NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (0-1) play their 2018 home opener this week against the AFC South rival Houston Texans (0-1). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Sept. 16.
The Titans and Texans split their series last season, with each club winning at home.
The Titans’ loss at Houston was their lone defeat within the division in 2017.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliat WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon and analyst James Lofton will call the action.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagshi 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and game day hosts Rhett Bryan and Jonathan Hutton.
TITANS HOME AFTER LENGTHY ROAD OPENER
The Titans opened their season last week in Miami, where they endured the longest game in modern annals only to succumb to the Dolphins 27-20.
Due to a pair of extended weather delays during the game, it took 7 hours and 8 minutes from the opening kickoff to the fina whistle, longer than any other game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and easily surpassing the previous record of 5 hours and 16 minutes between the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears on Nov. 17, 2013.
The Titans received significan contributions from several newcomers against the Dolphins. Cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Kenny Vaccaro each posted interceptions in their Titans debuts, while running back Dion Lewis led the club with 110 scrimmage yards —75 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards. All three veterans joined the Titans as free agents in 2018.
Lewis scored one of the team’s two touchdowns on a four-yard run, while the other member of the team to reach the end zone was wide receiver/returner Darius Jennings, who went 94 yards for a score on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota exited the game in the third quarter due to an elbow injury, and another free agent signee, veteran Blaine Gabbert, entered in relief.
Injuries also kept starting left tackle Taylor Lewan and starting tight end Delanie Walker from finishin the game. Walker was placed on injured reserve (leg) the following day.
The Texans arrive in Tennessee for their second consecutive road trip to begin the campaign. Last week they traveled to New England and fell to the Patriots 27-20.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is in his fift season with the Texans. He led the Texans to winning seasons in his firs three years before his squad was beset by injuries in 2017 and finished 4-12.
After O’Brien was appointed to his post in 2014, he hired Mike Vrabel from Ohio State to be the club’s linebackers coach. Vrabel held the job until O’Brien promoted him to defensive coordinator in 2017, and a year later, Vrabel was hired as head coach of the Titans.
One of the players lost to injury in 2017 was first-roun quarterback Deshaun Watson, who spent the fina nine games of his rookie season on injured reserve. Prior to his injury, he set NFL records for the most passing touchdowns (19) through a player’s firs seven career games and the most passing touchdowns (18) by a rookie over any five-gam span.
Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt also returned at New England after missing the last 11 games of 2017. The defensive end recorded 76 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, 15 forced fumbles and 47 passes defensed in his firs seven NFL seasons.
LP PENCIL BOX SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
Fans attending the game are encouraged to participate in the LP PENCIL Box School Supply Drive. LP PENCIL Box, a collaborative non-profi venture between PENCIL Foundation and LP Building Products, offers Nashville Metro teachers the opportunity to acquire supplies for the city’s most in-need children. Collection locations will be positioned outside of Nissan Stadium to collect donated items such as pencil boxes, paper towels, backpacks, construction paper, notebook paper, art supplies, primary tablets, kleenex and classroom cleaning supplies.