Countdown to Kickoff: 75 Days

David Boclair

The countdown to kickoff continues.

The Tennessee Titans will open the 2020 regular season Sept. 14 at Denver. That is 75 days away. So, today we look at one way the number 75 figures into the team’s recent history.

Mike Munchak’s three seasons as Tennessee Titans (2011-13) coach were largely a nondescript time for the franchise. There was one winning record, no playoff appearances and just one Pro Bowl player, cornerback Alterraun Verner in 2013.

That time, though, reinforced what most have long understood to be true of football: turnovers matter.

Under Munchak, the Titans committed 75 turnovers. They threw 49 interceptions and lost 29 fumbles.

And the more turnovers, the worse the record.

In his first season (2011), Munchak’s team finished among the NFL’s top 10 in fewest giveaways with 22 and ended up 9-7. In 2013, the Titans lost the ball 25 times and finished 7-9. In between, they coughed it up 28 times in 2012 and finished 6-10.

There was much inconsistency on offense during Munchak’s time in charge. Tennessee’s leading passer was different each time, Matt Hasselbeck in 2011, Jake Locker in 2012 and Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2013. The primary starting starters in the middle of the offensive line (center, right guard and left guard) changed each year.

What remained constant – as it always has – was the value of ball security.

There were 17 teams that committed more turnovers during those three seasons, and just four of them won more games than the Titans. Of the 14 that committed fewer, eight won more games (the Chargers committed the same number and were two wins better than Tennessee).

Fourteen times under Munchak, the Titans turned it over three times or more. They were 2-12 in those contests. In 17 games with no giveaways, they were 12-5.