NASHVILLE – Are you ready for some Titans football?
And road trips?
Well, it's time to start planning.
The NFL released the 2021 schedule on Wednesday, and it's not too early to start making plans.
Heck, this is one of the most exciting road schedules the Titans have had in a while, with trips to New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston among the highlights.
And that's not counting road trips to the team's three AFC South rivals, and a trip to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers.
As the Official Fan Travel Partner of the Tennessee Titans, On Location is your source for travel packages to any of the team's eight exciting road games this year. Whether you are looking for a hotel in Pittsburgh or accommodations in Los Angeles, On Location has you covered. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Let's take a look at all the places you can go …
2021 Road Opponents
At Seattle Seahawks
Date: Sunday, September 19 (3:25 p.m.).
Why it's a good football trip: Lumen Stadium is a sight to see – and hear. But don't forget your earplugs. Located in downtown Seattle, the stadium is considered one of the loudest in the NFL. Don't believe it? Well, the stadium was previously recorded as the NFL's loudest stadium after crowd noise reached 137.6 decibels -- that volume is louder than a jet taking off from an aircraft carrier. There's also some cool history with the Seahawks, from the famed 12th Man – they raise a flag each game before kickoff. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tends to always make games exciting – and difficult for visiting teams.
Why it's a good road trip: Seattle is a scenic city, and a great one to walk around in. Pike Place Market has a famous sign, but it's also in a great location on the waterfront with tons of shops, a fresh produce market, several fresh fish vendors and some great restaurants. Make sure you watch them throw giant fish at the market – that usually draws a big crowd. Like coffee? Visit the original Starbucks in Seattle. But we're just getting started. Check out the Space Needle, which was built for the 1962 World Fair. It features an observation deck at 520 feet, the SkyCity restaurant at 500 feet, and a gift shop. And visit the Experience Music Project museum while you're there – it's nearby. Ferry rides are fun, and so are parks visitors can spend time in throughout the city. The seafood is outstanding in Seattle, and you'll find countless options in the downtown area.
At New York Jets
Date: Sunday, October 3 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: Metlife Stadium, the glitzy home of the Giants and Jets (and home of Super Bowl 48), is a beauty, and it's one of the largest stadiums in the NFL. It's located in East Rutherford, N.J., roughly 13 miles from New York City. The stadium is surrounded by massive parking lots, so it's a great spot to tailgate before the game. The Jets will look a lot different in 2021, starting with their head coach (Robert Saleh) and potentially at starting quarterback, where Sam Darnold was traded (to the Panthers) and former BYU QB Zach Wilson was drafted second overall. One of the team's biggest free agent acquisitions: former Titans receiver Corey Davis.
Why it's a good road trip: It's New York City, baby! For a weekend trip, it's tough to beat the Big Apple. The most trouble might be deciding exactly what to do with your time. Visit Times Square to be in the middle of it all. See a Broadway Show, now that it's finally open again. Stroll through Central Park, across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit Ground Zero or check out the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Empire State building and Rockefeller Center offer great views of the city. And the restaurant options, well, they're endless.
At Jacksonville Jaguars
Date: Sunday, October 10 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: The Jaguars emerged as Tennessee's biggest rival in the early days of the Titans. The two franchises met three times during Tennessee's run to the Super Bowl in 1999, including in the AFC Championship Game. The Titans won that game, of course, and it set the stage for some bitter feelings for the years to come. The Jaguars will look a lot different in 2020, when they home to reemerge in the fight for the division. Head coach Urban Meyer and former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence have ignited the city, and the figure to make things interesting from the get-go. The Titans would love to remind them who is king. TIAA Bank Stadium, home of the Jaguars and home to what's billed at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" when Florida vs. Georgia meet each year, is usually a festive, sun-splashed atmosphere. Heck, they've got a pair of swimming pools in the upper deck, and a mammoth video board. Don't forget your sunscreen!
Why it's a good road trip: Did I mention the sun? Jacksonville boasts over 850 square miles of beaches, and plenty of things to do for those who love to be outside. There are seafood options, and food options, galore. Atlantic Beach is one of my favorites in the area, because there's a lot of activity, and casual dining options. The Jacksonville Zoo is a popular spot for those who want to check out the animals. The Riverwalk along the St. Johns River is a nice place for a stroll. And, of course, there are plenty of golf courses for those who want to bring their clubs. The PGA Tour's headquarters is in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach at the TPC Sawgrass, where the PLAYERS Championship is staged. To the north, popular-yet-secluded Amelia Island is home to 117 holes of golf, and it's a great place to spend a day.
At Indianapolis Colts
Date: Sunday, October 31 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: There's the rivalry, and then there's Lucas Oil Stadium. We'll get to the football part in a moment. Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the best places to watch a game in the NFL. If the weather isn't great, the roof is usually closed. The stadium is located downtown, within walking distance of the hotels and restaurants, and it looks and feels new. From the 1999 season, beginning with Tennessee's playoff game win at the then-RCA Dome, Titans fans have regularly flocked to Indianapolis. This year's Titans-Colts game should be an interesting, and meaningful one – the teams are expected to compete for the AFC South title. The Colts will have a different quarterback leading them after trading for former Eagles Carson Wentz earlier this offseason. Indianapolis drafted edge rusher Kwity Paye in the first round of the draft.
