Countdown to Kickoff: 80 Days
The countdown to kickoff continues.
The Tennessee Titans will open the 2020 regular season Sept. 14 at Denver. That is 80 days away. So, today we look at one way the number 80 figures into the team’s history.
As an undrafted free agent, Drew Bennett just wanted to catch on with an NFL team. Ultimately, the one-time college quarterback spent eight seasons in the league during which caught plenty of passes.
In his best season (2004), he finished with 80 receptions. That number put him in the top NFL’s top 20 that year and made him one of 10 players in franchise history with 80 or more in a single season.
Eleven of those catches ended with him in the end zone, which made him one of two players in franchise history with at least 80 receptions and 10 receiving touchdowns in the same season (Charley Hennigan with 82 and 12, respectively, in 1961 is the only other one).
Bennett really broke through in December, with Billy Volek at quarterback in place of an injured Steve McNair. In a span of six days, he caught 12 passes for 233 yards (the most in the NFL that season) and three touchdowns against Kansas City and 13 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns against Oakland.
More than 31 percent of his receptions and receiving yards came in those two games (Tennessee lost both).
He also had three touchdown receptions in the game prior to Kansas City, and the eight touchdowns in three weeks tied him with Jerry Rice (1987, 1993) for the most in history by any player in a three-game span.
It was by far his best season in the NFL. The rest of his career he never did better than 58 catches, 738 yards and four touchdowns.
However, for one season – and particularly a couple weeks – he was one of the NFL’s best.