Tennessee Titans (0-0) vs. Washington Redskins (0-0)
Thursday, August 8th, 2013 • 7:00pm CDT
LP Field • Nashville, TN • TV: WKRN
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open their 2013 preseason schedule this week at home against the Washington Redskins (0-0). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7:00pm CDT on Thursday, August 8th.
The Redskins have visited LP Field on three previous occasions, twice in the regular season (2002 and 2010) and once in preseason (2007). In the all-time regular-season series, the Titans hold a slight 6-5 advantage.
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 and sideline reporter Cody Allison.
The Titans begin their third preseason under head coach Mike Munchak, now in his 32nd season as a player or coach with the franchise. His total of 15 wins from 2011-12 was the third highest number in team history in a head coach’s first two full seasons.
For the first time since being drafted with the eighth overall pick in 2011, Jake Locker enters the preseason with Tennessee’s starting quarterback job. The third-year pro was a backup behind Matt Hasselbeck as a rookie in 2011, and in 2012, the two battled for the starter’s role through the offseason and training camp.
With two preseason games remaining, Munchak announced that Locker would get the nod. Locker’s statistics through two campaigns include 211-of-380 passing for 2,718 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, plus two additional rushing touchdowns.
Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster oversaw significant changes to the team during the 2013 offseason. Through free agency and the draft, the Titans added more than two dozen new faces.
The new veterans include safeties George Wilson (Buffalo Bills) and Bernard Pollard (Baltimore Ravens), guard Andy Levitre (Buffalo Bills), tight end Delanie Walker (San Fancisco 49ers), running back Shonn Greene (New York Jets), linebacker Moise Fokou (Indianapolis Colts) and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (Detroit Lions).
Levitre (left guard) and Warmack (right guard) are likely to figure prominently in a revamped offensive line that also includes stalwart bookend tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart.
While the center spot is up for grabs, the improved unit will be better equipped to protect Locker and open holes for running back Chris Johnson, who enters his sixth NFL season. Since Johnson entered the league in 2008, only the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (7,508) has more rushing yards than his 6,888.
Led by head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins won the NFC East Division last year, winning their last seven regular-season games to finish with a 10-6 record. Their run came to a finish with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card playoff round.
Washington’s quarterback, Robert Griffin III, was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, capping a memorable season in which he passed for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns while also rushing for 815 yards and seven scores. The second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft spent the offseason recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the playoff loss against the Seahawks.
Griffin and fellow 2012 rookie, running back Alfred Morris (1,613 yards), helped the Redskins rank first in the league in rushing last season. They were fifth in total offense.
The 2012 Redskins also ranked third in turnover ratio (plus-17), fourth in scoring (436 points) and fifth in rushing defense.
Titans-Redskins Series History
The Titans-Redskins rivalry dates back to 1971, a year after the merger of the American Football League and National Football League. The Redskins defeated the then-Houston Oilers by a final score of 22-13 on October 10th, 1971 in the first of 11 meetings in the regular season.
In 1975, the Oilers earned a 13-10 win over the Redskins, giving them their first franchise win over an NFC team. Tennessee holds a 6-5 advantage in the series, including a 3-2 record at home and 3-2 mark on the road against the Redskins.
In the most recent matchup between the two clubs, the Titans hosted the Redskins on November 21st, 2010. Titans rookie Marc Mariani returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown, and Rob Bironas booted three field goals, but it was not enough in what ultimately was a 19-16 overtime loss. Rookie Rusty Smith finished the game at quarterback for the Titans after starter Vince Young injured his right thumb in the third quarter.
The first time the Redskins played at LP Field was October 6th, 2002. With Steve Spurrier in his first season has head coach, Washington’s defense held Eddie George to just 26 rushing yards and kept Tennessee off the board in the second half, and Redskins rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey came off the bench to lead his team to a 31-14 victory. Following that game, the Titans went on to win 11 of their next 12 games, including an AFC Divisional Playoff game, before falling to the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship.
On August 12th, 1995, an historic preseason game was played when the then-Houston Oilers traveled to Knoxville, TN, to play a preseason game with the Redskins. The teams spent the previous two days practicing together at Maryville College outside of Knoxville. The same weekend, owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. entered into an exclusive negotiating period with the city of Nashville to relocate the Oilers to Tennessee. An agreement was finalized by November of the same year.
Titans-Redskins: The Last Meeting
Washington Redskins 19 at Tennessee Titans 16 (OT)
Sunday, November 21st, 2010
LP Field, Nashville, TN
A total of nine field goals were attempted between the Titans and Redskins in Week 11 of the 2010 season. The final one, a 48-yarder by Graham Gano in overtime, gave the Redskins a 19-16 victory at LP Field.
The game winner came after the Titans were called for a combined 35 yards of penalties on the Redskins’ lone drive of the extra period. A key moment occurred with the Redskins facing a second-and-22 from their own 27. Cornerback Alterraun Verner appeared to intercept a Donovan McNabb pass and then returned the ball to the Washington 33.
However, the ruling was changed to an incomplete pass after a booth review revealed the ball hit the ground. Furthermore, Jason Babin was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty at the end of the play to give the Redskins a first down.
Another personal foul penalty was called on linebacker Will Witherspoon, and finally, an illegal contact infraction on Verner gave the Redskins a first down at the Tennessee 25. Four plays later, Gano’s kick ended the game.
The Titans were trying to win the game in overtime with third-string quarterback Rusty Smith. Starter Vince Young was injured in the third quarter after completing 12 of 16 passes for 165 yards. Smith was called upon because Kerry Collins, normally the team’s second-string signal caller, was listed against the Redskins as the inactive/third quarterback due to a calf injury.
The Redskins came right back to take the lead with two long scoring drives. McNabb found Santana Moss in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass, capping a 79-yard drive that evened the score at 7-7. Then, at the conclusion of a 72-yard drive, Gano booted a 19-yard field goal to give the Redskins the lead.
The Titans eventually regained the lead with a pair of field goals by Rob Bironas. A 73-yard drive ended with a 25-yard field goal, and then, after Gano missed a 51-yard attempt at the end of the first half that would have given the Redskins the lead, the Titans scored on their first drive of the third quarter. Bironas capped a 66-yard series with a 32-yard field goal.
Soon after a 40-yard field goal by Gano tied the score, the Titans were forced to make a quarterback change. On a 37-yard completion to Nate Washington with 2:50 on the clock in the third quarter, Young hurt his right thumb, and Smith entered. On Smith’s second pass, a 36-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss was called back for offensive pass interference.
In the fourth quarter, Smith recorded his first career completion, locating Washington for a 52-yard pass. That led to a 40-yard field goal by Bironas that put the Titans in front 16-13. But Gano quickly tied the score again with a 42-yard field goal.
The Redskins were in position to win at the end of regulation, but a 47-yard attempt by Gano was short.
The Titans received the ball to start overtime but could only muster one first down, setting the stage for the Redskins’ game-winning drive.