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HomeSportsTennessee Titans Host the New Orleans Saints at LP Field Sunday

Tennessee Titans Host the New Orleans Saints at LP Field Sunday

Tennessee Titans (7-5) vs. New Orleans Saints (9-3)
Sunday, December 11th, 2011 • Noon CST • LP Field • Nashville, TN. • TV: FOX

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – The Titans (7-5) begin the final quarter of their season this week, welcoming the New Orleans Saints (9-3), the leaders of the NFC South, to LP Field (capacity 69,143). Kickoff is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, December 11th.

In 12 all-time meetings between the two franchises, the Titans lead the series 7-4-1, including a current four-game winning streak that dates back to 1996. Most recently, the Titans won a Monday night game at the Louisiana Superdome by a final score of 31-14 on September 24th, 2007. The Titans and Saints also have squared off in the final week of the preseason in each of the last two years.

With four games remaining on the schedule, the Titans remain in the playoff chase. They are in second place in the AFC South, trailing the 9-3 Houston Texans, but they also are in the Wild Card hunt.

Aside from the Texans, the AFC’s current division leaders include New England (9-3) in the East, Baltimore (9-3) in the North and Denver (7-5) in the West. Among the Wild Card hopefuls are the Titans, Pittsburgh (9-3), Cincinnati (7-5), Oakland (7-5) and the New York Jets (7-5). Four division winners and two Wild Card teams advance from each conference.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX 17. Joe Buck will handle play-by-play duties, while Troy Aikman provides analysis and Pam Oliver reports from the sidelines.

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 has the national radio broadcast. Howard David (play-by-play) and Tony Boselli (analyst) will have the call.

The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.

Last Week

Tennessee TitansThe Titans traveled to Buffalo last week and used a pair of touchdowns from running back Chris Johnson, three field goals by Rob Bironas and a pair of fumble recoveries by rookie middle linebacker Colin McCarthy to escape with a 23-17 victory.

Johnson recorded his third 100-yard rushing performance in the last four weeks, totaling 153 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Following up on his 190-yard performance the previous week against Tampa Bay, Johnson reached the 150-yard rushing mark in back-to-back weeks for the second time in his career, and his two-week total of 343 rushing yards is the third-highest of his four-year career.

Since recording his first career start at Carolina on November 13th, McCarthy, a fourth-round pick out of the University of Miami (FL), leads the Titans in tackles and has two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Against the Bills, he forced and recovered a fumble on one play and added another fumble recovery later in the contest.

The Saints

New Orlean SaintsLed by head coach Sean Payton, the Saints are in first place in the NFC South and are trying to earn their third consecutive playoff berth. Last week at the Louisiana Superdome, they defeated the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football by a final score of 31-17.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on a record-setting pace in 2011. Directing the NFL’s top ranked offense (448.7 yards per game), he leads the NFL with 4,031 passing yards, within range of Dan Marino’s 1984 record of 5,084 yards at Brees’ current rate of 336 passing yards per game.

Brees’ primary target this season has been second-year tight end Jimmy Graham. A third-round pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2010, Graham is the NFL’s second-leading receiver with 75 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.

Toys For Tots

Toys for TotsPrior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve stationed outside of the gates at LP Field. All toys collected during the drive will be used in the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and distributed to children in Middle Tennessee.

Titans-Saints Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 7-4-1
  • Regular Season Series: Titans lead 7-4-1
  • Postseason Series: None
  • Total Points: Titans 262, Saints 233
  • Current streak: Four wins by Titans
  • Titans at home vs. Saints: 2-2-1
  • Titans on the road vs. Saints: 5-2
  • Longest Winning Streak by Titans: 4 (1996-present)
  • Longest Losing Streak by Titans: 3 (1981-87)
  • Titans vs. Saints at LP Field: 1-0
  • Last Time at LP Field: Saints 12 at Titans 27 (9/21/03)
  • Titans vs. Saints at Superdome: 5-2
  • Last Time at Superdome: Titans 31 at Saints 14 (9/24/07)
  • First Time: Saints 13 at Oilers 13 (10/3/71)
  • Mike Munchak’s Record vs. Saints: 0-0
  • Sean Payton’s Record vs. Titans: 0-1
  • Mike Munchak’s Record vs. Sean Payton: 0-0

What To Look For This Week

K Rob Bironas (87 points) needs 13 points for his fifth consecutive 100-point season.

