Titans-Chargers Flashback: A Game of Spurts

Each week this season, Titans Online is taking a look back at a game in franchise history against the upcoming opponent.

Oct. 31, 2010: Chargers 33, Titans 25

This flashback goes to Week 8 of the 2010 season when the teams last met. The Titans built an early 19-7 lead by scoring 17 straight points, the Chargers rallied with 20 unanswered, and the finish went down to the wire.

Nate Washington recorded his first 100-yard receiving game with the Titans that included a 71-yard TD pass from Vince Young. Tight end Craig Stevens recorded his first career TD catch, and Chris Johnson delivered an amazing 29-yard TD run in which he initially went to the right outside the numbers and reversed directions all the way to the opposite sideline.

While all of those were big plays, the outcome of this game can also be argued as having significant impact on the history of the Titans/Oilers franchise.

Young and the Titans started the 2010 season 4-2 before he suffered a knee injury at Jacksonville in Week 6. Kerry Collins led the Titans to a victory the following week, and Young returned to the lineup at San Diego but suffered an injury in the fourth quarter. A string of injuries at the position created a QB carousel between Young, Collins and rookie Rusty Smith in the second half of the season.

The Titans had their bye the following week and went 1-7 thereafter to finish the year 6-10, which prompted multiple changes for the team in the offseason.

This will mark second-year head coach Mike Munchak's first game against San Diego, and second-year QB Jake Locker's first start on the road in the regular season.

Munchak was the starting left guard, and Titans offensive line coach Bruce Matthews was the starting right guard the last time the franchise won at San Diego (Sept. 30, 1990: Houston Oilers 17, Chargers 7). Munchak joked with players this week that he would show them black and white video footage from the game.

The game summary from that contest is worth a look. It occurred before the game summaries were completely computerized: part was typed and part was hand-written. Ed Hochuli, who is now one of the most well-known referees in pro football, worked the game as a back judge.

That was Houston's first season in an all Run 'N Shoot offense under head coach Jack Pardee, and current Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was in his first season of coaching Oilers receivers. Warren Moon completed 27 passes to 11 different players for 355 yards.

Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau started that game at right inside linebacker in his rookie season with the Chargers. San Diego will honor the late Seau before Sunday's game by retiring his number.

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