Tennessee Titans (1-1) at New York Giants (1-1)
Sunday, September 26th, 2010 • Noon CDT • New Meadowlands Stadium • East Rutherford, NJ
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (1-1) play their first road game of the 2010 regular season this week, traveling to face the New York Giants (1-1) at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, September 26th.
Located only feet from the former site of Giants Stadium, which housed the team from 1976 through 2009, the New Meadowlands Stadium seats 82,500 fans and was built with a pricetag of $1.6 billion. The 2.1 million square-foot facility was inaugurated in the regular season on September 12th with a 31-18 Giants victory over the Carolina Panthers.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play duties, while Dan Dierdorf will provide color commentary. 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.
The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.
The Titans and Giants each suffered losses last week after scoring big victories in their regular season openers. The Titans defeated the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 but then followed that with a 19-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at LP Field. The Giants, on the heels of a 31-18 home victory over the Carolina Panthers in their opener, traveled to Indianapolis and dropped a 38-14 decision to the Colts.
Despite committing seven turnovers against the Steelers— the most by the Titans in a game since 2000 (November 19th against the Cleveland Browns)—the Titans put themselves in position to potentially tie the game late in the fourth quarter after a Kerry Collins-to-Nate Washington touchdown pass, two-point conversion and onside kick recovery. However, the clock expired with the Titans in Steelers territory.
Defensively, the Titans were stout against the Steelers, who scored their only touchdown on an 89-yard return on the opening kickoff. Tennessee allowed just 127 total net yards, the smallest output by an opponent since December 25th, 2000 against the Dallas Cowboys. Additionally, the Steelers netted only 21 passing yards, the eighth fewest allowed in Titans history and the lowest since allowing nine passing yards in the same contest versus the Cowboys.
At the moment the Titans rank first in the NFL in total defense through two weeks, averaging 206.5 opponent yards per contest.
Meanwhile, the Giants were victimized by a 20-of-26, three-touchdown performance by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The Giants turned the ball over three times and were sacked four times. Their two touchdowns were the result of passes from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.
The Titans vs. The Giants, NFC
The Titans carry a four-game winning streak against the Giants into this week’s contest, including victories in two of the most memorable finishes in recent franchise history. At LP Field in 2006—Vince Young’s eighth career start—they scored 24 points in the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, erasing a 21-0 deficit to win 24-21. Their last road game against the Giants occurred in 2002, when Steve McNair engineered one of his most memorable comebacks to lead the team to a 32-29 overtime victory.
Against NFC teams, the Titans enter this week with a nine-game winning streak. The run dates back to 2007 and includes victories over every team in the NFC North (four wins in 2008) and NFC West (2009), plus the NFC South’s Carolina Panthers (2007). Since NFL realignment in 2002, the Titans have an interconference winning percentage of .719 (23-9), which ranks third in the NFL behind the New England Patriots (.875) and Colts (.788).
What to Look for this Week
- RB Chris Johnson will attempt to record his 18th career 100-yard rushing game.
- RB Chris Johnson (3,410 career rushing yards) needs 17 rushing yards to overtake Mike Rozier (3,426) for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time rushing list, 30 rushing yards to pass Steve McNair (3,439) for fifth place, and 105 rushing yards to move past Hoyle Granger (3,514) for fourth place.
- K Rob Bironas (12 consecutive games with at least one field goal) needs one field goal to break a tie for the second-longest streak in team history with at least one field goal. Gary Anderson also had a 12-game streak in 2003. Bironas holds the club record with a field goal in 19 consecutive games from 2006-07.
- K Rob Bironas (586 career points) needs 12 points to tie George Blanda (598) for second place on the team’s all-time scoring list.
- LB Will Witherspoon and DE Jason Babin could each record a sack for a third consecutive game. . Witherspoon would be the first Titans linebacker to accomplish the feat since Keith Bulluck in 2004.
- DE Derrick Morgan can become the first Titans rookie since Jevon Kearse in 1999 to record at least a half sack in three consecutive games, and Morgan can become the first Titans rookie ever to produce at least a half sack in each of the season’s first three contests.
- Giants linebacker Keith Bulluck was a first-round draft choice for the Titans in 2000. In 10 seasons with the team (2000-09), he became the club’s third all-time leading tackler, totaling 1,265 stops, 18 sacks and 19 interceptions.
Titans-Giants Series History
This week’s game marks the 10th meeting between the Titans and Giants. The Giants hold a 5-4 advantage in the series, which dates back to September 16th, 1973, when the Giants defeated the Houston Oilers 34-14 in the season opener at Yankee Stadium.
Of all opponents that have been in existence since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Giants, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles have played the Oilers/Titans the fewest amount of times— nine games each.
Despite the Giants’ advantage in the series, the Titans, under the direction of head coach Jeff Fisher, have won each of the last four meetings. They won 10-6 in 1997, 28-14 in 2000, 32-29 (overtime) in 2002 and 24-21 in 2006. Fisher’s only loss to the Giants came on November 21st, 1994, his first game as a head coach after replacing Jack Pardee. The Giants won the game on a David Treadwell field goal with two seconds remaining on the clock, giving them a 13-10 win at the Astrodome on Monday Night Football.
The win over the Giants in 2000 was against a team that would eventually win the NFC Championship and play in Super Bowl XXXV. Steve McNair passed for three touchdowns and Eddie George rushed for 125 yards and one touchdown on 35 carries as the Titans held the ball for more than 42 minutes in the game.
On a cold and windy day at the Meadowlands in 2002, McNair helped force overtime with a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion in the final seconds of regulation, and Joe Nedney sealed the win when he connected on a 38-yard field goal. George rushed for 64 yards to pass Earl Campbell as the all-time rushing leader in franchise history.
In 2006, rookie quarterback Vince Young led arguably one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history against the Giants. Down 21-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Titans rallied to score touchdowns on three consecutive drives and then won the game on a 49-yard field goal by kicker Rob Bironas. It tied for the second-biggest comeback in NFL history with 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and was the largest comeback in NFL history (fourth quarter or otherwise) led by a rookie quarterback.
Fisher and Giants head coach Tom Couglin met frequently when Coughlin was with the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher owns an 11-7 mark against Coughlin, including a win in the 1999 AFC Championship game, which sent the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV.