Monday, September 25, 2023
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Tennessee Titans Week 1 Release

The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open the 2023 season this week with a trip to face the New Orleans Saints (0-0). Kickoff at the Caesars Superdome (73,000) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Sunday’s showdown marks the second all-time season opener between the Titans and Saints franchises and the second in New Orleans. They met in the Crescent City on Sept. 5, 1993, when the Saints won 33-21 over the Oilers in a Sunday night contest.

The Titans head to New Orleans with a two-game winning streak in Week 1 road contests. They won at Cleveland and Denver in 2019 and 2020, respectively, before dropping their last two openers at home in 2021 (Arizona) and 2022 (New York Giants).

The contest will be regionally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5, as well as on Paramount+ in the Nashville market. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Chris Lewis, analysts Jason McCourty and Ross Tucker, and reporter Amanda Guerra.

Fans in Nashville can stream live Titans games on mobile devices with NFL+, which offers access to local games and all primetime games on phones and tablets. More information on ways to watch NFL games can be found here. The Titans Radio Network and Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone carry all Titans games across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Ramon Foster and gameday host Rhett Bryan. Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-byplay announcer John Ahlers and analyst Brandon Noble have the call.

The Titans, who went 2-1 during the preseason, are in their sixth season with head coach Mike Vrabel at the helm. Since being hired in 2018, the 2021 AP NFL Coach of the Year has directed the team to four winning records, three playoff appearances and two division titles.

Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill enters his 12th year in the NFL and his fifth year with the organization. He ranks first in franchise history in career passer rating (100.5) and completion percentage (66.9), fifth in career passing touchdowns (89), and sixth in passing yards (12,831).

Three-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry looks to continue his assault on the team’s record books in his eighth pro season. Last year he moved into first place in franchise history in career rushing touchdowns (78) and total touchdowns (81), and he sits in third place on the franchise rushing charts with 8,335 career yards, behind only Eddie George (10,009) and Earl Campbell (8,574). Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2016.

The Titans have multiple returning players who have earned Pro Bowl recognition during their time with the club: Tannehill, Henry, long snapper Morgan Cox, safety Kevin Byard, defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and outside linebacker Harold Landry III. Prior to training camp, they signed five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who arrives in Tennessee with 853 career receptions—the most in the NFL over the past 10 seasons. Additional veteran members of the roster scheduled to make their Titans regular-season debuts include outside linebacker Arden Key, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and offensive linemen Daniel Brunskill and Andre Dillard. First-round offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (11th overall) headlines a six-member draft class.

The Saints were 2-1 during the preseason under Dennis Allen, who was named head coach in 2022 after serving six-and-a-half seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator. He also was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2012 to 2014. In 2022, the Saints finished in third place in the NFC South with a 7-10 record, including wins in three of their last four games. They ranked fifth in total defense (314.8 yards per game), second in passing defense (184.4), ninth in scoring defense (20.3 points per game) and tied for fifth in sacks (48).

The Saints are led at quarterback by four-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr, who they signed as a free agent during the offseason. Carr previously spent nine seasons with the Raiders, starting 142 career games and passing for 35,222 yards and 217 touchdowns with a 91.8 career passer rating.

Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 9-6-1. Regular season series: 9-6-1. Postseason series: None. Total points: Titans 364, Saints 342. Current streak: One win by Titans. Titans at home vs. Saints: 3-4-1. Titans on the road vs. Saints: 6-2. Longest winning streak by Titans: 4 (1996–2007). Longest losing streak by Titans: 3 (1981–1987). Titans vs. Saints at Nissan Stadium: 2-2. Last time at Nissan Stadium: Saints 21 at TITANS 23. 11-14-21). Titans vs. Saints at Caesars Superdome: 6-2. Last Time at Caesars Superdome: TITANS 34 at Saints. 8 (OT) (11-8-15) First time: Saints 13 at Oilers 13 (10-3-71). Mike Vrabel’s record vs. Saints: 1-1. Dennis Allen’s record vs. Titans: 0-1 (0-1 with Raiders). Mike Vrabel’s record vs. Dennis Allen: 0-0

Improve the franchise’s all-time opening game record to 33-31. Give the Titans their sixth win in their last seven Week 1 road contests. It would be their third consecutive win in Week 1 games played on the road. Improve Mike Vrabel’s career record to 51-37 as a head coach, including regular season and playoffs. Improve the Titans’ all-time record against the Saints to 10-6-1. Improve QB Ryan Tannehill’s combined starting record in the regular season and playoffs to 81-68, including a 39-22 record with the Titans.

In head-to-head regular season matchups, the Titans and Saints have played a total of 16 times, with the Titans holding a 9-6-1 advantage. That includes a four-game winning streak by the Titans that was broken with a Saints victory in 2011. The last four outcomes have been split evenly, 2-2, with three of those four contests played at Nissan Stadium.

The last time the Titans played in New Orleans was Nov. 8, 2015, a game the Titans won in overtime by a final score of 34-28. It was the first game the Titans played under then-interim head coach Mike Mularkey. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota’s fourth touchdown pass of the game was the game-winner in overtime.

While the teams are infrequent adversaries and the Saints have made only four appearances in Tennessee since the Oilers moved from Houston in 1997, the Saints visited Nissan Stadium in 2019 and 2021.

On Dec. 22, 2019, the Saints erased a 14-0 Titans lead to win 38-28, defeating a Titans team that was without running back Derrick Henry for the first and only time during the season. Wide receiver Michael Thomas caught 12 passes from Drew Brees for 136 yards, including a late score to seal the New Orleans victory.

On Nov. 14, 2021, the Titans hosted the Saints and earned a 23- 21 victory. The Titans defense tallied four sacks—including two sacks by Jeffery Simmons—and stopped the Saints on a late two-point conversion that would have tied the score at 23-23. Ryan Tannehill passed for a touchdown and rushed for another score in the win.

The Titans played a memorable primetime game at Caesars Superdome on Monday night, Sept. 24, 2007. Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck recorded a career-high three interceptions, tying a franchise record, in helping the team to a 31-14 win.

The initial regular season matchup between the Saints and the then Houston Oilers occurred 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 Titans and Saints have a long preseason history. In 30 meetings in the preseason, the Saints lead 15-14-1. They met every preseason from 1968-87, and only the Dallas Cowboys have played the Oilers/Titans more often in the preseason (34 games) than the Saints.

2021 Week 10 • Nov. 14, 2021 • Saints 21 at TITANS 23
The Titans preserve a victory by thwarting a two-point conversion by the Saints and recovering an onside kick with less than two minutes remaining … The Titans defense records four sacks of Trevor Siemian (all in the first half), including two by Jeffery Simmons … Ryan Tannehill rushes for a oneyard touchdown and tosses a two-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt … The Titans recover a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half and convert the turnover to a touchdown … The Saints miss a pair of extra point attempts in addition to their failed two-point try … Titans receiver Marcus Johnson leads the club with five receptions for 100 yards.

2023 National Football League Schedule, Book 1

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