(0-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (0-0) kick off their regular-season schedule this week, as they travel to face the AFC South-rival Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0). Kickoff at EverBank Field (capacity 67,246) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, September 11th.
The Titans and Jaguars square off in the regular season opener for the third time in five years. They opened the schedule against each other in 2007 and 2008, with the Titans winning both matchups. In the only other Kickoff Weekend game between the two clubs, played in 1995, the Oilers defeated the Jaguars 10-3 in the inaugural game in Jaguars history.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties, while Dan Fouts will provide analysis.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.
Titans Enter Regular Season With New Look
The Titans concluded their preseason with a 3-1 record after last week’s 32-9 victory at New Orleans. The Titans forced five turnovers against the Saints (three fumbles, two interceptions), and rookie quarterback Jake Locker completed 15 of 17 pass attempts for 132 yards and a touchdown (118.6 passer rating). Locker also rushed for 39 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.
In their first preseason under new head coach Mike Munchak, the Titans finished first in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing an average of 10.5 points per contest. Additionally, the Titans ranked second in the league in turnover differential at plus-nine, losing the ball just once and taking it away 10 times (six interceptions, four fumbles).
Offensively, the Titans broke in two new quarterbacks during the preseason: Locker, the eighth overall draft pick from the University of Washington, and Matt Hasselbeck, a 13-year veteran who was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Seattle Seahawks. Hasselbeck, the Titans’ starter, has passed for 29,579 career yards and has been named to three Pro Bowls. During the 2011 preseason, he completed 26 of 42 passes for 301 yards.
One of the familiar faces returning to the Titans is running back Chris Johnson, who signed a contract extension and ended his holdout on September 2nd. The former first-round draft choice accumulated 4,598 total rushing yards from 2008 through 2010, leading the NFL during that timespan and ranking fourth in league history over a player’s first three seasons. Johnson’s career rushing average of 4.97 yards per carry ranks seventh in NFL history.
In 2010, the Titans finished in fourth place in the AFC South with a 6-10 record. Then, in February, owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. named Munchak the team’s 16th head coach, replacing Jeff Fisher, whose tenure dated back to 1994.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Munchak enters his 30th season with the organization. He played on the offensive line for 12 years (1982-93) and earned nine Pro Bowl berths before spending three campaigns (1994-96) as an assistant/quality control coach. In 1997, he took over as offensive line coach, a post he held for 14 years.
Jack Del Rio enters his ninth season as the team’s head coach in 2011. His Jaguars squad looks to rebound from an 8-8 record and a second-place finish in the AFC South in 2010.
Like the Titans, the Jaguars have an established veteran quarterback and a first-round draft pick expected to one day claim the starting job. The Jaguars moved up six spots in the draft (to 10th overall) to take Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. He joins David Garrard, who has been the team’s starter for the majority of the last five seasons. The passing game is complemented by running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who enters his sixth season.
The Jaguars finished the preseason with a 1-3 record. They ended their preseason slate last week with a 24-17 loss at home to the St. Louis Rams.
Titans-Jaguars Series At A Glance
What To Look For This Week
Titans-Jaguars Series History
The Jaguars are the Titans’ longest-standing division rival. The clubs have met at least twice each year since Jacksonville began play as an expansion franchise in 1995. For the first seven seasons of the 16-year rivalry they played in the AFC Central, and for the last nine years they have been members of the AFC South. The teams have met a total of 33 times, with the Titans holding a 19-14 advantage.
The majority of Titans-Jaguars contests have been highly competitive. Overall, 18 of the 33 Titans-Jaguars meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer.
On October 18th, 2010, in the Titans’ most recent visit to EverBank Field, they appeared on Monday Night Football and won 30-3. Vince Young and Kerry Collins combined for 171 passing yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Johnson rushed for 111 yards and one score in the win. The Titans defense helped the cause with four takeaways.
Later in the 2010 season, the Jaguars avenged the Monday night defeat with a 17-6 victory over the Titans at LP Field. It marked the second consecutive season and fourth season out of the last five that the teams split the series.
The Titans have posted two separate five-game winning streaks against the Jaguars, dating from 1998-00 and 2001-03. Jacksonville’s longest winning streak in the series was a four-game run from 1996-98.
