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HomeSportsTennessee Titans look for home win Sunday against Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans look for home win Sunday against Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans (1-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (5-1)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015 | Noon CDT
Nashville, TN | Nissan Stadium | TV: FOX

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (1-4) host the the Atlanta Falcons (5-1) this week at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143). Kickoff is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, October 25th. The Falcons will appear in a regular season game at Nissan Stadium for only the third time. The Titans took both of the previous two meetings at the venue, winning 30-17 in 1999 and 20-13 in 2007.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on FOX, including Nashville affiliate WZTV FOX 17. Thom Brennaman will handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Charles Davis with Tony Siragusa serving as an on-field analyst.

Tennessee Titans running back Dexter McCluster (22) leaps to avoid a tackle against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Nissan Stadium. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans running back Dexter McCluster (22) leaps to avoid a tackle against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Nissan Stadium. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.

Additionally, Westwood One Sports will broadcast the Titans-Falcons game to a national audience. John Sadak (play-by-play) and Ross Tucker (analyst) will have the call.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee TitansThis week marks the final game for the Titans in a rare span that includes four home games and a bye. They were last on the road at the Cleveland Browns on September 20th, and the next away game they will play is November 1st at the Houston Texans, giving them five weeks during the regular season without a road contest. In the 56-year history of the organization, that has happened only three previous times: 1960, 1964 and 1967.

The Titans hosted the Miami Dolphins last week and fell by a final score of 38-10. The Dolphins forced four turnovers and produced six sacks on defense in the contest, while on the other side of the ball they generated 434 total yards, including 180 rushing yards.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) passes against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Miami won 38-10. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) passes against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Miami won 38-10. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota was 21-of-33 passing for 219 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions against the Dolphins. Through the first five games of his career, the second overall pick owns a 93.2 passer rating, completing 103 passes for 1,239 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions on 161 attempts.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta FalconsAs they try to keep pace in the NFC South with the 5-0 Carolina Panthers, the Falcons will have 10 days to prepare for the Titans. They were in action most recently on Thursday, October 15th at the New Orleans Saints, where they suffered their first loss of the season. Matt Ryan’s 295 yards passing and Devonta Freeman’s 100 yards rushing were not enough to overcome the Saints in a 31-21 defeat.

Nevertheless, the Falcons are off to a laudable start under new head coach Dan Quinn, who was hired during the offseason after coordinating the vaunted Seattle Seahawks defense for the last two years (2013-14). During that time, the Seattle defense allowed a league-low 270.4 yards per game, 15.2 points per game, and 178.8 passing yards per game.

The Falcons suffer no shortage of star power on their veteran roster, beginning with Ryan, the owner of nearly every Falcons passing record. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has topped the 4,000-yard passing mark in each of the last four campaigns and has a franchise-best 29,917 career passing yards. In 2015, he has thrown for 1,751 yards (third in the NFL) to go along with eight touchowns and four interceptions.

Freeman leads the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns and ranks second in the league with 505 rushing yards, complementing the dangerous receiving duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones. The receivers have a total of six Pro Bowls between them—four by White and two by Jones—and this season Jones ranks second in the NFL with 638 receiving yards.

Cell Phones for Soldiers Drive

Fans are encouraged to bring their old cellular phones to the Titans-Falcons game and donate them at collection sites outside of Nissan Stadium. 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.

Titans-Falcons Series at a Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 7-6
  • Regular season series: Titans lead 7-6
  • Postseason series: None
  • Total points: Titans 306, Falcons 321
  • Current streak: One win by Falcons
  • Titans at home vs. Falcons: 5-1
  • Titans on road vs. Falcons: 2-5
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 5 (1993-07)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 3 (1978-84)
  • Titans vs. Falcons at Nissan Stadium: 2-0
  • Last time at Nissan Stadium: Falcons 13 at TITANS 20 (10-7-07)
  • Titans vs. Falcons at Georgia Dome: 2-1
  • Last time at Georgia Dome: Titans 17 at FALCONS 23 (11-20-11)
  • First time: Oilers 10 at FALCONS 20 (12-3-72)
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Falcons: 2-2 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
  • Dan Quinn’s record vs. Titans: 0-0
  • Ken Whisenhunt’s record vs. Dan Quinn: 0-0

A Titans Victory Would

  • Improve the Titans’ all-time regular-season record at Nissan Stadium to 74-58.
  • Improve Marcus Mariota’s starting record to 2-4.
  • Improve Ken Whisenhunt’s career record as a head coach to 53-71 (including playoffs).

What to Look for this Week

The Titans conclude a span of five weeks without a road game, including four home games and a bye.

TE Anthony Fasano (2,928 career receiving yards) needs 72 receiving yards to reach 3,000 for his career.

S Michael Griffin needs one interception to tie Mike Reinfeldt (26 career interceptions) for seventh place on the franchise’s all-time interceptions list.

QB Marcus Mariota needs three touchdown passes to tie Vince Young’s franchise record for touchdown passes as a rookie. Young recorded 12 touchdown passes as a rookie in 2006.

RB Dexter McCluster needs 51 rushing yards to reach 1,000 career rushing yards.

RB Bishop Sankey (728 rushing yards and 206 receiving yards) needs 66 scrimmage yards to reach 1,000 career scrimmage yards.

