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Tennessee Titans (5-5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)
Nashville, TN – The Titans (5-5) return to LP Field (capacity 69,143) this week after two games on the road. They square off against their third consecutive opponent from the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6), on Sunday, November 20th.
Kickoff is scheduled for noon CST. The Titans are 7-2 all-time against the Buccaneers, including a 6-0 mark at home. However, the Buccaneers got the better of the Titans in the most recent matchup, winning 13-10 at Raymond James Stadium in 2007.
After that game, the Titans went on a 12-game winning streak against NFC clubs. They have won 13 of their last 15 games against the NFC, and their .711 interconference winning percentage since 2002 realignment ranks third in the NFL.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX 17. Dick Stockton will handle play-by-play duties, while John Lynch 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.
Additionally, Westwood One Radio Sports will carry the national radio broadcast. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Mark Malone (analyst) will have the call.
The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.
The Titans staged a late rally last week at Atlanta but ultimately fell short in a 23-17 loss. The Falcons built a 23-3 lead in the second half, only to watch Titans rookie quarterback Jake Locker threaten their once-comfortable lead.
Starter Matt Hasselbeck left the game in the third quarter after sustaining a right elbow injury. Locker entered, and on his third play, he recorded his first career touchdown pass, connecting with wide receiver Nate Washington on a 40-yard score. Later, Locker converted a fourth-and-17 with a 22-yard pass to Jared Cook and added a 32-yard completion to Lavelle Hawkins. Then, Locker and Washington connected again, this time for a four-yard touchdown.
The Falcons, however, would not allow the Titans a final opportunity at the go-ahead score, grinding out the final three minutes in the fourth quarter. Locker finished the game with nine completions and 140 yards on 19 attempts, while Washington recorded a career-high nine receptions for 115 yards. The Titans remain in second place in the AFC South after the loss. At 7-3, the Houston Texans lead the division and this week travel to face the third-place Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7). The Indianapolis Colts (0-10) are in fourth place in the division.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers arrive in Tennessee to play their second consecutive road game. Last week they traveled to Green Bay and fell to the undefeated Packers by a final score of 35-26, giving the Bucs four consecutive losses after starting their season 4-2.
Under head coach Raheem Morris, who is in his third season as head coach, the Buccaneers are in third place in the NFC South, trailing the New Orleans Saints (7-3) and Falcons (6-4). One of the NFC’s top young quarterbacks, Josh Freeman, was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2009, the same year Morris took control of the team. Freeman, a former first-round pick from Kansas State, has started 35 games in his first three seasons and has passed for more than 7,800 yards.
Another one of the Buccaneers’ young standouts is running back LeGarrette Blount, who was originally signed by the Titans as an undrafted rookie in 2010. After he was waived by the Titans, he was claimed by the Buccaneers, and in 21 games in Tampa Bay, he has rushed for 1,548 yards.
Prior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual Titans Foundation Coat Drive. New and used coats can be dropped off at one of several collection sites around LP Field. The donated coats subsequently will be delivered to Middle Tennessee non-profit agencies.
Titans-Buccaneers Series At A Glance
What To Look For This Week
This is the last of three consecutive games for the Titans against NFC South opponents.
K Rob Bironas enters the game with a streak of 14 consecutive made field goals, which is tied for the sixth-longest streak in franchise history.
QB Matt Hasselbeck can record the 24th 300-yard passing game of his career.
RB Chris Johnson can record the 27th 100-yard rushing game of his career and his third 100-yard game of 2011.
RB Chris Johnson needs one rushing touchdown to pass Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team’s all-time list.
T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 107th consecutive start.
G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 115th consecutive start.
WR Nate Washington (616 receiving yards in 2011) needs 72 receiving yards to set a career high for a season (687 in 2010).
WR Damian Williams can post his fifth touchdown in an eightgame span.
Titans-Buccaneers Series History
This week marks the 10th all-time regular-season meeting between the Titans and Buccaneers. In the first nine games, the Titans built a 7-2 record in the series, which dates back to Tampa Bay’s expansion season of 1976. The Titans won five consecutive meetings from 1989 through 2003.
The first game between the two franchises was a historic occasion. On Sept. 12, 1976, the Buccaneers, led by head coach John McKay and quarterback Steve Spurrier, played the inaugural game in team history against the Oilers at the Astrodome. The Oilers, coached by Bum Phillips and quarterbacked by Dan Pastorini, won the game by a final score of 20-0.
