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Titans (4-4) Begin Two-Game Road Trip at Carolina (2-6) Sunday at Bank of America Stadium


The Titans play five of their last eight games on the road starting Sunday at Carolina.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the Titans (4-4) at the midpoint of their season, they begin a stretch of three consecutive games against teams from the NFC South this week, traveling to take on the Carolina Panthers (2-6).  Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium (capacity 73,504) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Nov. 13.

There is no current NFL team the Titans/Oilers have played fewer times than the Panthers, as this week will be just the fourth all-time meeting.  Carolina, which launched as an expansion franchise in 1995, won the initial matchup in 1996, and the Titans took the two most recent pairings in 2003 and 2007.  

The Titans have yet to face a team from the NFC in 2011, but recent seasons have yielded positive results against the opposite conference.  Since the NFL realigned to eight divisions in 2002, the Titans own a 26-10 (.722) interconference record, ranking third in the NFL.

The Titans need to win to either maintain or improve their position within the AFC South.  The Houston Texans, who play at Tampa Bay this week, are 6-3 and in first place.  The Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) and Indianapolis Colts (0-9) all trail the Texans in the division.

If the Titans ultimately are to make a move up in the standings, they will have to do so while playing the majority of their remaining contests on the road.  Beginning with the trips to Carolina and then Atlanta, they play five of their final eight games away from LP Field. 


This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties, while Solomon Wilcots will provide analysis. 

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, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.


The Titans got off to a promising start in last week's game at LP Field, but ultimately they were defeated 24-17 at the hands of the upstart Bengals.  With Matt Hasselbeck touchdown passes to wide receivers Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins and a field goal by Rob Bironas, they took a 17-7 lead into halftime.  However, the Bengals scored 17 unanswered points in the final two quarters, while the Titans were unable to muster big plays or a sustained drive to build on their first-half performance.

Despite the loss, Hasselbeck continued his impressive showing in 2011.  His 13 touchdown passes tie his career high through the first eight games of the season, and with 2,014 passing yards, the 13-year veteran became the franchise's first player in the 16-game-schedule era (1978-present) other than Warren Moon (1986, '90, '91 and '92) to reach 2,000 passing yards in the first eight games. 


Meanwhile, the Panthers were off last week with a bye.  While they were winners in only two of their first eight contests, almost all were highly competitive.  Only one of their losses (31-17 to Atlanta) has been by more than seven points.  Most recently, they fell to the Minnesota Vikings 24-21 on Oct. 30.

Like the Titans, who are in their first season with Mike Munchak at the helm, the Panthers also have a new head coach and quarterback.  Ron Rivera, a former defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers, became the fourth head coach in Panthers history when he was hired in January.

The first draft pick in Rivera's tenure was Cam Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy and a BCS Championship with Auburn University prior to becoming the first-overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.  Through eight games, he has proven to be one of the league's most dynamic rookies, passing for 2,393 yards and 11 touchdowns as the team's starter since Week 1.  Additionally, he has accumulated 319 yards and seven touchdowns as a rusher.

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