Why it's a good road trip: As mentioned above, the location of the stadium – and the stadium itself – is a good selling point for this trip. But the city of Indianapolis itself is not a bad drawing point for a quick weekend trip. Stay in downtown and it's easy to navigate from place to place. Restaurants are aplenty, from St Elmo Steak House to Shapiro's Deli. One of my favorites, Iaria's Italian Restaurant, is located just on the outskirts, on S College Avenue. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum – Indianapolis is home to the Indy 500, of course – is worth checking out. Monument Circle is one of many historic statues in the city worth checking out. Keep in mind the NFL Combine wouldn't have made Indianapolis its home over the years if it didn't have something to offer.
At Los Angeles Rams
Date: Sunday, November 7 (7:20 p.m.)
Why it's a good football trip: For starters, SoFi Stadium. Heck, this stadium and the surrounding complex in Inglewood could be worth the trip in itself. The $5 billion complex covers 298 acres and will feature an entertainment "district", a sports "district", as well as host a hotel and house lots of retail shopping and restaurant dining. Sofi will host Super Bowl LVI in 2022. But the Rams, directed by head coach Sean McVay, are an exciting team to watch, too. And this year they'll be led by a new quarterback – former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Titans have never played a football game in Los Angeles, so this is a can't-miss first.
Why it's a good road trip: Southern California offers something for everyone – even if you just want to spend your days in the sun, on the beach. If you're ready to explore, you'll be busy. Go for stroll on the Santa Monica Beach and Pier or wander down to Venice Beach. Drive to scenic Malibu. Spent time on the Sunset Strip, and walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Visit the Chinese Theater or tour the Dolby Theater. The Griffith Observatory features space-related exhibits, star shows in the planetarium, and a telescope. If amusement parks are your thing, there are plenty to choose from, including Disneyland and Universal Studios. And don't miss the Hollywood sign! If you make it to Marina del Rey, check out Killer Shrimp, one of my personal favorites.
At New England Patriots
Date: Sunday, November 28 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: There's history at Gillette Stadium, and if you look around, you'll see it. The Patriots have won six Super Bowls, and the signage around the stadium shows off the team's recent accomplishments. Sure, famed quarterback Tom Brady is gone, but head coach Bill Belichick still roams the sidelines, and the Patriots spent the offseason reloading for another run. After a down year, they're expected to be a contender once again in 2021. In addition to a big haul in free agency, from linebacker Matt Judon to former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, the Patriots also drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. The history at Gillette is both good and bad for the Tennessee Titans. Most recently, the team beat the Patriots in the 2019 postseason en route to advancing to the AFC Championship Game. The area surrounding Gillette is fan friendly and great for tailgating, and with the color scheme and design of the stadium, it might remind you of Nissan Stadium.
Why it's a good road trip: Foxborough Stadium, home of the Patriots, is roughly 30 miles from Boston, a city with a rich history, and scenic beauty. Spend the day before the game on the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. But there's so much more to do in Boston, from museums to restaurants. It's a great walking city, whether it's on the Freedom Trail, in Beacon Hill, on Newbury Street, or Boston Common, the oldest city park in the USA and which consists of 50 acres. Or, heck, you could always spend the day at the pub. Cheers!
At Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, December 19 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: The Steelers, one of the NFL's oldest franchise's, is also one of the league's most successful. In 2008, the Steelers became the first NFL team to capture six Super Bowl titles. It's a franchise rich in tradition, and game days are a blast here, from the tailgating to the football. Titans fans will face a challenge to be heard, as "Terrible Towel" waving diehards fill the seats in a bright yellow stadium that also features a big Heinz ketchup bottle on the scoreboard – it pours out red when the Steelers are in the red zone. It's a pretty raucous scene when "Renegade" plays in the fourth quarter. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has helped create plenty of excitement himself, and he'll aim to do it again in 2021 vs the Titans and everyone else on Pittsburgh's schedule. The Steelers added former Alabama running back Najee Harris in the NFL Draft.
Why it's a good road trip: Pittsburgh is an underrated city, from its downtown sports stadiums to the rivers that surround it. This will become evident the moment you emerge from the Pitt Tunnel, and see the city's skyline. The Duquesne Incline is a cool place to see it from above, while being adventurous. Market Square is a public place with restaurants and shops, and the Three Rivers Heritage Trail lines the banks of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio waterways and connects the downtown area to the surrounding neighborhoods. Museums and parks provide other options for visitors. The Senator John Heinz History Center's Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a provides everything you need to know about the Steelers. On game day, the North Shore, also home to Heinz Field, is filled with plenty of bars and restaurants for all football fans. And while you're in Pittsburgh, try the Primanti Bros. sandwich, and stop by Jerome Bettis' Grille 36.
At Houston Texans
Date: Sunday, January 9 (Noon).
Why it's a good football trip: The Titans and Texans became natural rivals the moment the Houston Oilers packed up and traveled to Tennessee. Want to feel how strong the rivalry remains? Visit Reliant Stadium when these teams meet, because it's usually pretty packed with Titans fans – many outfitted in Oilers gear. And, of course, there are plenty of Texans fans who want to remind them why they're not so welcome. It makes for a good football atmosphere, no matter what's at stake for the two teams. The Texans head into 2021 with a new look, and a new head coach. Middle Tennessee native David Culley took over earlier this offseason, and he'll guide a team with some question marks. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has been a thorn in the side of the Titans for year, but this one should be interesting no matter who is behind center for the Texans.
Why it's a good road trip: One of the country's biggest cities has plenty to offer, from adventures to food. The Space Center, the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Natural Science, the Downtown Aquarium and the Galleria Mall are all popular spots to spend some time. Discovery Green is a recently renovated, 11.78 acre public city park that offers a nice spot to relax. If you want to check out the beach, Galveston is a short drive. And did I mention the food? Houston is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the country, like Ninfa's and Pappasidos Cantina. If you're looking for cajun seafood, try Pappadeauxs.