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Tennessee Titans (0-0) vs. New England Patriots (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 9th, 2012 • Noon CDT • LP Field • Nashville, TN • TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open the regular season this week by hosting the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots (0-0). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, September 9th.
This is the second time the two clubs have met in Week 1 and the first occasion since 1975, when the then-Oilers began their season with a 7-0 victory over New England, one of 15 shutouts in franchise history.
All-time on opening day, the Titans/Oilers are 27-25.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties, while Phil Simms provides 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, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Eli Gold (play-byplay) and Ross Tucker (analyst) have the call.
The game can be heard locally on 1400am WJZM.
Munchak Enters Year Two
The Titans begin their second season under head coach Mike Munchak, who is in his 31st overall season with the franchise. Last year, the former offensive line coach and Hall of Fame guard led the Titans to a second-place finish in the AFC South with a 9-7 record. They finished a game behind the 10-6 division champion Houston Texans and narrowly missed out on a Wild Card playoff berth.
The Titans concluded their preseason slate last week with a 10-6 win over the New Orleans Saints. After dropping their first game of the preseason at Seattle, they came back with consecutive wins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to the third game of the preseason, Munchak announced that Jake Locker would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2012. Locker, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, served as a back-up to Matt Hasselbeck as a rookie. The former Washington Husky passed for 542 yards and four touchdowns without throwing an interception and added a rushing touchdown in limited playing time.
In 2011, the Patriots won their fifth conference title and ninth AFC East crown in the last 12 years under head coach Bill Belichick. They advanced to Super Bowl XLVI, where they lost to the New York Giants by a slim 21-17 margin. The Patriots have won three Super Bowls during Belichick’s tenure.
Tom Brady has been under center for each of those title teams. The two-time NFL MVP is entering his 13th season since being selected out of Michigan in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. In 2011, he passed for 5,235 yards, claiming one of five 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history.
New England was 1-3 during the preseason, including last week’s 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Giants. However, the Patriots rested virtually all of their starters in the loss.
“Code Blue” In Effect This Week
On Friday, September 7th, the Titans are partnering with The Tennessean to present the Code Blue Season Kick-off Pep Rally at Music City Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville from 4:00pm-7:30pm. The free, public event will feature appearances by Titans Cheerleaders, T-Rac and players, a kids area, musical performances and prizes for fans.
More Code Blue elements will be announced later in the week. This is the fifth consecutive season the Titans have held a Code Blue game.
YWCA “Undie Sunday” Drive
Fans attending the game are encouraged to participate in the “Undie Sunday” charitable drive benefitting the YWCA Weaver Domestic Violence Shelter. The YWCA and the Titans are asking fans to provide much-needed new women’s undergarments for shelter residents, including all sizes of underwear, bras and socks. Volunteers will be stationed at several drop sites around LP Field to collect donations.
Titans-Patriots Series At A Glance
A Titans Victory Would
What To Look For This Week
Titans-Patriots Series History
Upon the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Oilers moved to the AFC Central Division, and the Patriots began play in the AFC East. They officially became the New England Patriots in 1971. Since 1989, the Patriots and Titans have met nine times, and all but two of those games were played in New England.
Most recently, the Titans suffered the worst loss in franchise history with a 59-0 defeat in a snowy Gillette Stadium on October 18th, 2009. In the victory, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for 380 yards and six touchdowns. The win gave the Patriots a 22-16-1 overall advantage in the series.
The last time they played at LP Field was the 2006 regular-season finale, when the Titans needed a victory against the Patriots to clinch a playoff berth. However, a 40-23 loss dropped their record to 8-8 and ended their Wild Card hopes.
Prior to the 2006 meeting, the clubs met in New England in a 2003 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium. In the coldest game in Oilers/Titans history (four degrees at kickoff), the Titans fell to the Patriots by a final score of 17-14. The game was tied at 14 going into the fourth quarter, but Adam Vinatieri booted a 46-yard field goal with four minutes to play that would prove to be the game-winner.
