Countdown to Kickoff: 17 Days

Vince Young and Kerry Collins traded off the starting quarterback's job for five years, and each lost 17 games.
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The countdown to kickoff continues.

The Tennessee Titans will open the 2020 regular season Sept. 14 at Denver. That is 17 days away. So, today we look at one way the number 17 figures into the team’s recent history.

When the Tennessee Titans changed quarterbacks last season, they never looked back. Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota in Week 7, started every game for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs and then got a contract extension in the offseason.

There was, however, a five-year period beginning in 2006 when things could not have been more different. Coaches flip-flopped between Vince Young and Kerry Collins, occasionally at the request of ownership.

The result? Both lost 17 games as the Titans’ starting quarterback. Only five quarterbacks in franchise history lost more, and all five of those were the unquestioned starter for at least five years.

Not once did Collins or Young start every game in a season but each came close. Young, the 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, went 9-6 as the starter in 2007 but missed the sixth game with an injury. The next year Collins got the call in Week 2, after Young’s infamous suicide scare, and led Tennessee to 12 victories in 15 games.

Both seasons finished with playoff appearances. Beyond that, Young started 13 games in 2006, 10 of 16 in 2009 and eight in 2010 before he finished the season on injured reserve following a locker room shouting match with then-coach Jeff Fisher.

Each quarterback was streaky, in his own way. Collins won nine straight in 2008 but also dropped six in a row to open 2009 and three straight at the start of 2006. Young had two streaks of at least five wins.

The biggest difference was in the number of games they won. Young was 30-17 as the Titans’ starter. Collins was 15-17.