Think about the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots and one number immediately comes to mind. Fifty-nine.
That’s how many points the Patriots racked up in worst loss in Titans’ history — 59-0. The ignominy of the event on Oct. 18, 2009, was enhanced by an unseasonably early snowfall in Massachusetts.
“No memories. We totally erased that from our mind,” cornerback Jason McCourty said. “That game wasn’t our best effort. That’s just something that’s going to be in the back of our minds as a little extra motivation. But that was ’09. Now it’s 2012 so our focus is on what we’re doing this year and on this game.”
Try as the Titans might to forget it, the game earned a place in the NFL record books. New England set league marks for touchdown passes in a quarter (five, in the second) and the largest halftime lead (45-0).
Quarterback Tom Brady completed 29 of 34 passes for 380 yards and six touchdowns, half of them to Randy Moss.
“A lot of guys on this team obviously don’t have any memory of that because they weren’t here,” coach Mike Munchak said. “There’s only a handful of guys on each side of the ball that are still on this team.
“We know what a great quarterback [Brady] is. I think that can happen, and I think that’s a good lesson any weekend if you’re not at the top of your game in a week that it could get ugly fast, especially when you’re playing the team and the quarterback that has been the best in the AFC for quite a few years.”
A look at other numbers worth noting in regard to Sunday’s game at LP Field (noon, CBS):
2 — Straight victories by the Titans when they open a season at home. They defeated Oakland 38-13 in 2010 and topped Jacksonville 17-10 in 2008.
3 — Consecutive games in which Jake Locker has thrown a touchdown pass. The 2011 first-round pick appeared in just five games as a rookie but threw for four scores over the final three — two at Atlanta, one against New Orleans and one at Indianapolis.
4 — Receptions, the number needed by wide receiver Wes Welker to become New England’s all-time leading pass catcher. He currently has 554, three behind Troy Brown.
6 — touchdown catches (at least) by wide receiver Nate Washington in each of the last three seasons. He had six in both 2009 and 2010 and a career-high seven last season. The last Oilers/Titans receiver had at least six in three straight years was 1990 through 1993, when Haywood Jeffires, who had six, nine, seven and eight, respectively.
9 — Consecutive opening-day wins by the Patriots, the fourth-longest streak of all-time and the NFL’s longest since Miami won 11 in a row from 1992 through 2002.
21 — Passing yards, the amount New England quarterback Tom Brady needs to become the 14th player in NFL history with 40,000 or more for his career.
251 — Combined consecutive starts by Titans free agents Steve Hutchinson and Kamerion Wimbley. Hutchinson, a guard, has started all 157 games of his career with two previous teams. Wimbley has started 94 of 95 (the only time he did not was his first career contest), also with two previous teams.
292 — Total yards by the Titans in their 2011 opener, a 16-14 loss at Jacksonville. It was one of only two games during the season in which they failed to rack up at least 300.
622 — Total yards by the Patriots in their 2011 opener, a 38-24 victory at Miami. It topped the 619 New England had in the 59-0 rout of Tennessee in 2009 as the most in franchise history.