Tennessee had a shot at the end as Drew Bennett caught two passes from Steve McNair in the final two minutes, but a third pass to Bennett fell incomplete on fourth-and-12, ending the drive. New England advanced to the AFC Championship and then won Super Bowl XXVIII.
The 2003 playoff game was the second postseason contest between the teams. In a 1978 Divisional Playoff contest, the Oilers traveled to Schaefer Stadium and advanced with a 31-14 win, courtesy of three touchdown passes by Dan Pastorini and 118 rushing yards by Earl Campbell.
Titans-Patriots: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 0 at New England Patriots 59
In Week 6 of the 2009 season, the New England Patriots took early control of a game played in wintry conditions and defeated the Titans 59-0, the largest margin of defeat in Titans history.
A thin layer of snow blanketed the Gillette Stadium turf at kickoff. The official temperature was listed at 39 degrees with the wind gusting up to 24 miles per hour, but it took little time for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to heat up. Brady completed 29 of 34 passes in the game for 380 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions (152.8 rating).
Three of his touchdown passes went to Randy Moss, who had 129 yards, and two touchdowns went to Wes Welker, who recorded a game-high 150 yards receiving.
The final tally for the Patriots included 619 yards, including 426 through the air. By contrast, the Titans had 186 total yards, including minus-seven net passing yards.
Although the Patriots missed a 40-yard field goal attempt on their opening possession, they took the early lead on their next series. On the fifth play of a 79-yard drive, Laurence Maroney took a handoff and went 45 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the first quarter, the Patriots drove 63 yards on seven plays. The drive stalled at the 15-yard line, however, and they settled for a 33-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. In the second quarter, three consecutive turnovers by the Titans in the slippery conditions resulted in touchdowns by the Patriots.
After a LenDale White fumble, which was recovered by defensive back Jonathan Wilhite, the Patriots extended their lead to 17-0 on a flea flicker from Brady to Moss. The Titans lost the ball on their next possession when Kerry Collins was unable to handle the snap from Kevin Mawae. Two plays, later, Brady connected with Moss again, this time for a 28-yard touchdown.
Then, from the Tennessee 37-yard line, Collins attempted a deep pass to Nate Washington, but Patriots cornerback Darius Butler was there for an interception. Four plays into the ensuing drive, Brady dumped the ball to Kevin Faulk on a screen pass, and Faulk went 38 yards for a touchdown and 31-0 lead with 6:30 remaining in the second quarter. Brady added touchdown passes of 30 and five yards to Welker, the second coming just after the two-minute warning in the second quarter.
Early in the second half, the Patriots maintained their pace. They took the opening kickoff in the third quarter and drove 65 yards on nine plays, culminating with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Moss.
Patriots back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer tacked on a one-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter for the game’s final score.
Topics104-5 The Zone, Adam Vinatieri, AFC East, AFC South, American Football League, Arizona Cardinals, Bill Belichick, Boston Patriots, Brian Hoyer, Chris Johnson, Cody Allison, Darius Butler, Drew Bennett, Eli Gold, Farm Bureau Insurance, Frank Wycheck, Gillette Stadium, Houston Oilers, Houston Texans, Jake Locker, Jim Nantz, Jonathan Wilhite, kamerion Wimbley, Kendall Wright, Kerry Collins, Kevin FAulk, Kevin Mawae, Larry Stone, Laurence Maroney, LenDale White, LP field, Matt hasselbeck, Michael Roos, Mike Keith, Mike Munchak, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Draft, Phil Simms, Randy Moss, Rob Bironas, Ross Tucker, Sports USA, Stephen Gostkowski, Steve Hutchinson, Steve McNair, Super Bowl, T-Rac, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders, Titans, Titans Code Blue, Tom Brady, Washington Husky, Wes Welker, WJZM 1400 AM, WTVF NewsChannel 5, YMCA
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