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First Place on the Line as the Tennessee Titans Battle the Houston Texans

 

Tennessee Titans (3-2) vs. Houston Texans (3-3)
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 • Noon CDT • LP Field • Nashville, TN • TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – With first place in the AFC South at stake, the Titans host the Houston Texans this week at LP Field (capacity 69,143). Kickoff is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, October 23rd. Ten seasons into the rivalry, this week’s matchup is the first-ever meeting between the Titans and Texans with sole possession of first place on the line.

The Titans, who have played one fewer game than the Texans, currently sit atop the division standings at 3-2. Tennessee was off last week with a bye. The Texans are 3-3 after dropping their last two games to the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) and Indianapolis Colts (0-6) reside in third and fourth place in the division, respectively.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5. Marv Albert will handle play-by-play duties, while Rich Gannon 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 Look To Build on 3-2 Start

Tennessee TitansBefore their bye, the Titans had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 38-17 defeat at Pittsburgh. They previously defeated the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns in succession.

A stout defense and exemplary quarterback play contributed heavily to Tennessee’s successful start under first-year head coach Mike Munchak. The defense did not allow more than 16 points in any game until the trip to Pittsburgh, and the unit currently ranks sixth in the NFL in points allowed (18.8 per game) and eighth in total yards allowed per contest (325.3). Meanwhile, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has enjoyed one of the best starts of his 13-year career. His total of 1,414 passing yards represents a career high through the first five games of a season, and his nine touchdown passes ties his 2006 career high through five games. Hasselbeck ranks sixth in the NFL and second in the AFC behind only Tom Brady with a passer rating of 95.9.

Texans HelmetOn the opposite sideline, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is once again among the league leaders in several passing categories. He has passed for 1,597 yards (seventh in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns (seventh), while compiling a 90.7 passer rating (11th). The Texans also field a twopronged rushing attack. Last year’s NFL rushing king, former Tennessee Volunteer Arian Foster, has rushed for 305 yards, while second-year running back Ben Tate leads the club with 362 rushing yards.

Head coach Gary Kubiak’s squad recently has battled through a pair of notable injuries to marquee players. Wide receiver Andre Johnson has been inactive the last two weeks with a hamstring injury, and outside linebacker Mario Williams was placed on injured reserve with a season-ending pectoral injury.

Used Cell Phone Drive/Breast Cancer Awareness

The Tennessee Titans support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Fans are encouraged to bring their old cellular phones to the Titans-Texans game and donate them to the Used Cell Phone Drive. The collection will benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers, a non-profit that collects old cell phones, sells them for recycling and then uses the income to purchase prepaid calling cards for U.S. servicemen and women stationed overseas.

Additionally, the Titans will support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a variety of activities, including honoring fullback Ahmard Hall’s mother, Nancy, a breast cancer survivor, as the 12th Titan; turning LP Field pink with posters for fans to hold up simultaneously; and partnering with Saint Thomas Health Systems to honor 12 breast cancer survivors who will lead the Titans on the field before the game. Additionally, players and coaches will wear pink equipment and apparel, while game balls with pink ribbon decals will be used for every down. The first 18,000 fans through the gates also will receiving pink ribbons.

Titans-Texans Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 13-5
  • Regular season series: Titans lead 13-5
  • Postseason series: None
  • Total points: Titans 418, Texans 346
  • Current streak: One win by Titans
  • Titans at home vs. Texans: 7-2
  • Titans on road vs. Texans: 6-3
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 7 (2005-08)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 2 (2004, 2008-09)
  • Titans vs. Texans at LP Field: 7-2
  • Last time at LP Field: Texans 17 at Titans 31 (12/19/10)
  • Titans vs. Texans at Reliant Stadium: 6-3
  • Last time at Reliant Stadium: Titans 0 at Texans 20 (11/28/10)
  • First time: Texans 10 at Titans 17 (11/10/02)
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Texans: 0-0
  • Gary Kubiak’s record vs. Titans: 3-7
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Gary Kubiak: 0-0

What To Look For This Week

This week’s game between the Titans and Texans marks the first time the two clubs have met to determine sole possession of first place in the AFC South Division.

This is the first of three consecutive home games for the Titans.

QB Matt Hasselbeck can record the 24th 300-yard passing game of his career.

RB Chris Johnson can record the 26th 100-yard rushing game of
his career.

RB Chris Johnson needs one rushing touchdown to tie Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team’s
all-time list.

RB Chris Johnson (4,848) needs 152 rushing yards to reach 5,000
for his career.

