NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (5-10) conclude their 2012 season this week with a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CT on Sunday, Dec. 30.
This week will mark the 37th all-time meeting between the Jaguars and Titans, with the Titans holding a 20-16 lead in the series. The three games since the start of the 2011 season have been decided by 13 total points. The Jaguars won last year's season opener 16-14 in Jacksonville (Sept. 11), followed by the Titans' 23-17 victory later in the year (Dec. 24).
In the first matchup this season, played in Jacksonville on Nov. 25, the Jaguars prevailed 24-19. Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne passed for 261 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns, and the Jaguars intercepted two Jake Locker passes late in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Don Criqui will handle play-by-play duties while Randy Cross provides 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, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
TITANS LOOK TO CLOSE OUT 2012 WITH A WIN
The final rankings in the AFC South are solidified for 2012. At 12-3, the Texans are the division champions, followed by the 10-5 Indianapolis Colts, who have secured a Wild Card berth. The Titans and Jaguars will finish third and fourth in the division, respectively.
Last week the Titans suffered their 10th loss of the year, falling to the Packers in Green Bay by a final score of 55-7. They scored in the fourth quarter on a two-yard pass from Locker to Kenny Britt.
In his second pro season, Locker has started 10 games. He has completed 168 of 299 passes for 2,024 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and also has 288 yards and a touchdown on 36 rushing attempts. He missed five starts earlier in the season due to a left shoulder injury.
Chris Johnson has rushed for 1,187 yards and five touchdowns on 255 carries in 2012. With 13 more rushing yards this year, he will reach 1,200 for the fourth time in five NFL seasons. Entering the finale Sunday, Johnson is 168 rushing yards from becoming the fourth player in NFL history to reach 7,000 rushing yards within his first five seasons. He would join Eric Dickerson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Emmitt Smith.
The Jaguars are in their first season with new ownership and a new coaching staff. In January, the sale of the franchise from Wayne Weaver to automotive parts magnate Shahid Khan was finalized. A week later, Khan and general manager Gene Smith hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as the club's new head coach.
Last week, the Jaguars hosted the New England Patriots and suffered a narrow 23-16 defeat. Henne passed for 348 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars, and he positioned the Jaguars for the tying score on two separate occasions late in the fourth quarter. However, in both cases, the Patriots intercepted passes near the goal line.
Henne, playing his fourth NFL season, became the starter after second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered an elbow injury in Week 11. He was signed by the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Miami Dolphins during the offseason and has passed for 1,786 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.
Jaguars Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew has not played since suffering a foot injury on Oct. 21. Prior to his injury, he rushed for 414 yards on 86 carries (4.8 average).