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Bulluck recalls '06 Titans, who got all the breaks but one

Linebacker Keith Bulluck #53 of the New York

Linebacker Keith Bulluck #53 of the New York Giants watches play during a preseason game against the New England Patriots at the New Meadowlands Stadium. (Sept. 2, 2010) Credit: Getty

Keith Bulluck knows what it’s like for a team to not control its own destiny. But he also knows the hollow feeling of having destiny call back and be unable to answer the phone.

It happened to him and the Titans in Week 17 of the 2006 season. The Titans needed to win and get help to get into the playoffs in a complicated, almost unfathomable scenario. The Bengals had to lose or tie, the Broncos needed to lose and the Chiefs needed to win.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, all of that occurred? The Steelers beat the Bengals, 23-17. The 49ers beat the Broncos, 26-23, on an overtime field goal. And the Chiefs pushed past the Jaguars, 35-30.

The only ingredient that didn’t come to fruition was the Titans themselves. They lost at home to the Patriots, 40-23, ending their season at 8-8 and without a playoff berth.

“It was a crazy scenario, but if we had won that game we definitely would have been in the playoffs,” Bulluck said today. “That’s why I think it’s important for teams to finish the season. We definitely need to go out and play Washington and win. Chicago has beaten Green Bay in the past.”

Bulluck said he hasn’t shared that story with his new Giants teammates.

“I remember we came in on a Wednesday and Jeff was like ‘If this team loses, this team loses, this team wins and we win, we’re in the playoffs,’” Bulluck said. “Anything can happen. You have to finish the season no matter what. You may think Oh, Chicago’s not even going to play all of their players, but it doesn’t matter. We can only control what we can control and we need to take care of our business on Sunday.”

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