 26-20 victory.

The Broncos and the Titans last met on Week 3 of the 2011 season. Once again, it was a closely fought contest. Denver took the lead on a Kyle Orton to Matthew Willis touchdown pass. Tennessee tied it at 7-7 and then took a 10-7 lead into the locker room. The Broncos reclaimed the lead in the third quarter on another Orton touchdown pass. Denver tried to hold on but the Titans scored with 4:28 left to take a 17-14 lead. An interception on Denver's next possession killed any chance of a comeback.

Overall, Denver is 14-21-1 in the regular season versus the Titans and 2-1 in the postseason. How do you like their chances in December?