T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 102nd consecutive start.

G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 110th consecutive start.

Titans-Texans Series History

The Titans-Texans rivalry is in its 10th year since the expansion Texans began play and the AFC South was formed in 2002. In 18 games, the Titans are 13-5 against the Texans, including a 7-2 mark at LP Field and 6-3 record at Reliant Stadium. The teams have split the series in the last three seasons.

The last time the clubs played was December 19th, 2010 at LP Field. The Titans, who entered the game with a six-game losing streak, were able to clinch a 31-17 victory on the strength of 130 rushing yards by Chris Johnson and 128 receiving yards by Kenny Britt. Texans running back Arian Foster, the NFL’s 2010 rushing leader, was limited to 15 yards, while the Titans recorded an interception and four sacks against quarterback Matt Schaub.

Only three weeks earlier (November 28th), the clubs met at Reliant Stadium with a much different outcome—the Texans won by a score of 20-0. Texans cornerback Glover Quin recorded three interceptions off passes by Titans rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who was making his first NFL start. Foster rushed for 143 yards, and Schaub completed two touchdown passes for the Texans in the win.

The Titans have separate winning streaks of four games and seven games in the series, the latter of which was ended at Reliant Stadium on December 14th, 2008.

The Titans franchise has a rich and storied history with the city of Houston. Under owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr., the Titans existed as the Houston Oilers from 1960-96. In Houston, the Oilers won the first two American Football League Championships and made a total of 15 playoff appearances. Eight players that wore a Houston Oilers uniform are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including most recently former quarterback Warren Moon and offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, who currently serves as Titans offensive line coach.

The team moved to Tennessee in 1997 and in 1999 adopted the “Titans” moniker. Adams still makes his home in Houston.

Titans-Texans: The Last Meeting

Houston Texans 17 at Tennessee Titans 31
Sunday, December 19th, 2010
LP Field, Nashville, TN

In Week 15 of the 2010 season, the Titans ended a six-game losing streak with a 31-17 victory over the Houston Texans at LP Field. With touchdowns on their first three offensive possessions, the Titans jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead and never allowed the Texans to get to within 13 points for the remainder of the game.

The Titans benefitted from 130 rushing yards by Chris Johnson and 128 receiving yards from Kenny Britt. Quarterback Kerry Collins completed 14 of 24 passes for 237 yards, two touchdowns and one interception (102.3 rating).

Meanwhile, the Titans limited Arian Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher entering the contest, to 15 yards on 11 carries. With the running game stalled, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub attempted 54 passes, tying what was then a record for the most attempts against the Titans in a game (Eric Zeier, Cleveland, 11/5/95; record since broken). He completed 35 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Titans marched 60 yards for a touchdown on their first possession of the game. A 39-yard pass from Collins to Damian Williams on fourth and eight set up a three-yard touchdown reception by Nate Washington two plays later.

After a three-and-out by the Texans, the Titans struck again. Collins found Britt for a 59-yard gain on a pass that was initially tipped by safety Troy Nolan. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Collins found Justin Gage in the corner of the end zone to put the Titans up 14-0. To round out the first quarter, the Titans scored on a 44-yard drive.

Johnson’s 11-yard touchdown run gave them a 21-0 lead.

The Texans finally cut into Tennessee’s lead midway through the second quarter. At the end of a 12-play, 38-yard drive, Neil Rackers made a 37-yard field goal.

In the final minute of the first half, Titans rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted a pass from Schaub in Houston territory. The turnover led to a 30-yard field goal by Rob Bironas and a 24-3 lead as the clock hit zero at the half.

The Texans opened the third quarter with a 66-yard touchdown drive. On the 10th play of the series, Schaub found wide receiver Andre Johnson for a 12-yard touchdown completion.

Later in the third quarter, the Titans took possession at their own 20-yard line. After a 17-yard reception by Washington and a 13-yard catch by Britt, Johnson rushed for 42 yards to the Houston seven-yard line. On the ensuing play, Johnson’s backup, Javon Ringer, ran the ball over the goal line to put the Titans up 31-10.

The Texans scored their second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, driving 83 yards on 13 plays. Schaub’s four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Walter cut the Titans’ lead to 31-17 but would be their final score of the contest. The Texans decided to attempt an onside kick on the subsequent kickoff, but Gage corralled the ball for the Titans.

The Titans were forced to punt, and the Texans drove to the Tennessee 28-yard line before losing the ball on downs. Two rushing first downs by Johnson allowed the Titans to run out the clock.


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