NASHVILLE, Tenn.— This week the Tennessee Titans (1-4) play their first of two scheduled primetime contests in 2012, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) on Thursday Night Football. It is the 75th all-time meeting between the two franchises. Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. CDT on Oct. 11.
NFL Network will broadcast the game to a national television audience. The telecast can be seen locally in Nashville on WZTV-Fox 17. Brad Nessler will handle play-by-play duties, while Mike Mayock provides analysis and Alex Flanagan reports from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
Additionally, Dial Global Radio Sports will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst) and Rocky Boiman (sidelines) have the call.
The Titans suffered their fourth loss in five games last week at Minnesota. The Vikings scored the game's first 23 points and ultimately won by a final score of 30-7.
Safeties Jordan Babineaux and Robert Johnson each recorded interceptions for the Titans, but it was not enough to slow the Minnesota attack led by quarterback Christian Ponder (258 passing yards), receiver Percy Harvin (108 receiving yards) and running back Adrian Peterson (88 rushing yards).
At quarterback for the Titans, Matt Hasselbeck started the game in place of Jake Locker, who was inactive with a left shoulder injury. Against the Vikings, Hasselbeck completed 26 of 43 passes for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard strike to tight end Jared Cook.
Prior to being injured at Houston on Sept. 30, Locker was 67-of-106 passing for 781 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions (90.2 passer rating).
The Steelers hosted the in-state rival Philadelphia Eagles last week and won on a last-second, 34-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham. In the win, Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 81 yards and a score, while the Steelers defense recorded three sacks and recovered two fumbles.
Pittsburgh is led by Mike Tomlin, who is in sixth season as head coach. The Steelers made the playoffs in four of Tomlin's first five seasons.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, now in his ninth NFL season, has passed for 1,111 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception through four games in 2012. In 2011, his 4,077 passing yards finished second in franchise history behind only his 4,328-yard record from 2009.
The Steelers are ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense and are fourth in the league against the pass. Two of their Pro Bowl defensive stalwarts, safety Troy Polamalu and James Harrison returned from injuries to play against the Eagles last week.
"A CRUCIAL CATCH"
At the game, the Titans will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a variety of ways, including honoring tight end Jared Cook's mother, Yulinda Cook, a breast cancer survivor, as the 12th Titan; passing out pink Titans rally towels to all fans entering the stadium; and partnering with Saint Thomas Health Systems to honor 12 breast cancer survivors on the field before the game. Additionally, players and coaches will wear pink equipment and apparel, while game balls with pink ribbon decals will be used. The first 30,000 fans through the gates also will receiving pink ribbons.