THROWBACK: Re-Live Jevon Kearse’s Record Breaking Rookie Season

Published 05/12/2020, 8:33 AM EDT

Jevon Kearse will go down as the first player to be drafted by the newly renamed Tennessee Titans. The team played as Tennessee Oilers in 1997 and 1998 as they retained the ‘Oilers’ name following their move from Houston. Ardent fans may remember him being a regular feature in the AFC Pro Bowl side in his first 3 NFL seasons.

In addition to this, he was also the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the year. Though there was no doubt that he would claim the trophy given his stellar achievements which still stand 21 years later. 

Jevon Kearse sets a stunning sack record in his rookie season with Tennessee Titans

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The Gator’s defensive end impressed scouts throughout college. He was the top draft pick in his position and the 16th overall on April 17, 1999, at Madison Square Garden. However, the general manager or the fans certainly didn’t expect a season as good as what they got. 

The 23-year old helped his side to 4 wins in their first 5 games. His performances did not wane as expected and his stellar start was no honeymoon period with the team registering a 13-3 regular-season record. The defensive end claimed a rookie season record-breaking 14.5 sacks. He finished as the sacks leader in the AFC and was 2.5 sacks behind the leader Kevin Carter of St. Louis Rams. 

Also, the rookie was tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars Tony Brackens for most fumbles forced for the season. He finished just 2 behind Seattle Seahawks’ Dwayne Harper’s all-time record set in 1993.

Furthermore, ‘The Freak’ recorded 57 tackles. Also, 2 of his 14.5 sacks came as part of the AFC wildcard game known as Music City Miracle. Here The Titans registered a 75-yard touchdown in the final 15 seconds to beat Buffalo Bills and advance to the AFC semifinals. 

Following this, they eliminated the Colts before vanquishing the Jaguars. However, it wasn’t to be a fairytale run for the Titans. They did not score in the entire first half at the Georgia Dome and played catchup throughout to the St. Louis Rams. 

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As per CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo, Kearse had the 8th best rookie season of all time. Re-Live it here and soak in some memorable and powerful sacks.

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Do you think this record will be broken anytime soon?

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Reubyn Coutinho

1009 articles

Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

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