With the recent shocking and disheartening news that former Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair has been tragically killed, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on his performances against our Kansas City Chiefs in his 13 year career. The former Pro Bowl signal caller played the Chiefs on two occasions and came out victorious both times.
Tennessee Titans 17 - Kansas City Chiefs 14 (OT) - September 10th, 2000 (Box score)
In the second game of the 2000-2001 season, Steve 'Air' McNair was knocked out of the game with a helmet-to-sternum hit. He was replaced by Neil O'Donnell who went on to tie the game with an eight yard pass to Yancey Thigpen. Titans' kicker Al Del Greco won the game in overtime.
Before being knocked out, McNair completed 11 of his 18 passes for 93 yards. He also threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. The x-factor for McNair, which teams would find out again and again throughout his career, was another 42 yards rushing in the game.
Baltimore Ravens 20 - Kansas City Chiefs 10 - December 10th, 2006 (Box score)
Prior to the game, Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards was asked what McNair brings to the table as an opposing team prepares for him.
"Obviously, toughness and poise. [He’s] a guy who has played in a lot of big games, won a lot of big games [and] really has the ability. I think he is a great leader. I think he is a great leader in the huddle. He’s a guy that when you watch play has great passion for the game. Beside all of his attributes as a quarterback, I think that’s what you bring. He brings leadership, obviously, and those guys will follow him. He’s a very, very calm player under pressure."
With both teams vying for playoff position, McNair put on a spectacular performance against the Chiefs highlighted by an 87 yard touchdown pass to Mark Clayton.
He completed 21 of his 27 passes for an incredible 77.7% completion percentage. He added a touchdown pass to 283 yards passing.
"He’s been dumping the ball off all year. We knew we were going to have to try to get our hands on that ball and he doesn’t stay back there long for a pass rush. We knew he was going to do that. That’s what he did, he just checked the ball down all day and took the four and five yards until that one big play. That’s the difference maker."
Ravens head coach Brian Billick was succinct in again explaining a great performance from McNair.
"That’s why he’s here. He’s just a champion; always cool, always calm, under control, he’s tough. That’s Steve McNair and that’s why he’s here."
Cool. Collected. Tough. The same adjectives that have been used to describe McNair since being the third overall pick out of little Alcorn State in 1995.
RIP Steve 'Air' McNair - February 14, 1973 – July 4, 2009
After the jump is video of McNair's retirement speech following the 2007 season.