The Titans will open with three of their first four games on the road and against three of the six teams that made the AFC Playoffs last season. Tennessee's home opener is scheduled for Sept. 14, which will mark Dallas' third ever trip to LP Field.
Titans at Chiefs
Noon|Sunday Sept. 7| Arrowhead Stadium
Regular season series results: Titans trail 27-20
Last time in regular season:Chiefs won 26-17 at LP Field on Oct. 6, 2013; Last time in regular season at venue: Chiefs won 34-14 on Dec. 26, 2010
Kansas City's 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,396 (21st in NFL); Rushing yards: 2,056 (10th); Passing yards: 3,340 (tied for 24th); Points/Game: 26.9 (tied for sixth)
Kansas City's 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 367.8 (24th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 120.2 (22nd); Passing yards allowed/game: 247.6 (tied for 25th); Points allowed/game: 19.1 (tied for fifth); Sacks: 47 (tied for sixth); Interceptions: 21 (tied for third)
The Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs battle in a Week 5 contest at LP Field. (Donn Jones Photography, AP)
Early outlook: **This matchup was determined by the order of finish the Titans and Chiefs had (second place) in their respective divisions in 2013. It will be Tennessee's first trip to Kansas City since 2010, but the weather should be much more pleasant than that frigid December day.
The contest is a rematch of a game early last season that the Titans wanted to do over. Both teams entered their Week 5 bout with an NFL-best plus-nine turnover ratio, but Tennessee committed its first giveaway of the year early when a short punt deflected off a Titans player and bounced more than 20 yards into Tennessee's end zone where it was recovered for a Kansas City touchdown. The Titans fought back with 17 unanswered points to take a lead in the fourth quarter, but the Chiefs responded with the final 13 points of the game for a 26-17 win.
Ten players on last year's Chiefs team have signed with new teams, including Titans running back/return specialist Dexter McCluster. Kansas City, however, will again feature running back Jamaal Charles, who led the AFC with 1,287 rushing yards (third in NFL). Charles led all non-kickers in the NFL in scoring with 114 points on 12 rushing and seven receiving touchdowns in his first year in Andy Reid's offensive system. He finished second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,980). The Chiefs are scheduled to make six selections in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Titans vs. Cowboys|Tickets
Noon | Sunday Sept. 14|LP Field
Regular season series results: Titans trail 6-7
Last time in regular season:Titans won 34-27 on Oct. 10, 2010; Last time in regular season at venue: Cowboys won 45-14 at LP Field on Oct. 1, 2006
Dallas' 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,458 (16th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,504 (24th); Passing yards: 3,954 (14th); Points/Game: 27.4 (fifth)
Dallas' 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 415.3 (32nd); Rushing yards allowed/game: 128.5 (27th); Passing yards allowed/game: 286.8 (30th); Points allowed/game: 27.0 (26th); Sacks: 34 (tied for 25th); Interceptions: 15 (tied for 17th)
Early outlook: **This will be Dallas' third trip ever to Tennessee, and each of the first two games were decided by 31 points: a shutout win by the Titans on Christmas 2000, and a 45-14 win by the Cowboys in 2006.
The Cowboys' defensive line will have different dance partners than it did last season. Dallas brought in DT Henry Melton and DE Jeremy Mincey to counteract the departure of DT Jason Hatcher and DE DeMarcus Ware via free agency.
A big question for Dallas is the health situation of QB Tony Romo, who missed the final game of 2013 because of a back injury that required surgery. Romo ranked eighth in the NFL with a 96.7 passer rating in 2013 with 31 TD passes against 10 interceptions. The Cowboys also have Kyle Orton at QB and added Brandon Weeden in free agency. Dallas is scheduled to make 11 picks, including six in the seventh round, in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Titans at Bengals
Noon|Sunday Sept. 21| Paul Brown Stadium
Regular season series results: Titans lead 39-32-1
Last time in regular season:Bengals won 24-17 at LP Field on Nov. 6, 2011; Last time in regular season at venue:Titans won 24-7 on Sept. 14, 2008
Cincinnati's 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,891 (10th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,755 (18th); Passing yards: 4,136 (eighth); Points/Game: 26.9 (tied for sixth)
Cincinnati's 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 305.5 (third); Rushing yards allowed/game: 96.5 (fifth); Passing yards allowed/game: 209.0 (fifth); Points allowed/game: (19.1 tied for fifth); Sacks: 43 (10th); Interceptions: 20 (tied for fifth)
Preseason Week 2: Bengals vs. Titans
Early outlook: **Marvin Lewis' 12 years in Cincinnati make him the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick, but the Bengals are in a bit of a transition. An offense that ranked in the top 10 in total yards, passing yards and points helped lead to former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's hire as Washington's coach, and a defense that was in the top five in total yards, rushing yards, passing yards and points allowed helped lead to former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's hire as Minnesota's coach. Lewis promoted Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator and Paul Guenther to defensive coordinator.
The Bengals are strong on the defensive line with DTs Domata Peko and Geno Atkins and DEs Robert Geathers and Carlos Dunlap returning, but will have to fill the void left by Michael Johnson's departure via free agency. Cincinnati signed former Texans S Danieal Manning and Houston's 2013 third-round pick Sam Montgomery, who was released as a rookie. Cincinnati is scheduled to make nine picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
As for the offense, Andy Dalton ranked third in the NFL in 2013 with 33 touchdown passes (Peyton Manning, 55; Drew Brees, 39), with A.J. Green catching 11 of those. Green ranked sixth in the NFL with 98 receptions and fifth with 1,426 yards last season.
Titans at Colts
Noon|Sunday Sept. 28| Lucas Oil Stadium
Regular season series results: Titans trail 13-25
Last time in regular season:Colts won 22-14 in Indianapolis on Dec. 1, 2013; Last time in regular season at venue: same
Indianapolis' 2013 offensive rankings: Total yards: 5,468 (15th in NFL); Rushing yards: 1,743 (tied for 20th); Passing yards: 3,725 (20th); Points/Game: 24.4 (tied for 14th)
Indianapolis' 2013 defensive rankings: Total yards allowed/game: 357.1 (20th); Rushing yards allowed/game: 125.1 (26th); Passing yards allowed/game: 231.9 (13th); Points allowed/game: 21.0 (ninth); Sacks: 42 (tied for 11th); Interceptions: 15 (tied for 17th)
Early outlook:** The first of two meetings between the AFC South rivals will be just the fourth September contest since divisional realignment in 2002. The Titans and Colts haven't played in September since 2007, a 22-20 home loss by Tennessee. A sweep of two close games last season helped the Colts win the division despite multiple players with injuries, including All-Pro receiver Reggie Wayne.
Indianapolis re-signed cornerback Vontae Davis, but safety Antoine Bethea and CB Cassius Vaughn departed via free agency, along with ILB Kavell Conner, RB Donald Brown and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Colts signed ILB D'Qwell Jackson from Cleveland, DE Arthur Jones from Baltimore and WR Hakeem Nicks from the New York Giants.
The Colts are scheduled to make five selections in the NFL Draft but they do not have a first or fourth-round selection because of their trade for RB Trent Richardson from Cleveland. Richardson averaged just 2.9 yards per carry (458 yards on 157 attempts) but added 28 receptions for 265 yards after joining Indianapolis.