NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans' 2014 preseason slate will feature home games against NFC North foes Green Bay and Minnesota and relatively short road trips to NFC South members New Orleans and Atlanta.
Here's a look at Tennessee's preseason slate:
Titans vs. Packers
Week 1 (Time/Date TBA Aug. 7-10) | LP Field
Preseason series results: Titans lead 7-3
|Titans cornerback Jason McCourty was a rookie in 2009 when the Packers last visited LP Field for a preseason game.|
Last time in preseason: Titans won 27-13 in 2009; Last time in preseason at venue: same
Green Bay's 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 6,404 (third in NFL); Rushing yards: 2,136 (seventh); Passing yards: 4,268 (sixth); Points/Game 26.1: (tied for eighth)
Green Bay's 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 372.3 (25th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 125 (25th); Passing yards allowed/game: 247.3 (24th); Points allowed/game: 26.8 (24th); Sacks: 44 (tied for eighth); Interceptions: 11 (26th)
Interesting questions: How much pressure can Tennessee's front seven exert on Aaron Rodgers? The Green Bay quarterback is unlikely to play a significant amount of time in the preseason opener, and the Titans are unlikely to reveal much of their new hybrid scheme before the regular season, but it will be interesting to see what stress the Titans can place on one of the calmest QBs in the NFL. Will Tennessee try to strike a balance between showing and testing elements of its scheme or will defensive coordinator Ray Horton hold his cards until the season begins and evaluate progress based on training camp practices when sacking the quarterback isn't an option?
Titans at Saints
Week 2 (Time/Date TBA Aug. 14-17) | Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Preseason series results: Tied 14-14-1
Last time in preseason:Titans won 10-6 in 2012;Last time in preseason at venue:** Titans won 32-9 in 2011
New Orleans' 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 6,391 (fourth in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,473 (25th); Passing yards: 4,918 (second); Points/Game: 25.9 (10th)
New Orleans' 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 305.7 (fourth); Rushing yards allowed/game: 111.6 (19th); Passing yards allowed/game: 194.1 (second); Points allowed/game: 19 (fourth); Sacks: 49 (fourth); Interceptions: 12 (tied for 24th)
Compelling matchup: The Titans' passing attack against a Saints defense that performed strongly in 2013. New Orleans ranked second in passing yards allowed and recorded 49 sacks last season. On paper, it represents the strongest challenge Tennessee's passing game will face in the preseason. Although every team is different every year, this game (and the third preseason game) should allow coach Ken Whisenhunt and offensive coordinator Jason Michael a chance to assess Jake Locker and the new passing attack that Whisenhunt and Michael are bringing from their 2013 season in San Diego.
Titans at Falcons
Week 3 (Date/Time TBA Aug. 21-24) | Georgia Dome
Preseason series results: Tied 4-4
|It will be in the preseason, but the Titans will return to the Georgia Dome, where Jake Locker threw his first two touchdown passes in a 2011 regular season game.|
Last time in preseason: Titans won 27-16 in 2013; Last time in preseason at venue: Falcons won 17-3 in 2008
Atlanta's 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,490 (14th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,247 (32nd); Passing yards: 4,243 (seventh); Points/Game: 22.1 (20th)
Atlanta's 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 379.4 (27th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 135.8 (31st); Passing yards allowed/game: 243.6 (21st); Points allowed/game: 27.7 (27th); Sacks: 32 (29th); Interceptions: 10 (tied for 29th)
Top challenge: The Titans' secondary, particularly cornerbacks, against Falcons receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. Jones had 41 catches for 580 yards and two touchdowns in just five games before suffering a season-ending injury last year. White had 63 receptions for 711 yards and three TDs in 13 games while playing through multiple injuries in 2013. Tennessee plans on Jason McCourty continuing to man one cornerback spot but will be deciding between Coty Sensabaugh, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Khalid Wooten and Tommie Campbell on the starting job opposite McCourty. The talent of the Falcons' receiving tandem will provide a great assessment tool.
Titans vs. Vikings
Week 4 (Time TBA on Aug. 28) | LP Field
Preseason series results: Titans trail 1-5
Last time in preseason:Vikings won 24-23 in 2013;Last time in preseason at venue:** Titans won 14-3 in 2011
Minnesota's 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,508 (13th in NFL); Rushing yards: 2,081 (eighth); Passing yards: 3,427 (23rd); Points/Game: 24.4 (tied for 14th)
Minnesota's 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 397.6 (31st); Rushing yards allowed/game: 110.4 (16th); Passing yards allowed/game: 287.2 (31st); Points allowed/game: 30 (32nd); Sacks: 41 (tied for 13th); Interceptions: 12 (tied for 24th)
Last tune-up: The fourth preseason game likely won't feature much, if any, on-field activity by Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, so it won't be as daunting of a task. The game, however, will provide an opportunity for Tennessee's defense to hone-in on its run fits. It will be the last trial run for Whisenhunt and new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer to make final roster evaluations and in-game assessments before the regular season opens.