The Titans have hosted six of the nine meetings in the series. They have traveled to Tampa Bay for a regular season game on three occasions and just two times in Raymond James Stadium, which opened in 1998.
In the last meeting in Tampa Bay in 2007, the Buccaneers wrestled away a 13-10 victory over the Titans. They used a 43-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 11 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to capture the win. Earlier in the game, Titans quarterback Vince Young suffered a leg injury, bringing on then-back-up Kerry Collins. Collins engineered an 86-yard, game-tying drive just prior to Tampa Bay’s clinching drive.
The last regular season matchup between the Titans and Buccaneers at LP Field was the 2003 regular season finale (12/28/03). Sparked by the return of Neil O’Donnell to the starting lineup (Steve McNair and Billy Volek were out with injuries), the Titans won the game 33-13 en route to their Wild Card playoff berth. O’Donnell passed for 232 yards, including two touchdown passes to Derrick Mason, and Gary Anderson kicked four field goals to give the team their 12th victory of the season.
Titans-Buccaneers: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 10 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13
Matt Bryant kicked a 43-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Buccaneers to a 13-10 victory over the Titans at Raymond James Stadium.
Bryant’s kick capped a seven-play, 55-yard drive that began with 1:17 on the clock. Four consecutive pass completions by quarterback Jeff Garcia, including a crucial 28-yard pass to Ike Hilliard on a third-and-10 play, helped to position the Bucs for the Bryant field goal.
Prior to that series, Titans quarterback Kerry Collins directed a 13-play, 86-yard drive that used over six minutes of the clock. Collins, who was playing in relief of an injured Vince Young, completed four of seven pass attempts on the drive, including a 42-yard completion to wide receiver Justin Gage.
The drive appeared to stall when Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber grabbed a Collins pass intended for running back LenDale White in the end zone. However, the Titans challenged the ruling on the field and retained possession after it was ruled Barber caught the ball out of bounds. White capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to tie the contest at 10-10.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Titans moved the ball into Buccaneers territory early in the second quarter. However, a mishandled exchange between Young and running back Chris Brown resulted in a fumble recovery by Bucs defensive end Patrick Chukwurah.
Tampa Bay then drove 59 yards, and Bryant kicked a 23-yard field goal to provide the game’s first points midway through the second quarter. The Titans were in similar position on their next series, but cornerback Phillip Buchanon intercepted a Young pass at Tampa Bay’s five-yard line to end another Titans threat.
The Titans received the kickoff to begin the second half and marched 45 yards on 12 plays. The drive took 7:08 off the clock and ended with a 48-yard field goal from Rob Bironas.
It was on the next offensive possession that Young’s day ended. On first-and-10 at the Tennessee 25-yard line, he scrambled left for two yards and then went down out of bounds with an injury to his right quadriceps. After Tennessee punted, it took the Buccaneers three plays to take a 10-3 lead, courtesy of a 69-yard pass play from Garcia to wide receiver Joey Galloway.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Titans seemed poised to strike back. They drove to the Buccaneers’ 17-yard line, but consecutive sacks by Jovan Haye and Kevin Carter took the Titans out of field goal range. That set the stage for the late-game dramatics by the Titans offense and then by Garcia and the Buccaneers offense.
Topics104-5 The Zone, AFC South, Astrodome, Atlanta Falcons, Billy Volek, Bum Phillips, Chris Brown, Chris Johnson, Cody Allison, Damian Williams, Dan Pastorini, Derrick Mason, Dick Stockton, Fox, Frank Wycheck, Gary Anderson, Green Bay Packers, Houston Oilers, Houston Texans, Ike Hilliard, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jake Scott, Jared Cook, Jeff Garcia, Joey Galloway, John Lynch, John McKay, Josh Freeman, Jovan Haye, Justin Gage, Kansas State, Kerry Collins, Kevin Carter, Kevin Kugler, Larry Stone, Lavelle Hawkins, LeGarrette Blount, LenDale White, LP field, Mark Malone, Matt Bryant, Matt Haselbeck, Matt hasselbeck, Michael ross, Middle Tennessee, Mike Keith, Mike Munchak, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, Neil O'Donnell, New Orleans Saints, NFC South, NFL, Patrick Chukwurah, Phillip Buchanon, Raheem Morris, Raymond James Stadium, Rob Bironas, Steve McNair, Steve Spurrier, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Titans Foundation Coat Drive, Touchdown, Vince Young, WJZM 1400 AM
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