Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker knows it’s been a long time since the Titans last won a game on their own field.
Told the skid’s now reached 10 straight, the veteran had a simple response.
It has been a long time.
The Titans have not won in their own stadium since Oct. 12, 2014, when Sammie Hill knocked away a last-second field goal with his fingertips in preserving a 16-14 win over the Jaguars.
Now the Titans have two straight games with the chance to snap that skid either Sunday against the Oakland Raiders or Dec. 6 against Jacksonville.
A loss Sunday would tie Tennessee for the third-worst home skid all-time with Oakland (1961-62), Los Angeles (1961-63) and Cincinnati (1998-99). That would put the Titans two more losses away from the second 13-game home skid in franchise history.
The 1972-73 Houston Oilers lost 13 straight at home for the second-worst home skid in NFL history, a mark also shared with the New York Jets (1995-97) and Tampa Bay over the Bucs’ first two seasons.
Right now, the Titans (2-8) just want to win again at home.
“I know the crowd is looking for a win at home,” Walker said. “And it’s nothing really I can say about that. We have to win at home.”
Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota has some added incentive to help end this home skid Sunday. About 150 people including former teachers and alumni from his high school in Hawaii have tickets for this game as part of a big weekend planned around the chance to see the Heisman Trophy winner in person.
“Obviously, it is frustrating, but a lot of it builds up your motivation to just go out there and to play well,” Mariota said of the skid.
Interim coach Mike Mularkey, promoted Nov. 3 when Ken Whisenhunt was fired with a 1-11 home record, said today a win would end all the talk and questions about the Titans’ inability to win at home.
“We can’t start something that’s a tough place to play until we get the first one,” Mularkey said. “They know it’s important, and it’ll continue to be discussed as we go. But we know the importance.”
The Titans seemingly couldn’t lose when they opened this stadium in 1999 by winning 12 straight, making Nashville one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. That advantage is long gone for a franchise with only one winning season since the last playoff berth in 2008. Now the Titans are often drowned out by the visitors’ fans.
Running back Antonio Andrews has yet to celebrate a victory on Tennessee’s own field after being promoted from the practice squad in late October 2014.
“Every game feels like an away game,” Andrews said.
The Titans have three home games left this season with the home finale Dec. 27 against Houston. So there’s no chance of matching the NFL mark for the longest home skid of 14 straight shared by the Dallas Cowboys (1988-89) and the St. Louis Rams (2008-2010) until the home opener next season.