The 2002 Tennessee Titans season was the 43rd season overall and 33rd with the league. The team improved upon their previous season's output of 7–9, managing eleven victories. The Titans qualified for the playoffs, but were unable to reach the Super Bowl, instead losing to the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Conference Championship.
|2002 Tennessee Titans season|
|Head coach||Jeff Fisher|
|General manager||Floyd Reese|
|Home field||The Coliseum|
|Division place||1st AFC South|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Steelers) 34–31 (OT)|
Lost Conference Championship (Raiders) 24–41
|DB Rich Coady (Rams)||DT Josh Evans (Jets)|
|RB Robert Holcombe (Rams)||DT Jason Fisk (Chargers)|
|FS Lance Schulters (49ers)||C Bruce Matthews (retired)|
|LB Eddie Robinson (Bills)|
|2002 Tennessee Titans draft|
|1||12||Albert Haynesworth *||Defensive tackle||Tennessee||from N. Y. Giants|
|2||45||Tank Williams||Defensive back||Stanford|
|4||110||Mike Echols||Defensive back||Wisconsin||from N. Y. Giants|
|4||115||Tony Beckham||Defensive back||UW–Stout|
|4||133||Rocky Boiman||Linebacker||Notre Dame|
|5||151||Jake Schifino||Wide Receiver||Akron|
|7||225||Darrell Hill||Wide Receiver||NIU|
|7||240||Carlos Hall||Defensive end||Arkansas||from Green Bay|
|Pro Bowl during careerMade roster Made at least one|
|Brad Kassell||Linebacker||North Texas|
|John Simon||Running back||Louisiana Tech|
|2002 Tennessee Titans staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|2002 Tennessee Titans final roster|
|1||August 10, 2002||St. Louis Rams||W 28–26||1-0|
|2||August 15, 2002||Oakland Raiders||W 24-14||2-0|
|3||August 23, 2002||at Minnesota Vikings||L 10–14||2-1|
|4||August 30, 2002||at Green Bay Packers||L 20–21||2–2|
|1||September 8, 2002||Philadelphia Eagles||W 27–24||1-0||FOX|
|2||September 15, 2002||at Dallas Cowboys||L 13–21||1-1||CBS|
|3||September 22, 2002||Cleveland Browns||L 28–31||1-2||CBS|
|4||September 29, 2002||at Oakland Raiders||L 25–52||1-3||CBS|
|5||October 6, 2002||Washington Redskins||L 14–31||1-4||FOX|
|6||October 13, 2002||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 23–14||2-4||CBS|
|8||October 27, 2002||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 30–24||3-4||CBS|
|9||November 3, 2002||at Indianapolis Colts||W 23–15||4-4||CBS|
|10||November 10, 2002||Houston Texans||W 17–10||5-4||CBS|
|11||November 17, 2002||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 31–23||6-4||CBS|
|12||November 24, 2002||at Baltimore Ravens||L 12–13||6-5||CBS|
|13||December 1, 2002||at New York Giants||W 32–29||7-5||CBS|
|14||December 8, 2002||Indianapolis Colts||W 27–17||8-5||CBS|
|15||December 16, 2002||New England Patriots||W 24–7||9-5||ABC|
|16||December 22, 2002||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 28–10||10-5||CBS|
|17||December 29, 2002||at Houston Texans||W 13–3||11-5||CBS|
|(2) Tennessee Titans||11||5||0||.688||6–0||9–3||367||324||W5|
|(5) Indianapolis Colts||10||6||0||.625||4–2||8–4||349||313||W1|
|Weather= 90 °F (Mostly cloudy) For the third time in their history the Titans opened a football season in a different football division, this time in the debut Sunday of the AFC South after their AFL era in the league's Eastern division and then spending 32 seasons in the AFC Central. The Eagles, defending NFC East champs, gave up a 14-yard Steve McNair touchdown to Eddie George, but then behind three Donovan McNabb touchdown throws they raced to a 24–10 halftime lead. The Titans then shut down the Eagles offense as McNair and George helped score 17 unanswered Titans points, finishing up a 27–24 Titans win. The game was notable when Titans star lineman Jevon Kearse left the game with a broken foot and missed the next 12 games. Kearse stated, "I am really devastated that I cannot be out there [on the field] with my teammmates. But, it is an opportunity for someone else to step up." He later stated that he can recover from the injury fast so that he could "return in the open weeks."
For only the second time since leaving Houston, the former Houston Oilers flew to Texas for football. The Cowboys were hosting the ex-Oilers a week after losing to Houston's present-day NFL squad, but fell behind 10–7 at the half. The game turned against the Titans in the third quarter as Dexter Coakley picked off McNair and ran back 52 yards for a touchdown; McNair later knocked himself out of the game when he ran to the sidelines and crashed into an equipment storage wagon, suffering a concussion. Quincy Carter connected with Joey Galloway from 38 yards out and wrapped up a 21–13 Cowboys win.
|Weather= 79 °F (Mostly cloudy) This game marked the first time the Titans played against a former division foe from the old AFC Central, the Cleveland Browns. Tim Couch opened up the scoring on a 14-yard throw to André Davis in the first quarter. Eddie George and McNair answered with a pair of touchdowns, then Andre Dyson picked off Couch and ran the ball back 16 yards for a 21–7 halftime lead. Dennis Northcutt ran back a punt 74 yards for a Cleveland score in the third quarter, and in the fourth a McNair score to Kevin Dyson was answered by two Couch touchdowns, forcing overtime, and Phil Dawson finished it off from 33 yards out and a 31–28 Browns win.
The 0–6 Bengals blew a chance to win late amid a 30–24 Titans lead when, at the Titans goal line, Corey Dillon tripped over Matt O'Dwyer and fell a yard short of a touchdown. The gaffe wiped out a 138-yard day by Dillon and the now-3-4 Titans had gathered momentum to finish out the season.
The Titans made their first trip to Indianapolis since winning in the 1999 playoffs and raced to a 23–0 lead. The Colts fumbled in the second quarter and Keith Bulluck ran back a 61-yard touchdown. Steve McNair threw only 19 times with 14 completions for 92 yards and one touchdown, while Peyton Manning had to throw for 327 yards for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Still, he was unable to lead a comeback, and the Titans won by a final score of 23–15.
Present Titans quarterback Steve McNair played despite missing practice due to injuries incurred throughout the season, and matched up against the man who would eventually captain the Titans under center, Kerry Collins. The 6–5 Giants took a 10–7 lead after a Collins score to Dan Campbell, while McNair grabbed the Titans a 14–10 halftime lead on two touchdown throws. A second Collins touchdown (to Ron Dixon) was followed by an exchange of field goals, a missed Joe Nedney FG try, a Tiki Barber rushing score marred by a missed two-point try, and McNair touchdown throw to Frank Wycheck and McNair two-point run with seven seconds left in regulation. In overtime the Titans clawed downfield and Nedney finished it off after five minutes on a 38-yard field goal and a 32–29 Titans win.
The former Oilers returned to Houston for the first time since 1996, and a game of field goals ended in a four-yard Eddie George touchdown run, his first in Houston since a six-yard touchdown against Jacksonville in December 1996 at the Astrodome. The win wrapped up Tennessee's first division title in two years and first in the AFC South.
|Divisional||January 11, 2003||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 34–31|
|Conference Championship||January 19, 2003||at Oakland Raiders||L 24–41|
|Division championships (9)|
|Conference championships (1)|
|League championships (2)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold