The Tennessee Titans (7-2) return home this week with a five-game winning streak on the line against the New Orleans Saints (5-3). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Nov. 14.
After reaching the midway point of their 17-game season last week, the Titans are in first place in the AFC South and own their conference's best winning percentage at .778. Their last four wins have come against teams that made the playoffs last season, and overall in 2021 they are 6-0 against incumbent playoff clubs with an opportunity to improve that mark against the Saints, last year's NFC South champions.
The Saints are the Titans' extra opponent under the NFL's new 17-game schedule format in which every NFL team plays one additional interconference game based upon the previous year's divisional standings. The Titans and Saints are pitted against each other based on each club's first-place finish in their respective divisions in 2020.
Sunday's contest will be regionally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan, analyst Trent Green and reporter Melanie Collins.
Fans can livestream the broadcast on their mobile devices from the Titans Mobile App (iOS and Android), as well as on desktop computers and mobile web at TennesseeTitans.com. Restrictions apply. For information and more streaming options visit TennesseeTitans.com or NFL.com/ways-to-watch.
The Titans Radio Network and Nashville flagship 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 gameday host Rhett Bryan.
Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Larry Kahn and analyst Doug Plank will have the call.
DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY TO HELP EXTEND WINNING STREAK
The Titans were in Los Angeles last week for a Sunday night game against the Rams, who entered the contest 7-1 and tied for the best record in the NFL. The Titans scored 21 straight points in the second quarter—including 14 points resulting from two interceptions—and kept the Rams out of the end zone until the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter to snatch a convincing 28-16 victory.
The Titans' first two touchdowns came within an 11-second span. Linebacker David Long Jr. returned an interception to the Los Angeles two-yard line after defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons pressured quarterback Matthew Stafford to force an errant throw. That set up a touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to tight end Geoff Swaim on the ensuing play.
Then, on the first play of Los Angeles' next drive, Stafford was intercepted by Kevin Byard, who raced 24 yards for his first career interception return for a touchdown. Byard, who is tied for second place in the NFL with five interceptions in 2021, has five consecutive games with either an interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery.
In addition to causing an interception, Simmons tallied three of the defense's five total sacks in the win. He became the first Titans player with three sacks in a game since Jason Jones (3.5) against Pittsburgh on Dec. 21, 2008.
The Titans were playing their first game without NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, who was placed on injured reserve during the week. They signed fifth all-time leading rusher Adrian Peterson during the week, and Peterson rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown in a starting role.
The Saints enter Week 10 in second place in the NFC South behind the 6-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week, they hosted the Atlanta Falcons and fell by a final score of 27-25, ending a three-game winning streak.
The Saints underwent a significant change at the quarterback position after the 2020 campaign. Longtime starter Drew Brees announced his retirement during the offseason, clearing the way for Jameis Winston to start the first seven contests of 2021. However, Winston was hurt on Oct. 31 and subsequently placed on injured reserve. Sixth-year veteran Trevor Siemian, who spent time with the Titans in 2020, started against the Falcons. Taysom Hill also has experience at quarterback with the Saints.
Head coach Sean Payton has been with the Saints since 2006, and among all active head coaches, only New England's Bill Belichick (2000) has been with his team longer. Under Payton, the Saints have claimed nine playoff berths, seven NFC South titles and a win in Super Bowl XLIV following the 2009 season.