The stakes of the rivalry were never higher than in 1999, when the Titans and Jaguars met three times, including the AFC Championship Game in Jacksonville. Steve McNair rushed for two touchdowns and Derrick Mason returned a kickoff 80 yards as the Titans earned their first Super Bowl berth with a 33-14 win. Tennessee went on to Super Bowl XXXIV and eventuall fell at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, 23-16.
The Jaguars played their first game in franchise history against the then-Houston Oilers on September 3rd, 1995. Playing in Jacksonville, the Oilers won the game by a 10-3 final score.
That was the first of three season openers between the Oilers/Titans and Jaguars prior to this week’s game. The Titans were victorious in the other two contests as well, taking the Kickoff Weekend matchup in both 2007 and 2008.
Titans-Jaguars: The Last Meeting
Jacksonville Jaguars 17 at Tennessee Titans 6
In Week 13 of the 2010 season, the Jaguars used 53 rushing attempts for 258 yards to defeat the Titans 17-6 at LP Field. Tennessee lost its fifth consecutive game after beginning the season with a 5-2 record.
The Jaguars scored all of their points in the first half, capping three of their four drives in the first two quarters with scores. The Titans were able to keep the Jaguars off the scoreboard in the second half and generated more opportunities of their own, but they were prevented from reaching the end zone for a second consecutive game.
The Jaguars outgained the Titans 377 total yards to 220. They controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes and did not commit a turnover.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew led the team with 186 rushing yards on 31 carries. His backup, Rashad Jennings, added 10 rushes for 44 yards and one touchdown.
Meanwhile, quarterback David Garrard was an efficient 14-of-19 for 126 yards. He added 10 rushes for 19 yards and a touchdown.
The Jaguars got on the scoreboard early with a methodical first series. They marched 77 yards on 12 plays, taking more than six-and-a-half minutes on a drive in which they totaled 71 rushing yards and attempted just one pass. On fourth-and-one from the Tennessee 11, Jennings capped the series with a touchdown run.
In the second quarter, the Jaguars used similar methods to score their second touchdown. After Kerry Collins was intercepted by Jaguars cornerback Derek Cox, the Jaguars began the drive on their own 43-yard line. Seven minutes and 33 seconds later, Garrard scored on a four-yard run to help build a 14-0 lead. During the 13-play series, the Jaguars converted three third downs and rushed for 41 yards.
At the end of the first half, the Jaguars drove 49 yards on nine plays before Josh Scobee booted a 26-yard field goal as time expired.
The Titans defense forced the Jaguars to punt to open the second half. The offense took control at their own 19-yard line and produced their first scoring drive of the game. After Justin Gage caught a 25-yard pass and Chris Johnson gained 21 yards on a rushing play,
Rob Bironas kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut Jacksonville’s lead to 17-3.
The Jaguars had a chance to add to their lead, but a 49-yard field goal by Scobee was blocked by Jacob Ford. The Titans took over and went 49 yards before Bironas kicked a field goal from 30 yards.
In the fourth quarter, a 48-yard attempt by Scobee missed after bouncing off the right upright. The Titans, however, were unable to capitalize, as a fourth-down pass from Collins to Nate Washington fell incomplete.
The Jaguars lost the ball on downs, but on Tennessee’s final series, Collins’ pass to Jared Cook was intercepted by cornerback William Middleton.
Topics104-5 The Zone, AFC South, Blaine Gabbert, CBS, Chris Johnson, Cody Allison, Dan Fouts, David Garrard, Derek Cox, Derrick Mason, EverBank Field, Frank Wycheck, Houston Oilers, Ian Eagle, Jack Del Rio, Jack Locker, Jacksonville FL, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacob Ford, Jake Scott, Jared Cook, Josh Scobee, Justin Gage, K.S. Bud Adams Jr., Kerry Collins, Larry Stone, LP field, Matt hasselbeck, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Roos, Mike Keith, Mike Munchak, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Rob Bironas, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Steve McNair, Super Bowl, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Vince Young, William Middleton, WTVF-News Channel 5
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