TE Delanie Walker (145 receptions from 2013-15) needs five receptions to become the fifth tight end in franchise history to reach 150 catches. He would join Frank Wycheck (482), Bo Scaife (251), Alvin Reed (199) and Erron Kinney (178).

Titans-Falcons Series History

After 13 meetings in the regular season, the Titans-Falcons series has trended toward Tennessee after initial dominance by the Falcons. Dating back to 1972, three seasons into the AFL-NFL merger, the Titans are 7-6 against the Falcons, including wins in five consecutive meetings from 1993 to 2007. The Falcons won four out of the first five contests from 1972 to 1984.

The Falcons began to reverse the recent trend, however, on November 20th, 2011, when they defeated the Titans at the Georgia Dome 23-17. Matt Ryan passed for 316 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Turner rushed for 100 yards for the Falcons. It was enough to offset a late comeback attempt by Titans then-rookie quarterback Jake Locker, who completed a pair of second-half touchdown passes to Nate Washington.

The last time the Falcons visited the Titans in the regular season was Week 5 in 2007. A 76-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Vincent Fuller provided the winning margin in a 20-13 Titans win. Despite five Titans turnovers, Tennessee clung to victory by keeping the Falcons under 200 yards of total offense and by limiting the Falcons to 22 percent on third down.

In the closing moments of the game, an athletic, leaping play at the one-yard line by Albert Haynesworth to force an eight yard loss provided the game’s signature moment.

Against the Falcons, the Titans are 2-0 at Nissan Stadium (opened in 1999) and 2-1 at the Georgia Dome (opened in 1992). However, perhaps the most notable Titans game to occur inside the Georgia Dome was not against the Falcons, but rather the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. The Rams withstood a late rally by the Titans and held on to a 23-16 win.

The Titans and Falcons have met in each of the last three preseasons, including a 31-24 Falcons win at the Georgia Dome in the first week of the 2015 preseason (August 14th).

The first preseason game ever played at Nissan Stadium was a 17-3 victory for the Titans over the Falcons on August 27th, 1999.

Titans-Falcons: The Last Meeting

Tennessee Titans 17 at Atlanta Falcons 23
Sunday, November 20th, 2011
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

1 2 3 4 Final
Tennessee Titans 0 3 7 7 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 7 6 10 0 23

 

In Week 11 of the 2011 season, the Falcons jumped out to an early lead and survived a late rally to defeat the Titans 23-17 at the Georgia Dome.

The Titans gave up 432 total yards to the Falcons, lost the time of possession battle by nearly 14 minutes (36:59 to 23:01) and were called for 10 penalties, many at inopportune moments. However, they were still in position late in the game to stage a comeback, led by rookie quarterback Jake Locker.

Titans starter Matt Hasselbeck, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 124 yards and one interception, suffered a right elbow injury in the third quarter. With the Falcons leading 23-3, Locker entered and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Nate Washington, the latter of which came with 3:06 on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Armed with three timeouts, the Titans kicked off to the Falcons, who took possession at their own 20-yard line after a touchback. On the next play, Falcons running back Michael Turner gained 27 yards, giving him 100 yards for the game. Then, on third-and-six from the Tennessee 49, Matt Ryan completed a six-yard pass to wide receiver Harry Douglas, allowing the Falcons to run out the clock.

Good early field position helped the Falcons build a quick lead. The Titans were forced to punt from deep in their own territory after their initial possession, and the Falcons took over on the Tennessee 44-yard line. Five plays later, Ryan found tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

On the Titans’ second possession, a Hasselbeck pass intended for Lavelle Hawkins was intercepted by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson. The Falcons capitalized with a 19-yard field goal by Matt Bryant and added another Bryant field goal (33 yards) on their next drive.

The Titans saved their best offensive effort of the first half for the second period’s final minute. They took over at their own 10-yard line with 1:01 on the clock and went 62 yards on seven plays. Rob Bironas’ 46-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in the half cut the Falcons’ lead to 13-3.

The Falcons took the opening kickoff of the second half and scored their second touchdown of the game, but only after they were helped by a key Titans penalty. On a seven-yard completion by the Falcons on third-and-10, the Titans were whistled for illegal contact. Then, on successive plays, Ryan connected with Roddy White on a 43-yard pass and Turner rumbled into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown.

After Bryant added another field goal, this time from 24 yards, Locker took the field for the Titans. Assisted by a 49-yard kickoff return by Marc Mariani to set up the series, Locker completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Washington on his third pass attempt, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 23-10.

Following an exchange of punts, the Falcons appeared ready to thwart the Titans’ hopes. They drove deep into Titans territory, when an offsides penalty was called on the Titans on fourth-and-one to set up a first-and-goal. But middle linebacker Colin McCarthy delivered a blow on Turner to knock the ball loose, and linebacker Will Witherspoon recovered the fumble.

Locker, who completed nine of 19 passes for 140 yards (107.3 passer rating), directed the offense on what would be Tennessee’s final series of the game. He converted a fourth-and-17 with a 22-yard pass to Jared Cook and found Lavelle Hawkins for a 32-yard gain. Washington scored on a four-yard pass, but it would be the last time the Titans touched the ball.

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