NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This week the Tennessee Titans (6-6) return from their bye week to host the reigning Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos (8-4). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, Dec. 11.
This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle will call the action alongside analyst Dan Fouts. Evan Washburn will report from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
Additionally, Sports USA will broadcast the Titans-Broncos game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Larry Kahn, analyst John Robinson and sideline reporter Troy West will have the call.
TITANS SHARE DIVISION LEAD WITH FOUR GAMES REMAINING**
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Titans enter the week in a tie for first place in the AFC South Division. The Houston Texans also own a 6-6 record, while the Indianapolis Colts (5-6) have a chance to get to .500 and make it a three-way tie with a win at the New York Jets on Monday night, Dec. 5. On Sunday, at the same time the Titans and Broncos square off, the Colts and Texans will battle in Indianapolis.
The last time the Titans possessed at least a share of the division lead in Week 14 or later was 2008, when they were the wire-to-wire winners of the AFC South.
Before their Week 13 bye—the latest bye in franchise history—the Titans traveled to Chicago and escaped with a 27-21 victory. After falling behind 7-0, they scored 27 unanswered points and withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Bears to clinch the win.
Titans second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November, completed 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns against the Bears (126.4 passer rating). He added 46 rushing yards.
Mariota, whose 25 touchdown passes in 2016 already rank fourth in team history for a single season, currently has a franchise-best streak of eight consecutive games with multiple touchdown passes. The only previous player in NFL history with such a streak in one of his first two NFL seasons was Dan Marino (10 games) in 1984.
After facing Denver, the Titans travel for consecutive games at Kansas City (Dec. 18) and Jacksonville (Dec. 24) before ending the regular season at home against Houston (Jan. 1).
The Broncos, who vanquished the Jaguars 20-10 last week in Jacksonville, find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt once again, but they are looking to make up ground in their division. Although they own the fourth-best record in the entire AFC, the Super Bowl 50 Champions will arrive in Nashville in third place in the AFC West. They sit two games behind the division-leading Oakland Raiders (10-2) and one game behind the second-place Kansas City Chiefs (9-3).
Head coach Gary Kubiak is in his second season at the helm for the Broncos and his 10th season as a head coach in the NFL. In 2015, he became the fourth head coach in league annals to win a Super Bowl in his first year as head coach of a team.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian has started 10 games for the Broncos in 2016. A 2015 seventh-round pick out of Northwestern University, he is 195-of-325 passing for 2,396 yards and 15 touchdowns with seven interceptions (89.2 passer rating).
However, Siemian missed last week's game against the Jaguars with a foot injury, allowing first-round pick Paxton Lynch to record his second career start. Lynch, who attended the University of Memphis, was 12-of-24 passing for 104 yards in the win.
The Broncos defense is ranked fifth in the NFL this season, allowing an average of only 315.5 yards per game. The unit includes four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Von Miller, whose 12.5 sacks lead the NFL.
U.S. MARINE CORPS TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE
Prior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve stationed outside of the gates at Nissan Stadium. All toys collected during the drive will be used in the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and distributed to children in Middle Tennessee.
Titans Online looks back at the all-time series against the Denver Broncos. (AP Photos)