The monkey is off the Titans' back. With a resounding 48-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the Titans erased two seasons of bad Super Bowl memories in claiming the Super Bowl III title. In the process, they became the NFL's first ever 19-0 Super Bowl championship team.
In what can only be labeled a devastating start to the game, the Arizona Cardinals turned the ball over on their first 3 plays from scrimmage, leading to a 17-0 Titans lead. Then, when things seemingly couldn't get worse, Reggie Bush was jarred by backup DB Danieal Manning on the ensuing kickoff, knocking the ball loose for DB Keenan Lewis to scoop and score. Tack on a 30 yard Chris Johnson TD jaunt on the Titans next possession, and the score was 31-0 Tennessee, just seconds into the 2nd quarter.
"It was just one of those unfortunate things," said Cardinals Coach StuBucksman. "When it rains, it pours...and in this scenario, it was a monsoon!"
The Titans used a potent running game to attack the Cardinals defense, and Chris Johnson finished the game with a season-high 26 carries for 224 yards and 4 total TDs. Johnson, to no ones surprise, was named the Offensive MVP of the game.
"Chris came to play today," said Titans Coach UTVOL54. "When he's at his best, he's nearly impossible to contain. I think he may go down as the best video game player since Bo Jackson on Super Tecmo Bowl."
The Titans defense set the tone from the beginning, attacking NFL MVP Kelly James from all angles, leading the second-year player throwing 3 pivotal interceptions. Using a new defensive zone scheme to attempt to thwart the Cardinals exceptional WRs worked even better than Coach UTVOL54 could have imagined. They forced 5 total turnovers in the game.
James finished the game with 231 yards passing, while star running back Beanie Wells was held to 39 yards on 11 carries, primarily due to the Cardinals having to turn to the passing game so early.
"I think when you look at guys like David Thornton (2 INTs) or Kevin Tulloch (1 INT), you see good players," he said. "But I think they came out to make a statement in this game, that although they may not be the fastest or most dominant athletes, their solid play can and will win football games."
Thornton, whose interception on the game's first play set the tone for the evening, was named the game's defensive MVP.
"This was a frustrating night," said Coach Stu. "But I have a 20 piece order of Chick Fil-A nuggets and a 1/2 gallon of Chick Fil-A sauce to help me drown my sorrows tonight."
An efficient Vince Young used his coach's quick strike attack to his advantage, throwing for a respectable 156 yards on 9/11 passing. Most importantly, he was not sacked.
"There is not a more dangerous defender right now in football than Josh Sneed," said Young. "Our O-line's ability to contain him for just a few seconds each play was huge, and was a big reason for us starting so strong on offense."
So, the Titans, on their third try in as many years, finally laid claim to a Super Bowl championship.