In a sport in which the score most often grows by three or seven points at a time 19 is an uncommon number. Unless it’s an overtime game that involves the Tennessee Titans, that is.
Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field was the fourth out of the franchise’s last nine overtime games that ended with the winning team on 19 points.
Before this season, the last time Tennessee played beyond regulation was Nov. 21, 2010, when it lost 19-16 to the Washington Redskins. On Nov. 2, 2008, the Titans beat the Green Bay Packers 19-16 on Rob Bironas’ 41-yard field goal.
This whole thing began Nov. 14, 2004, when Tennessee hosted the Chicago Bears.
The Bears got the ball first in overtime but ultimately punted and pinned the Titans at their own 9. After an incomplete pass and a sack, quarterback Billy Volek was sacked again and fumbled. Tackle Fred Miller recovered but was tackled in the end zone and the game was over.
It was the first NFL game in more than 15 years to end with a safety in overtime. Final score: Chicago 19, Tennessee 17.
That was the last time the Bears played here. Until now.
They make their return Sunday (noon, Fox) immediately in the wake of the latest overtime, 19-points-wins-it contest.
A look at other notable numbers related to the contest:
2 – consecutive games in which Matt Hasselbeck has not thrown an interception. It is the first time this season Tennessee has gone consecutive games with being picked off. The only time in the first six the opponents did not get a takeaway in that manner was Week 3 against Detroit, the only other time this season an NFC team played at LP Field.
3 – Titans’ losses to NFC teams in their first season and a half with Mike Munchak as coach. They are 3-3 overall, including 1-1 this season with a victory over Detroit and a loss to Minnesota. Tennessee had just three losses to NFC teams in its last five seasons under Jeff Fisher.
4 – NFL teams that currently rank among the top 10 in both scoring offense. Chicago (eighth in scoring offense, second in scoring defense) is one of them. The Titans are 18th in scoring offense and 31st in scoring defense.
5 – times since 1999 the Titans have had a losing record halfway through the season, including this one (3-5). In none of the previous four did they recover well enough to make the playoffs although the last two times (2006 and 2009) they played better over the second half and finished 8-8.
6 – interceptions returned for touchdowns by the Bears. They are the first team in NFL history with that many through the first seven games of the season. The six already are a single-season franchise record — the previous mark was four (2004). Chicago has 16 interceptions in all, which is tied with the New York Giants for the league lead.
8 – times since 1970 the Bears have won at least six of their first seven games, including this season. In each of the previous seven they made the playoffs.
41 – points scored by the Bears in each of their first two games against AFC South opponents this season. They defeated Indianapolis 41-21 in the opener and won 41-3 at Jacksonville in Week 5. Those are their two highest scoring games of the year. Coincidentally, Tennessee gave up 41 points against one of Chicago’s division rivals. It beat Detroit 44-41 in overtime back on Sept. 23.