Titans QB frustrated by dismal season

Updated: November 29, 2004, 7:07 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair hinted Sunday that his 10th season in the NFL could be his last.

Steve McNair
Quarterback
Tennessee Titans
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
181 104 5 1 8 66.4

"In the offseason I'm going to take a long look at what I'm going to do," McNair said after the Titans wasted an 18-point lead in a 31-21 loss to the Houston Texans. "I just have to evaluate myself."

McNair was clearly frustrated after Tennessee's latest defeat, which was his second start since a bruised sternum caused him to miss most of the previous four weeks. He finished 25-of-34 for 227 yards with three touchdowns but fumbled twice and threw an interception that sealed the win for the Texans.

After sharing co-MVP honors with Peyton Manning last season, McNair and the Titans have gotten off to their worst start since he became a full-time starter in 1997. Coming into Sunday's game, McNair's passer rating of 66.4 wouldn't have ranked among the league's top 30 quarterbacks.

The Titans (4-7) dropped into last place in the AFC South after Sunday's loss, essentially eliminating them from the playoff race.

"We have to focus on winning the next five games with heart and character," McNair said. "We have to bring back enthusiasm and fun to the game."

Despite a string of injuries so long the Titans had to include a new page in their media guide to accommodate them, McNair ranks second to Brett Favre in starts by a quarterback since 1997.

McNair had surgery in February to remove a cracked bone spur from his left ankle. The injury caused him to miss two games last season and left him hobbling at the end of the 17-14 playoff loss at New England.

"I've taken a beating the last five or six years," McNair said. "I need to look at what's best for my health and myself and this ball team."

McNair was selected by the Houston Oilers with the fourth overall pick in the 1995 draft out of Division I-AA Alcorn State. After taking over as the starter two years later, McNair became the face of the franchise through its move from Texas to Tennessee.

Along with friend and former teammate Eddie George, McNair led the Titans to the playoffs in four of the previous five seasons, including the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance in 2000. His 73 career victories are a franchise record, three more than six-time Pro Bowler Warren Moon.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press