Game Preview: Titans Host Texans; Reese, Fisher to be Added to Ring of Honor

211121-game-preview

The Tennessee Titans (8-2) put a six-game winning streak on the line this week as they host the AFC South rival Houston Texans (1-8). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Nov. 21.

The Titans have won eight of their initial 10 games for the first time since going 10-0 to begin the 2008 season. Their six-game winning streak is the longest active winning streak in the NFL, and at 8-2 they are tied with the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers for the best record in the NFL.

THE BROADCAST

Sunday's contest will be regionally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon, analyst James Lofton and reporter Sherree Burruss.

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.

TITANS CONTINUE TO BUILD MOMENTUM

The Titans hosted the New Orleans Saints last week and preserved their winning streak with a narrow 23-21 victory. The Saints scored a late touchdown and could have tied the score with a two-point conversion. However, the Titans defense thwarted the try, and an ensuing onside kick recovery by wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine sealed the victory.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for 213 yards and a touchdown, registering a 105.9 passer rating. He also rushed for a one-yard touchdown, giving him his fourth performance of 2021 with at least one passing touchdown and at least one rushing touchdown—the most in the NFL through 10 weeks.

The Titans defense registered four sacks against the Saints, marking the third time in four games the unit had at least that many. Jeffery Simmons led the way against New Orleans with a pair of sacks, giving him five total sacks in the past two games. His 7.5 sacks in 2021 are a career high.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Harold Landry III added a sack to bring his 2021 total to a career-high 10 sacks. He is the team's first defender since 2016 (Brian Orakpo) to reach double-digit sacks in a season. Landry has at least a half sack in eight consecutive contests.

With the win, the Titans improved to 7-0 against teams that made the NFL playoffs in 2020. With five such wins in the last five weeks, they became the second team in NFL history to win five straight contests with each of the wins coming at the expense of a participant in the previous year's postseason, joining the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles.

One more win this season will guarantee the Titans a winning record for the sixth consecutive season—every season since executive vice president/general manager Jon Robinson arrived in 2016. The only previous stretch in which the Titans/Oilers achieved at least six straight winning records was a seven-year run from 1987 to 1993.

THE TEXANS

The Texans are in their first season under head coach David Culley, a Middle Tennessee native who was hired by the Texans after two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as assistant head coach/pass coordinator/wide receivers coach. Culley grew up in Sparta, Tenn., and then played quarterback at Vanderbilt University. He has coached at Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky, Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee State and Austin Peay.

Culley and his staff will have an extra week to prepare for the Titans after coming off their bye last week. The Texans are the first team this season to have a bye prior to their matchup with the Titans, although the Titans did face the Jaguars in Week 5 after the Jaguars played a Thursday night game in Week 4. Prior to the bye, the Texans were 1-8, with their victory coming in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

At quarterback, Tyrod Taylor returned to the Texans starting lineup in Week 9 at Miami following a stint on injured reserve. In his three total starts in 2021, he has passed for 656 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

REESE, FISHER TO BE ADDED TO RING OF HONOR

At halftime of the Titans-Texans game, late Titans general manager Floyd Reese and former head coach Jeff Fisher will be formally inducted to the Titans Ring of Honor by Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. Many of the former players acquired by Reese and coached by Fisher will be in attendance, as the occasion coincides with Titans Alumni Weekend.

Reese and Fisher will join 15 other members of the Ring of Honor, including late Oilers head coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips, who was inducted earlier in the season during the Titans-Colts game (Sept. 26).

Reese passed away on Aug. 21 after a battle with cancer. He was 73. His passing came a month after the organization announced its plans to honor him, along with Fisher and Phillips.

Upon the announcement, Reese issued this statement: "The way Amy explained it, this is one of the highest, if not the highest honor, that we could bestow on somebody that's not in the NFL Hall of Fame. And so that kind of makes you realize that this is special. I know it is special too because there's been so much time and effort that we put in – not just me, but Jeff, and everybody involved, I mean, for years and years and years. To have this come true for me is a special treat. It's really an honor to go in with two guys that you were able to watch do their work, understand the kind of craft and effort they put into it, and see their success."

Reese spent 21 seasons with the franchise from 1986 to 2006, first as a linebackers coach (1986–1989), then assistant general manager (1990–1993), and finally the general manager from 1994 to 2006. He was a part of 11 playoff seasons with the franchise.

During his time in the front office, the franchise drafted 19 future Pro Bowl players. As general manager, it was his call to select Titans greats such as Steve McNair, Eddie George, Derrick Mason, Jevon Kearse and Keith Bulluck. In addition to the draft, he exhausted all means to acquire future Pro Bowl players, claiming Frank Wycheck off waivers; trading for Kevin Carter; and signing free agents such as Craig Hentrich, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Kevin Mawae.

As general manager, Reese tallied a franchise-best 111 wins (106 regular season and five postseason), and the Titans advanced to two AFC championship games. Reese was the architect of the beloved Titans roster that advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV following the 1999 season. Of the 22 Titans starters in that game, 13 were drafted by Reese.

Reese was well known for his influence on the careers of many coaches and executives across the NFL and college football landscape, including Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and current Titans general manager Jon Robinson. Belichick credited him with being "one of the pioneer coaches in strength training at a time when strength coaches did not exist in the NFL."

Reese is survived by his wife, Sally, sons Jeremy and Sean, and four grandchildren.

One of Reese's first big decisions as general manager was to hire Fisher as head coach—first as interim head coach in 1994 and then the full-time head coach the following season. The duo led the franchise from Houston into Tennessee, paving the way for future generations. In 2021, the organization is commemorating its 25th season in the Volunteer State.

Fisher is the winningest coach in franchise history. He amassed 147 total victories (142 regular season and five postseason) from 1994 to 2010 and directed the Titans to their only Super Bowl appearance during the memorable 1999 playoff run.

In 16 full seasons at the helm, Fisher only had five losing records, and he is the only head coach in franchise history to win 13 games in a season—a mark he reached three times (1999, 2000, 2008). From 1999 to 2003, Tennessee's 61 wins in the regular season and playoffs tied the St. Louis Rams' total for the most in the NFL.

Hallmarks of Fisher's teams included a strong running game and an attacking defense. Under Fisher, George became the franchise's all-time leading rusher, and the team's defense in 2000 ranked first in yards allowed for the only time since the NFL/AFL merger (1970). From 1995 to 2010, Fisher's teams ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing offense (123.0 yards/game) and fourth in rushing defense (101.0).

As the team moved from Houston to Tennessee in 1997, the team played in four different home stadiums over a four-year period. Fisher embraced the unofficial role of ambassador and salesman for NFL football to new fans. His efforts and connection with the community converted countless people to become Titans fans in the early years after the move.

The origins of the Titans Ring of Honor started with a team Hall of Fame induction in 1999, the team's first year Nissan Stadium, when seven initial members had their names displayed inside the seating bowl.

Related Content

Advertising