Countdown to Kickoff: 44 Days

David Boclair

The countdown to kickoff continues.

The Tennessee Titans will open the 2020 regular season Sept. 14 at Denver. That is 44 days away. So, today we look at one way the number 44 figures into the team’s recent history.

When the Tennessee Titans found themselves in need of a kicker early in 2003, they went right to the top.

They talked Gary Anderson, at the time the NFL’s career scoring leader, out of retirement. Then they did it again a year later, and over the course of nearly two full seasons he made 44 field goals (on 53 attempts) for the Titans.

He is one of five kickers during the Titans era (1999-present) to make at least 40 field goals for the franchise.

Anderson was 44 years old and a veteran of 21 seasons with four different teams the first time Tennessee reached out to him. He was fishing in Colorado at the time, and he negotiated a deal that allowed him to return home to Minnesota regularly to spend time with his family, particularly his two teenage sons.

He stepped in for Joe Nedney, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in the season opener.

His longest field goal that season was from 43 yards, and his four misses were all on attempts from 40-43 yards. In a wild card playoff game, though, he connected from 45 and 46 yards. The latter was the game-winner with 29 seconds to go in a 20-17 victory at Baltimore (pictured).

Nedney was injured again at the end of the 2004 preseason, and Anderson came back a second time. That season he was 17-for-22 on field goals, his lowest success rate (77.3) in five seasons, and the Titans missed the playoffs.

Currently, Anderson is third on the NFL’s career scoring list with 2,434 points, the last 211 of which came with Tennessee.