The NFL's nomads finally found a home tonight.
The Tennessee Titans, who played in three different stadiums the past three seasons before the league's worst crowds, debuted at Adelphia Coliseum before the largest crowd in franchise history. They responded with a 17-3 preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
"Oh, man, I feel like we were playing in the Super Bowl," Titans safety Blaine Bishop said. "The fan support is unbelievable. The place is rowdy, and it is making all the difference in the world."
Eddie George scored a one-yard touchdown and the defense forced five turnovers as the Titans (1-2) fed off the presence of 65,729 fans. They cheered every play and were on their feet repeatedly as the Titans took the lead on the opening drive with George's touchdown and never trailed Atlanta (1-2).
"It was probably too exciting," linebacker Joe Bowden said of the atmosphere. "By the time we came out of the tunnel, I was tired. We were all yelling and carrying on. I needed some water because my throat was dry."
Neil O'Donnell, starting at quarterback with Steve McNair sidelined by a stiff back, completed nine of his first 11 passes and was 14 of 21 for 180 yards with one interception.
The Falcons had planned to start Chris Chandler at quarterback, but he was sidelined just before kickoff with an injured hamstring. Chandler said he could have played if it was a regular season game.