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

QB Matt Hasselbeck needs 343 passing yards to give him his eighth career 3,000-yard passing season.

RB Chris Johnson can record the 29th 100-yard rushing game of his career, his third consecutive 100-yard game and his fifth 100-yard game of 2011. He has reached the mark in three of the last four games.

RB Chris Johnson can record 150 or more rushing yards for the third consecutive week, which would mark the first time in his four year career he accomplished the feat.

Rookie LB Colin McCarthy can record his third consecutive game with a forced fumble, fumble recovery or interception.

T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 109th consecutive start.

G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 117th consecutive start.

WR Nate Washington (668 receiving yards in 2011) needs 20 receiving yards to set a career high for a season (687 in 2010).

WR Nate Washington can extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 59 (45 games with the Titans).

Titans-Saints Series History

In head-to-head regular season matchups, the Titans and Saints have played a total of 12 times, with the Titans holding a 7-4-1 advantage. That includes a current four-game winning streak by the Titans dating back to 1996.

The first regular season game between the Saints and the then-Houston Oilers occured in 1971, five seasons after the Saints began play as an expansion franchise in the NFL. The game resulted in a 13-13 score, one of the six ties in Oilers/Titans history.

The last time the Saints visited LP Field in the regular season was September 21st, 2003. On that day, the Titans earned a 27-12 victory behind 100 rushing yards by Eddie George and 252 passing yards from Steve McNair.

Most recently, the Titans and Saints met on Monday Night Football on September 24th, 2007 at the Louisiana Superdome. Vince Young passed for a pair of touchdowns, and linebackerKeith Bulluck recorded a career-high three interceptions.

Additionally, the Titans and Saints have a long-standing preseason rivalry. In 28 meetings in the preseason, the Saints lead 14-13-1. The two teams met every preseason from 1968-87, and no team has played the Saints in the preseason more than the Titans. As for the Titans, the Dallas Cowboys are the only team that has played the Oilers/Titans more often in the preseason (35 games) than the Saints. The Titans have won the last two preseason matchups with the Saints, 27-24 at LP Field on September 2nd, 2010 and 32-9 at the Superdome on September 1st, 2011.

Titans-Saints: The Last Meeting

Tennessee Titans 31 at New Orleans Saints 14
Monday, September 24th, 2007
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA.

In Week 3 of the 2007 season, the Titans traveled to New Orleans. In their first Monday Night Football game since the 2004 season, the Titans scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Saints 31-14.

The Titans forced five Saints turnovers — four interceptions and one fumble — including three interceptions by linebacker Keith Bulluck. It was the first multiple-interception game of Bulluck’s career, and he also tied the team single-game record and the league Monday night record.

It was another interception, one by nickel defensive back Vincent Fuller with 2:39 to play in the fourth quarter, that sealed the game when Fuller returned it 61 yards for a touchdown.

The Titans controlled the game early and built a 10-0 lead. They sustained long drives in each of their first three offensive series, including a six-minute drive to open the game that ended only after a fumbled snap knocked them out of field goal range and forced a punt. Their next possession ended in a 33-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. On the ensuing possession, the Saints elected to try for a first down on fourth-and-one from their own 45-yard line. When a long pass attempt sailed off target, the Titans took over and eventually scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Vince Young to Brandon Jones two minutes into the second quarter.

Both teams each had an interception and a punt before the Saints mounted a sustained drive at the end of the first half. The 11-play drive ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Reggie Bush.

The Saints took the lead midway through the third quarter when Bush scored on a second one-yard run, giving them a 14-10 lead.

On the kickoff that followed, rookie Michael Griffin sparked the team with a 48-yard return to the Tennessee 43-yard line. It set up a nine-play, 57-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by LenDale White.

The touchdown drive featured runs on seven of the nine plays.

With the Saints driving to the Tennessee 42-yard line on their next possession, defensive end Travis LaBoy sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees and forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Randy Starks. The turnover was the first of four by the Saints in the final quarter of play. The Titans promptly drove down the field and took a 24-14 lead when Young found tight end Bo Scaife on a three-yard touchdown pass.

Bulluck intercepted his second pass of the evening on the next drive and returned it 35 yards. However, a missed field goal by the Titans with 4:49 remaining in the game kept the Saints within 10 points.

But Fuller, on a pass tipped by Cortland Finnegan, recorded his first career interception and returned it for a touchdown to put the game out of reach. Bulluck added his third interception later to give the Titans a five-to-one turnover ratio in the game.

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