NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Without question, Sunday's overtime thriller goes down as one of the most thrilling – and best endings -- in the history of the Titans, and Nissan Stadium.
The Titans won it 26-23 over the Eagles as quarterback Marcus Mariota engineered the 11th game-winning drive of his career.
The finale has caused me to once again update and rank the top 12 game-winning drives in Titans history, using the following criteria: The drive ended with a game-winning touchdown – not a field goal — in the closing moments, or it was a walk-off, game-winner in overtime.
So no, The "Music City Miracle" doesn't count. And neither does the "Music City Mulligan" game, when Titans kicker Joe Nedney booted the game-winning to beat the Steelers in the 2002 season's playoffs after misfiring on his previous kick, only to be saved by a roughing the kicker penalty. The 60-yard field goal from Rob Bironas to beat the Colts in 2006 was dramatic, but doesn't meet the criteria either.
But Sunday's game does. I'm putting it No.1 on my list of game-winning touchdown drives in Titans history.
How about these 12 finishes?
Date: September 30, 2018
Titans 26, Eagles 23
What happened: Trailing the defending Super Bowl champs 23-20 in overtime, the Titans got the ball at their own 25-yard line with 6:19 left in overtime. What transpired next was legendary for the Titans, coach Mike Vrabel, and quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Titans drove the ball 75 yards in 16 plays, converting three fourth downs along the way, including a 4th and 15. Vrabel opted to go for the win rather than kicking it to tie it late. Then, Mariota connected with receiver Corey Davis for a 10-yard touchdown pass on third down as the Titans pulled out a wild win, setting off a mob scene on the field and in the stands.
Date: November 29, 2009
Titans 20, Cardinals 17
What happened: Trailing the Cardinals 17-13, the Titans took over at their own one-yard line with just 2:37 left in the game. Quarterback Vince Young guided an improbable 18-play, 99-yard drive, converting three fourth downs along the way, and it capped it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt on fourth down on the final play of regulation for the win. A photo of the play hangs on the wall leading into the press box at Nissan Stadium.
Date: September 24, 2000
Titans 23, Steelers 20
What happened: Steve McNair wasn't supposed to play in this one after suffering a sternum injury the previous week. When Neil O'Donnell was knocked out late, McNair was called on to save the day. The ensuing drive was quick, and deadly for the Steelers. With the Titans down 20-16, McNair came off the bench and completed three straight passes, including the game-winning 18-yard toss to tight end Erron Kinney with 1:25 left, to win it in dramatic fashion at Three Rivers Stadium.
Date: January 6, 2018
Titans 22, Chiefs 21
What happened: OK, you could make a case this one should be higher because it came in the playoffs. But you could also argue it's pushing it to put on the list because it concluded with 6:06 left, and plenty of game to play. Nonetheless, it's here because of it's magnitude. Mariota completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to receiver Eric Decker to give the Titans a Wild Card win at Arrowhead Stadium. A 17-yard run by Mariota on 3rd and 8 was huge, and after a stop, the Titans were able to run out the clock when they got the ball back.
Date: December 21, 2003
Titans, 27, Texans 24
What happened: The Titans fell behind 24-20 with just 1:48 left. Then McNair stepped in and drove the Titans 75 yards down the field on eight plays, capping it off with a 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Drew Bennett with just 17 seconds left. It was McNair at his very best. Everyone remembers Bennett hushing the crowd in Houston that day.
Date: December 10, 2006
Titans 26, Texans 20
What happened: Vince Young returned to his hometown, and delivered a dagger in overtime. On the first possession in overtime, Young engineered a five-play, 57-yard drive and ended it on a walk-off 39-yard touchdown run just 3:46 into overtime. It set off a wild celebration on the field and in the stands in Houston.
Date: September 22, 2013
Titans 20, Chargers 17
What happened: The Titans trailed 17-13 with the ball at their own six-yard line with just 2:05 left. Quarterback Jake Locker guided a 10-play, 94-yard drive in just 1:50 and capped it off with a 34-yard touchdown pass to receiver Justin Hunter with 15 seconds left to win it. It was one of Locker's shining moments with the team.
Date: November 12, 2017.
Titans 24, Bengals 20
What happened: The Titans lost the lead when A.J. Green caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton with 5:03 left. But the Titans, and Mariota, answered back. Mariota engineered a 12-play, 73-yard drive in 4:27, and it was capped off with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to running back DeMarco Murray, who dove into the end zone with 36 seconds left for the win.
Date: November 24, 2013
Titans 23, Raiders 19
What happened: Things weren't looking good for the Titans late in the Black Hole. Then quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick guided a 14-play, 80-yard drive in crunch time. He capped it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kendall Wright on third down with just 10 seconds remaining, and the Titans won it.
Date: October 21, 2012
Titans 35, Bills 34
What happened: The Titans and Bills staged a shootout at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the Titans fired the last shot – just in time. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck connected with receiver Nate Washington on a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with just 1:03 left and the Titans pulled it out. It capped off a seven-play, 52-yard drive in 1:54.
Date: November 8, 2015
Titans 34, Saints 28
What happened: The Titans rallied in the Superdome to tie the game in the fourth quarter. After winning the toss to start overtime, the Titans went aggressively for the win. Mariota engineered a nine-play, 80-yard drive and capped it off with a beautifully designed five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano to win it.
Date: September 18, 2016
Titans 16, Lions 15
What happened: With the game on the line, Mariota didn't flinch. Trailing 15-10, the Titans took over at their own 17-yard line with 7:04 left. Mariota drove the Titans 83 yards on 13 plays – in 5:51 – and tossed a nine-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Andre Johnson on fourth down as the Titans pulled it out in the Motor City.
The Tennessee Titans celebrate after they improve to 3-1 with a 26-23 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The Tennessee Titans take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)